Photos and review by M&M
Cover photo is a screen shot from their video
Broken Fences EP Release Review
Music Video Release
Thanksgiving is a time when houses get crowded with friends and family taking advantage of the occasion to come together and catch up on what’s new, and hear about happenings in each other’s lives. Inspired by this seasonal sense of community, we bought a pair of the last tickets for the sold out Broken Fences’ EP release party and music video debut on November 22nd. The Pittsburgh acoustic duo is made up of Morgan Erina and Guy Russo, who met by hearing each other at local shows (ala the Civil Wars), realized they could make a powerful impact in harmony and have since played all over the world. When we showed up the community at Club Cafe was chatty and warm, with hugs and familiar conversations being exchanged around the room, like we’d invited ourselves into the group’s house around the holidays. As Broken Fences played through their set, it became immediately obvious that the crowd gathered around Morgan and Guy’s entrancing melodies, was in fact their tight knit family—Moms, Dads, and sisters from out of town, long time local devotees, grandparents, and friends from other cities—all there to be a part of the success and storytelling the duo are known for sharing.
All of the song lyrics, written in part by both artists, were stories. In particular Morgan transformed a poem originally written by her grandmother, and narrated an experience that transcended generations when she turned the piece into music. As the duo hummed in their song “Reach”, “everyone you meet will have a story they can tell, everyone you meet has something new to offer…” and that sense of openness and empathy was expressed throughout the evening. Our backwoods ways of course encouraged our appreciation for “Fairy Tale,” a song from their last album, which Morgan introduced as being unlike any other song she’d written. Truthfully, it did stand out as a jog away from their traditional sound, being that it was a little twangier, but it elicited smiles from the singers as well much of the crowd anyway. Morgan and Guy delivered songs in a way that left your ears ringing, leaving listeners with the sensation of having been at a rock show that was too loud, but instead it was the quiet strength and forceful sentiment that stuck with you after the songs were over.
Being part of the EP release was such an awesome experience. The folks there buying the newly tracked Stormy Clouds were excited to have another Broken Fences album, which one fan described as being, “the sort of music you open a bottle of wine for.” I couldn’t agree more, and see myself listening to “Little Prayer,” on the B side of the 10”, until the grooves are worn through. Partner to the EP debut was the group’s first music video, accompanying their song “Simplicity.” Sandwiched between sets, the crowd muffled their contented conversations to watch the cinematically shot black and white video. The narrative shows the band being led down a road, gathering standers-by on their journey, in scenes reminiscent of Arcade Fire’s music video of “Rebellion.” Directed and filmed by Joseph Stammerjohn, the cinematography does well to tell a story worth bringing friends and family from far away to see. In advance of the holidays, we couldn’t have found a better way to get inspired for the familial warmth of the season than to be party such a close-knit affair. We’ve already found occasion to introduce Broken Fences’ music to our crowded home, and as suggested used the EP to enjoy a tall glass of red while catching up on wedding plans and graduations, planning for Christmas and cooking dinners. Check out Broken Fences, get their new EP Stormy Clouds, see their music video, and share it with your family. You’ll be happy you did.