Review: Three Strands – Letters to the Light

Artist: Three Strands
Album: Letters to the Light
Released: July 7, 2017
Genre: Folk

After Philly-area alt-folk group The Band of Rivals went their separate ways back in March, former frontman Sean Cox embarked on a new project under the moniker Three Strands.

Cox’s first release under this project, titled “Letters to the Light,” is certainly rooted in the traditional folk influence that made The Band of Rivals one of the region’s more noteworthy acts over the past few years. However, what makes the release particularly exciting is Cox’s willingness to experiment, using folk as the foundation to create dynamic soundscapes that borrow from several styles.

We see the first hints of this on an updated version of opener and previous The Band of Rivals song, “Face of Narcissus.” This tale about our endless search for beauty is highlighted by Cox’s powerful vocals and blues-tinged guitars, with the foundation of a thumping, mid-tempo rhythm section to keep things moving. From there, we venture into rich soundscapes with the sweeping ambiance of “Brother James” and the dynamic ascension of “Solitary Man,” the latter of which is built around the fitting loneliness of a gentle opening guitar riff.

Later on the record, “Deliver Us”… well, delivers us some groove, with a funky bassline and what sounds, to us, like some subtle reggae influence. “Beneath It All” closes the effort by venturing into soul and R&B territory, as Cox sings about a steady love that remains through all of life’s changes.

Track listing:
Face of Narcissus
Brother James
Solitary Man
Ash Filled Soul
Deliver Us
Beneath It All

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