For a folk album with a vast range and a sweetly comforting vibe, seek out Old Mamalahoa’s Ohi’a EP.
The record kicks off with a warmly psychedelicized-Laurel Canyon vibe on the title track (plus the bookending intro and outro). From there, it dips into country-folk with the chilled “Bloodhounds” and “This Old Home,” which drip with melty pedal steel and delicate banjo. Elements of blues and folk-pop creep into “Lonely Traveler” and “Wild Wind;” the cello-backed latter of which would have made an excellent single.
A major strength of Old Mamalahoa is the vocal work of Clover Stassens, which are filled with the golden light and misty hush of an early morning in the country. On every track here, her voice is smooth, subtle and nothing short of graceful. Much like Joy Williams or Elizabeth Mitchell, Stassens’ singing almost sounds as if it was born to be paired with the guit-steel and other folk instruments.
If you were a fan of The Civil Wars, Rhiannon Giddens or Mountain Man, then the Ohi’a EP needs to be in your hands. You can get it here right now.