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The Avett Brothers’ new album soothes with humble folk tones

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‘The Third Gleam’ offers a solid half-hour of tender music with thoughtful lyrics.

The Avett Brothers released their 10th studio album at the tail end of August, and it offers a much different sound than their other recent works. For The Third Gleam, The Avett brothers, Scott and Seth, teamed with just their long-time bassist Bob Crawford, for an acoustic trio that produces laid-back, comforting folk music. 

The music is free of a percussion section, which allows the strumming of the strings to provide its own simple “drum” beats and emphasizes the ringing of the guitars. This ringing was especially present in the opening track “Victory,” which has one of the catchiest hooks on the album. The song follows the idea that the achievements or victories we find in this life are ultimately fleeting, and through this realization the singer surrenders to a higher power.

We also really liked “Back Into the Light,” which follows themes of depression and a return to faith. The song has a great chord progression, with fine guitar pick work. The little musical breakdown at the bridge offered the most beautiful 20 seconds on the album, with a two highly skilled guitar licks overlapping each other. The song is overall very sad, but the message of hope gives it a warm feel.

Our favorite song on the album was “Untitled #4,” a song about finding happiness with nothing at all. The song is about self-acceptance and enjoying one’s own company, rather than depending on others or physical possessions to make one’s life feel full. It is an excellent little ditty that really only revolves around two chords, but this allows the little musical flairs, like humming in the background, to stand out beautifully.

While the Avett Brothers don’t really get overtly religious with their lyrics, the album is full of Christian themes of the family, prayer, dependence on a higher power and redemption. Their new album offers a solid half-hour of pretty folk music that will give the listener something to think about all day. 

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