Jennifer Hope Brumlow and Callie Harmon are hell-raisers, born and bred, pouring all their energy and attention into a sound that’s as bluesy and folky as it is likely to set the surrounding woods on fire. Between the two of them, under the guise of Rye Baby, they’ve managed to create a sound that’s equal parts epic and intimate, with fiery guitar licks and thudding percussion aimed straight at the recesses of your heart—it’s loud, sulfuric and a hell of a good time.
Brumlow roars in a persuasive twang while Harmon allows the hum and shake of his electric guitar to fill the spaces around her voice. There are undoubtedly some assumptions that could be made about the sound and temperament of a duo whose work incorporates aspects of Americana, folk, country and blues, but if you give in to those questionable inclinations, you’re letting the full force of their raucous music pass you by.
On their new single, “Doomsday Wedding,” the band rips straight through a handful of genres to build a weighty sound that defies convention while embracing the authentic influences that helped to shape its appearance. It’s a stomp, a howler, and you can’t help but give yourself over to its infectious rhythms. This is apocalyptic honky-tonk, a country-infused middle finger to the world that offers love and fire as equally possible results of a charged affection.
Your heart will be scorched, and your body will show signs of some unnatural cataclysm. But there’s really no need to worry—Rye Baby is there to get you where you need to go. Under the banner of their epochal Americana, Brumlow and Harmon aren’t just witnessing the end of the world; they’re providing a fond farewell to all of its distractions. Then again, maybe they’re just bound and determined to lose themselves in an incendiary love, burning everything in their wake. That would be nice too.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.