“Fare thee well / You found my one true love, oh fare thee well” croons an honest voice beside the soft strings in Lindley Creek’s “Fare Thee Well,” the latest single to join this underground favorite’s growing discography of gems. Rather than trying to rehash a familiar country narrative in this folky track, Lindley Creek is getting as confirmedly personal as a band can without running the risk of sounding self-indulgent, and proving that there’s still a place for profound emotionality in modern Americana. They’re only knee-deep into their career, but this taste of their latest work might be their best so far. 

URL: https://lindleycreek.com/

The string parts in this single are captivating but not overstated, working mostly as an accompaniment to the vocal rather than a show-stealing agent of evocation on their own. I do like that the vocal harmonies, as strong as they are in key moments, don’t swallow up the texture on the strings but instead coexist with it, much as we would expect to find in a live performance of this material. Without being too overtly raw in presentation, Lindley Creek is giving us something unrelentingly true to their natural sound here, and that in itself is worth a bit of praise this season, all things considered. 

If you’ve been missing some swing in your life, this groove has got just enough to get your hips into the harmony of the band in “Fare Thee Well.” The tempo-driven pulse cultivating the beat in this song is formidable only in the sense that it’s equal to the vocal in the climactic moments of the track; otherwise, it’s a supporting character much as the six-string is. There’s nothing wrong with utilizing an old-school formula when you’re good at it, and Lindley Creek reminds us of this without fail here. 

The harmonies between our singers and the melodic instrumentation beneath their every word speak to the old-guard Americana in this group’s sound, and I like that it isn’t saddled with a distinct hipster aesthetic in “Fare Thee Well” for anything. This feels like a slab of honest, unfiltered emotional country/folk music that wasn’t made with some greater artistic concept hanging above its story; Lindley Creek doesn’t just want to be real troubadours, they are real troubadours who just happen to have a modern electric outlet for their expressiveness. It unites old and new beautifully, and sans the saccharine coffee house vibes much of the competition is sporting. 

There aren’t enough acts like this one around in the mainstream right now, but what Lindley Creek is putting together in the studio is more than enough to keep me satisfied on those long spring drives through the cold Rocky Mountains or warm Carolina country roads the same. “Fare Thee Well” is a cut off of a definitively American soundtrack, and although it’s far from the only such piece you can get your hands on this spring, it’s one of the only releases I’ve reviewed this May to have left me feeling excited about the emerging folk movement in the underground as it stands today. 

Garth Thomas