Grow: A Compilation In Solidarity With Black Lives Matter

Various Artists

Fort Lowell Records, 2021

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/19/2021

The Wilmington, North Carolina imprint Fort Lowell Records assembles a very diverse cast of regional artists here, where 100% of the sales from the record are donated to the North Carolina New Hanover County NAACP.

Tracey Shedd starts the listen with the soulful and dreamy “Holding Space,” where a hypnotic quality enters the stylish delivery that's got plenty of pop spirit. The album then takes an abrupt turn onto the dance floor with the beat friendly and rhythmic “That Kind Of Love” by Life Of Saturdays, and Summer Set follows with buzzing synth and post-punk nods that flow with light melodies across “Comfortable Town.”my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Nearing the end of Side A, the thumping, raw garage rock of Neon Belly's “They Boys Are Alright” brings plenty of grit to the affair, while “Come On Over” offers a gentle, nearly slo-core sort of feeling that eventually builds into a crisp indie-rocker thanks to Pinky Verde.

Kicking Bird's “What Would All The Other Girls Say (If They Knew What I Was Doing)” is both the song with the longest title and the best track present, where a charming doo-wop angle is met with a swirling indie-pop friendly execution.

The back half of the album showcases The Love Language's busy and soaring rocker “Throwing Darts,” as well as the subtle Americana of “Strange & Electrifying” by Sean Thomas Gerard. The Rosebuds turn in the best selection from the deeper cuts, where “Get Up Get Out” is part club rock, part indie rock, and is delivered with the perfect amount of power and beauty.

The impetus for this project began after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by four police officers, and the money raised will help in eradicating further racial injustices. The bands all donated their work for the occasion, and they represent obscure bands that are overlooked as well as bigger names in the world of independent rock. Regardless of popularity, though, every tune here is fantastic, and the cause is undoubtedly one of the most pressing problems we face today, which makes this an essential listen for multiple reasons.

Rating: A

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