Bendigo Fletcher – “Bendigo Fletcher/Terminally Wild” REVIEW

One of my favorite things about Soul Step Records is how they’ve introduced to me to so many artists I’ve never heard before. It’s one thing for a label to recruit relatively unknowns for their roster (and kind of the point of running a label) but introducing a world of accomplished and well-established artists is another. From blue-eyed soul to synth pop, Soul Step Records has become the one-stop sampler of everything good in indie music. Such as the case with the new double EP Bendigo Fletcher/Terminally Wild, from Bendigo Fletcher.

Hailing from the Louisville area of Kentucky, Bendigo Fletcher have made a name for themselves with a series of EPs and playing throughout the mid-west. Combining elements of folk, soul, and psyche, their brand of DIY music is hard to peg with just one label. Sometimes it’s delicate and sweet and other times is weird and experimental. But no matter what side of the tracks the music finds itself, the journey remains the same. Honest to goodness art.

This particular record is unique because Soul Step worked with Bendigo Fletcher to release music from different parts of their catalog. Side B being their most recent Terminally Wild and Side B is their earlier self-titled EPWhile for some bands that would mean a world of difference, but for this band, the releases have come full circle to make one coherent album.

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Where Side B features the vulnerability of someone young and naive when a broken heart could feel like certain death, Side A feels wise and battle-tested. Despite the growth in a mental and emotional sense, Bendigo Fletcher’s work is consistent. The storytelling is full of twists and turns without losing the beauty of simplicity. Sonically speaking, Bendigo Fletcher/Terminally Wild showcases the more stripped-down approach to their music. Some tracks are full of witty wordplay much like Kurt Vile meets Randy Newman, but others feel closer to Todd Rundgren or even Neil Young.

Despite focusing on the vulnerability of the human condition, not once does this album bore the listener. “Sleeping Pad” is a plucky Band Of Horses-esque jam utilizing Americana flavor. While “No Smoke” channels Big Star meets Wilco and dares the listener to join in on the crisp harmonies. Both EPs paired together is a no-brainer. Each song compliments the other despite being recorded years apart. This consistency proves Bendigo Fletcher is here for the long haul.

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Presented as 12inch record with each side of the sleeve representing its respective EP, Bendigo Fletcher/Terminally Wild is the perfect addition to Soul Step’s eclectic library. If you’re into heartfelt storytelling with a hint of charismatic flair, Bendigo Fletcher is a band that will be the perfect addition to your vinyl library.

Bendigo Fletcher/Terminally Wild is available on vinyl exclusively at Soul Step Records.

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Aaron The Audiophile

Son, brother, uncle, musician. I enjoy music of all genres, shapes and sizes, preferably the good kind.

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