It is the turning points in our lives that sometimes spur us to produce poignant and effective bodies of work that offer clear sight into another’s life and way of dealing with changes. We Are America, the latest output from Halifax’s Caledonia, paints a picture where shift, self-expression and transformation is key. Thematic quality aside, it’s the bands alt-country/folk vibe with a twist that makes this music interesting. The fact that they like to mix things up by injecting rock influenced atmospheric walls of distortion alongside reggae infused jam-outs, sometimes at the same time, doesn’t hurt either. Take for example “The Plague,” a song that makes good use of combining different genres and making them fit nicely. One might think that folk country and reggae would make a horrible match, but they manage to sneak it past you and before you know it your head is bobbing. Picture hints of Jeff Tweedy backed by the Maytals with roots planted firmly in the country life and you might get an idea.
While there are a couple of weak tracks in this collection, they are nothing to balk at. “Winter Drops From Trees” is a neat little meditative spoken word piece featuring Tanya Davis on vocals and “Scott’s House” is a great number, with a catchy banjo intro and soft, driving beat set to pedal steel and accordion. We Are America is surprising, fun and worth the time taken to absorb it.