The Speedbumps – “The Harbors We Seek”

Kent, Ohio’s Americana band The Speedbumps recently unfurled their third studio album, The Harbors We Seek, on November 29th. Melodic and soothing acoustic sounds backed by the powerful pipes of lead man, Erik Urycki, this album is fit for your coffee house playlist. The four-piece band has seen recent success on a local and national level […]

Hart Roberts

7.5
out of 10

The Speedbumps
The Harbors We Seek
November 29th, 2013
Leta Records

Kent, Ohio’s Americana band The Speedbumps recently unfurled their third studio album, The Harbors We Seek, on November 29th. Melodic and soothing acoustic sounds backed by the powerful pipes of lead man, Erik Urycki, this album is fit for your coffee house playlist. The four-piece band has seen recent success on a local and national level performing at Cincinnati’s Midpoint Music Festival, Bele Chere Festival in Asheville, NC, and earning an IMA award in 2011.

But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing.

In the past year, The Speedbumps have hit their fair share of bumps in the road– An ongoing anxiety disorder, a struggling long-distance relationship, sudden death of a family member and a dear friend’s lost bout with cancer. Like vessels seeking harbor from turbulent waters, often we must find a safe haven to ride out the storms of our personal lives. For them, this haven was a cabin deep in the Allegheny pines of Pennsylvania – a secluded sanctuary where they could find a piece of mind and a deeper understanding of themselves and each other while recording their new LP.

The warm and catchy “Chasing You Down” is the perfect album opener – casting off with upbeat brush percussion, smooth harmonies, relaxing cello, and upright bass thump. A gentle beachy tempo like Jack Johnson, hard to not tap your foot to. Vocals bring to mind John Mayer but with a folk backdrop, telling us the endless frustrations of early love ultimatums. Drifting into “Opposites In Love”, “Breakdown” and “Back To The Start” you take an emotional waltz through a sea of realization, self-awareness and mental-rebuilding. Relationships rising and falling like the tides.

Like the keel of a ship, “Cabin Song” acts as the principal structural member of the album. The track explores the land-locked harbor that provided escape, allowing the group to anchor themselves in the future of their music. A continuing plea to end the 2,300+ mile long-distance relationship is expressed in “The Heart Of It All,” both sides unwilling to rip up their current roots. The album comes to a close with a dramatic instrumental track, “Ostinato.” If it’s not in a movie already, it will be. A beautiful composition, it takes you into the unknown and leaves you there, wondering what is coming next.

One thing is for certain, The Speedbumps are officially on the map. They’re “Buckeye Strong” and have set their bearings for great success; they’ll be a perfect addition to any folk fest. The Harbors We Seek’s journey through the past, present and future is well-crafted and plucks at your heartstrings.

– December 5th, 2013 – Hart Roberts

The Harbors We Seek Trailer