Much like poring over a photo album of old memories as one sips on the product of their favorite distillery, the Hudson County EP from Ferentz and the Felons may unintentionally cause a lump in one’s throat. Accompanied by a new music video that characterizes Felons frontman Zak Ferentz as a more-than-casually sentimental soul, the release receives the justified exposure that is deserves. More than simply Americana nostalgia, Hudson County offers a much more universal product altogether.
Whether or not the setting within the eponymous track, “Hudson County” is real or allegorical may be up for debate, but it’s certain that Ferentz is referencing a town on record with a mouth full of dirt and disdain for the place. The track paints a relatively non-descript portrait of anytown, USA, with the long and winding rail of snappy acoustic guitar and warfare-style drums beating behind the weary traveler who pounds the sidewalk.
The video alongside “Hudson County” certainly hits close to home, with imagery of an aging family strolling down memory lane in their own way – some solemn, others grateful, all humbled. Ferentz and the Felons may largely represent a modern subject of the country scene, with a sound rooted in appreciation of the Western greats, swapping psychedelia and/or stadium-country fancies for the earnest nature of plain and simple storytelling. Simple is the name of the game for the boys, with the EP’s B-side “Ash Moon” adding a hint more panache to a formula of songwriting that values the “ain’t broken don’t fix it” mentality.
A jarring way in which to kick off 2018, Ferentz and Felons’ Hudson County is one of the most honest Americana releases of the year. Take the EP with you throughout the year and find that it ages supremely well.