Trio Of Awesuhm is the moniker of singer-songwriter Monica Uhm and her collective of diverse and talented collaborators she’s met and worked with through the years. The New York based band’s sound has been described as “philoso-folk on the rocks”. The project’s debut album is called “Cowboys&Aliens” which has a common hint of Americana across all the tracks but draw heavily from the eclectic musical experience and interests of its members. The core of the band is made up of Monica Uhm (lead vocalist, lyricist and composer), James Kirkpatrick (drummer and percussionist), Ken Dircks (bass – upright/electric), Greg “Glue” Schettino (lead guitarist) and Sammy Wags (keyboards). Projects like this are blurring the lines between country, folk, pop and rock, and creating new fans for all these genres in the process. Great heart-felt lyrics, melodic harmonies and inspiring lead vocals. Storytellers with something worthwhile to say and saying it so beautifully to a broad audience.
They walk that fine line between Americana and the pop genres and don’t worry about how fans interpret it, because they know that good music will always stand on its own and attract an ever-growing audience.
Trio Of Awesuhm appear to love their craft and keep refining it while their own musical preferences continue to evolve. At their best, they imbue easy-listening organic jams with real narrative weight, tastefully coating subtle melodramatic stories in a pristine prestige gloss.
They effortlessly move between themes that are aching and energized, vulnerable and invincible. “Cowboys&Aliens” delivers an impressive repertoire of beautifully crafted, ornate and rich songs that range from affective upbeat folk pop, to tender, melancholic and emotive melodies.
Monica Uhm’s vocals are clean but with mountains of character that I would challenge any style of music to not suit her. “Last Night” is a nice seductive album opener which really lures you in and inspires confidence. The song’s instrumentation is in top form, especially in the guitar and keyboard areas, which gives the arrangement more force and a sense of power.
The song is sassy, cool and collected with plenty of energy and soul. “Storyline” is one of those spirited acoustically strummed songs Trio Of Awesuhm do so well. They make songs such as this interesting with their personal perspective.
“Love Everybody” has the potential to be one of those quieter moments during a live show where everyone is in complete awe and mesmerized by the sweetness of Monica’s voice. The hook-filled “Begging The Radio” turns more than a casual gaze towards main stream appeal, and forges a fiery guitar solo.
If you like those intimate slow-burning folksy moments, do not skip past “Just Hurting”, which again shows off the better side of Monica’s vocal cords. Everything about this song is stunning – it’s beautifully emotive and vulnerable with so much tenderness and honesty.
On “Nevertheless”, Monica’s voice glows in a hypnotic, haunting way as it is supported by a shimmering piano and the keen momentum of the drums. The marching tempo of “After The Show” creates another infectious beat, together with the fiddle which is both chilling and breezy.
“Adios” forges a funky beat with blues and rock undertones which takes Monica’s sublime vocal phrasing to another level. A special mention has to go the spectacular organ work here. “More and More” was a shock to the system, as Trio Of Awesuhm lay down some grinding rock guitar riffs to prop up the rest of the song. It’s a thunderous approach that gives the album an extra, and very pleasing dynamic.
The album winds down acoustically with the energetic “Mighty Waters”, which features some excellent bass work. The song has some great toe-tapping moments, with an affable feel to it, and is very comforting for some reason. This ten-song collection is glorious Adult Contemporary music tinged with infectious pop and folk sensibilities, all steeped in the storytelling magic and core values that are totally Americana.