Collins and Streiss: “Free” – a sound reborn from the ashes

Collins and Streiss’ music follows a rootsy formula: riveting Americana arrangements, lyrics that weave intricate stories, and old-timey harmonies and instrumentation that lend themselves to a time that has long passed and been reborn from the ashes. Throughout their catalog, the duo from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, hold steadfast to that identity they’ve deliberately constructed, yet augment their sound with new twists and turns. These shifts are more than welcome, as their cadences glide from Folk and Rock to Alternative and sometimes outside of those borders too. The duo’s core continuity remains within their harmonies and poetic lyrics that can be returned to for years to come. Each of their songs remains rooted in a search for self-improvement, and in a kind of fundamental decency.

For someone who has lived as long as I have, Collins and Streiss will vaguely remind you of a blend of legendary 70’s groups such as Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Seals and Crofts and America.

A guarantee for music top-loaded with the familiar, distinctively warm, folk rock numbers that wear honest deliveries and soothing, full traditional instrumentation as their primary benefits. A bridge and chorus complete with sweet harmonies, a sweeping slide guitar, maybe a saxophone section, plus acoustic pianos and guitars that make for compelling listening.

In recent years this sound has found its way back into the spotlight again with many younger bands leaning towards these organic soundscapes, and delivering songs with relatable messages and earthen instrumentation, proving that some kids still absolutely know their roots.

But sometimes you need a more mature duo like Collins and Streiss to flex their artistic muscles if you’re looking for honest authenticity. This duo has the ability to float above the crowds of good music while staying authentic, real, and true to their roots.

Their latest song “Free”, features a rich tapestry woven with slide guitar, piano, acoustic guitar, saxophone, percussion, and a vast array of vocals that no one who fancies themselves a Folk Rock fan will want to miss.

They strike a balance between traditional sensibilities and the rock and roll of today. One of the strengths of Collins and Streiss is their true dedication to the real sounds an instrument makes, and how that sound can bring about an emotional impact that is profound. Also featured on the track is Steve Wingfield (Sax) and Davide DiRenzo (Drums).

“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel / Showing you which way to go / So don’t be afraid to step into the glow and let it shine on you,” sing Collins and Streiss. Coming from less talented voices, the words may sound like an empty platitude, but these dudes show a knack for spinning simple truths out of complicated concepts.

The result is a record that has plenty of passionate shine but is never glossy. Having met and played occasionally together in high school, the two lost touch for many years only to be reunited in the summer of 2012. Now Collins and Streiss go beyond just providing a song, and deliver an experience that will keep you coming back for more!


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