Feufollet is Americana at its finest—reverential but wholly nonconformist. The young and vibrant Southwest Louisiana band takes Cajun, honky-tonk, and string-band music as its starting point and keeps an open mind about where their song craft will lead them. On Two Universes, their first studio album in over five years, Feufollet proves that their Cajun roots do not define them as much as propel them forward. Whispers of the swamp and its time-honored waltzes trigger a modern and broad musical imagination, one that finds equal expression in blues, old-time country ballads, and rock and roll, all for the sake of the song.
Cajun, country, and rock and roll all began as homespun inventions, created by musicians tinkering with inherited melodies until new sounds were struck. Feufollet keeps that experimental spirit alive and well with their diverse musical palette, edgy arrangements, and pop-song sensibilities. On their most recent release entitled Two Universes, exquisitely packaged with the psychedelic folk art of Louisiana painter Francis Pavy, the band accomplishes the unusual feat of creating a sound that is at once familiar and fresh, classic and yet unmistakably original.
The album is the product of long-steeping recording sessions and collaborative songwriting between bandleader Chris Stafford and singer and multi-instrumentalist Kelli Jones, whose contributions make this a breakout album, of sorts. Raised on Appalachian fiddle traditions, Jones adds old-time stomp to the band’s repertoire. Also, new to the band, keyboardist Andrew Toups lends a new-wave gospel sound owed to his background of playing in rock bands. Toups’s influence on shaping the record, combined with Feufollet’s usual fare—twin fiddles, French accordion, guitar twang, and barn-dance rhythms—give the record more than a passing resemblance to the Band’s Music from Big Pink.
For more than a decade, Lafayette’s Feufollet has waved the flag for Cajun music, whether planting its feet in its roots or pushing its boundaries.