The Ginger Envelope
By Eileen Tilson
Athens-based Ginger Envelope returns with its second
full-length, Invitation Air (One Percent). Recorded to a 16-track analog
tape, this album turns up the twang factor, showcasing Matt Stoessel’s pedal
steel and Patrick Carey’s delicate, lazy, Bob Dylan-esque voice.
Despite frontman Carey’s aversion to the alt-country
classification, The Ginger Envelope seems to have only further countrified
themselves on this album, especially on tunes like “All Pinned Down,” a slow
dance at a country bar song, with the sweetness of the fiddle setting the tempo.
Unlike many other folk or alternative acts, Ginger Envelope’s musicianship never
feels overpowering or unnecessary, instead the music flows, consistently lulling
the listener with simplistic lyrics and mournful melodies, weaved with the
intertwining of male/female backing vocals. Remaining true to their folk
identity, Invitation Air showcases the talent of guest players such as
David Blackmon, Julien Bozeman, and Page Campbell, and even turns the Loudon
Wainwright song “Swimming Song” into an upbeat narrative filled with banjos and
While the album is a great follow up records to
their debut Edible Orchids, the band’s eccentricities may put some people
off. “May you curl up tom-cat coddled, and break for more,” Carey sings on album
opener “Turn Into Tempests,” adding to the frustration of an already obscure
The band is currently supporting the album on its first nationwide tour
with fellow Athenians Madeline And The White Flag Band.