Lake Street Dive - "Side Pony" Critique

I have been excited about this new Lake Street Dive album for a while, but I’m just now getting a chance to listen to it. If you haven’t already heard the previous records by this band, then you have been sadly deprived for the last 5 years. This is probably my favorite current band, and I use the term “current” loosely. They have managed to bring forth a resurrection of  music from the past and give it a modern update all at the same time. This band is what you’d get if Amy Winehouse and Fleetwood Mac would have managed to collaborate. The lead singer, Rachael Price, is a vocal powerhouse. The band members are: Mike Calabrese (who holds down  the drums and background vocals all throughout the album), Bridget Kearney who lends the band  her voice and amazing skills as a Bass player, and last, but not least, Mike ‘McDuck” Olson (trumpet and guitar). The band started in 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts and they haven’t looked back.


The new album,  Side Pony, is a bit of an evolution album. It’s what you get when you take a band that’s already great and combine it with a label that allows them to immerse themselves in creative freedom. It debuted number 1 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums, Folk Albums, and Alternative Album charts. It’s no surprise when you listen to the writing and the production.


The album opens with a head banger. “Godawful Things” is a bass-driven song written by Mike Olson. The song Is a marriage of folk rock and funk, a combination that I hope the band won’t divorce from anytime soon.


“Close To Me” is a song written by Mike Calabrese. It’s a nice easy-going song that manages to take you mind off of your surrounding . It’s so easy to get lost in Rachel Price’s soothing vocals and the nice 3-part harmony provided by McDuck, and Bridget.


“Call of Your Dogs”, written by Bridget Kearney, made it hard for me to move on to the next song in this album. I played it at least three times for moving on to the next song! I guess it’s safe to say that this was my favorite song on the album.

“I Don’t Care”, a song written by Mike Calabrese, reminds me of that good old Muscle Shoals rock. The guitar lines stay close enough to blues that it leaves you wondering how to categorize the tune.


“Side Pony” Is the title of this album and the first single that was released. It’s a song written by Mike Olson. The song was written in honor of a hairstyle that was adopted by the band’s bass player Bridget Kearney. It’s a playful catchy tune that you’ll catch yourself humming while you walk down the street.  

“Mistakes” is ballad written by Rachel Price. The song is a bit of a reflection piece. It’s an ode to the mistakes you may have made…as well as the mistakes you’ll make.


I didn’t mention every song in this album, but it was definitely an album that I was able to listen to and enjoy without skipping any tracks. I finished listening to this album knowing that I would be revisiting it for the foreseeable future. I have to give this album an A. If you get a chance, please take a listen to Side Pony, and to the band’s previous albums. You won’t regret it.

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