In their 15-year career, the five members of Blitzen Trapper have traversed wide musical landscapes, from the layered, progressive rock of small dive bars to the rustic alt country of Appalachia. Even within individual albums, Trapper is known for a range of sound that varies dramatically from song to song.
Take, for instance, their 2008 breakout album, Furr. The title track is a pastoral ballad marked by folk storytelling (a young man abandons homes to join a wolf pack). Harmonica brings “Furr” to a diffused end, only to lead into the loud, drum-backed, piano-accompanied follow-up track, “God and Suicide.”
“It’s not common anymore,” Eric Earley (guitar/harmonica/vocals/keyboard) tells EW. “Thirty, 40 years ago you used to hear acoustic songs, then a piano number, then hard rock. You hear it on Beatles’ records, too; they go from show tunes to hard rock to folk songs.”
Blitzen Trapper’s newest album, All Across This Land (released in October), is marked by big riffs and echoing hooks, making it a solid display of classic rock ‘n’ roll. Earley calls this album, the band’s ninth, a nostalgic record. The lyrics explore the influences of family, hometowns and coming of age, and through such attention to these histories — when we’re all just “stupid, strange and young at heart” — we can find clarity in the present, Earley explains. “There’s nostalgia, but there’s also this idea of trying to figure out who you are by looking at certain aspects of your past.”
Los Angeles singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers joins Blitzen Trapper 9 pm Monday, Nov. 9, at Hi-Fi Music Hall; $18 adv., $22 door. 21-plus.