Feufollet’s Two Universes is the band’s Halloween 3: Season of the Witch.
After a long line of albums celebrating and resurrecting traditional Cajun music—even writing like-minded songs in French—they’ve put together a record completely unattached to the previous franchise. (Well, there are four French tracks on here, one of them a new Cajun original).
Instead, their Season of the Witch is a Season of Indie/Country/Americana Tunes. Maligned for its departure from the classic horror slasher franchise, Halloween 3—taken by itself—was not a bad film. It’s “Silver Shamrock” song is still both creepy and catchy. Feufollet, as well, will likely catch heat from traditional music fans.
However, taken outside of their canon, songs like “One Foot in My Door” and “Red Light” would be on par with anything trending in Americana circles. Released by any other band outside of the traditional music camp, there would be no cause for controversy.
Though there are four French songs on the record, it’s primarily an English record (their first) with most tunes falling into either Americana or some alt. country/ indie hybrid. They do recall their upbringing occasionally—the one Cajun cut “Cette fois” and the rare Swamp Pop in French lyrics of “Pris dans la vie farouche,” “Des questions sans réponses,” is a French alt country tune, plus there are occasional accordion and fiddle sounds that linger about on very non-Cajun songs.
Overall, it’s stylistically nowhere near past material. Two Universes divides into alt. country/Americana sung by Kelli Jones-Savoy and the indie meets Elvis Costello sung by Chris Stafford. Both give a strong showing. New addition Jones-Savoy has a Lucinda Williams-esque voice that is strong, yet pretty and not over burdened with twang. In “Hole in my Heart,” a honky-tonk throwback, her French is on display, and she doesn’t miss, bringing a refreshing take on language’s delivery.
“Know What’s Next,” a Stafford song, employs the ethereal keys of their other new addition, Andrew Toups. Overall, old school indie flavor meets slightly post punk style and a mellow feel to dash any preconceived notions of what Feufollet is. The title track seems to tie it all together: a very contemporary, progressive songwriting style with a mellow, honky-tonk at closing time vibe. Stafford and Jones-Savoy’s dual leads are all backed with very slight touches of accordion and fiddles.
In its closing lines, they offer “Every river will float to the sea.” Maybe it’s just a line. Maybe it’s a promise of returning to their old ways. Either way, regardless of the direction and what fans think about it, Two Universes is both a bold step and a solid album.