REVIEW: The City and Horses fourth album: “Ruins”

Here in Chicago, we’re still in the last days of winter. I’ve decided to try to bring myself out of the cold weather mindset with some jams of the indie pop rock persuasion that makes me want to dance. For me, this has always been a way to cheer me up from the dreary cloudy days that Chicago seems to have so often in the late winter months. From The Maine’s release of “Black Butterflies and De Ja Vu” to the more mainstream “÷” by Ed Sheeran, I’m letting the sweet sounds of electric guitars and Irish Fiddles melt the snow in my mind. Recently, I’ve been able to add The City and Horses new record “Ruins”, to that list which drops on April 21. The six-piece band that’s based out of both New York City and Philadelphia have been playing funky indie pop since 2007.  They find influence in the form of artists like The Smiths and John Lennon, just to name a few.

“Ruins” is filled with instrumentals that for me couldn’t be described as anything less than “light and airy.” I’m not entirely sure that you could classify music with those adjectives but I will say it’s the kind of music that makes you sway when you dance. While the instruments sound easy-going and carefree, the lyrical content that shows a darker side. The album is described as “a love triangle between frontman Marc Cantone, an ex-girlfriend and his OCD.” The singer has dealt with OCD for his entire adult life and has dedicated himself as a vocal supporter of mental health issues.

I must state that I don’t have a medical degree, but from beginning to end, the album feels as if it a true tribute to a battle with mental illness and the people that it affects. As someone who battles with anxiety and depression, lines like “I want to go home, but I’m already there” and “If you want to be happy don’t love me” strike a chord all the way down to my bones. While it may not applicable to my situation directly, this record is universal to people who struggle.

While I’ve just came across this band, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them and this record. It’s incredibly import to continue bringing talk about mental illness to the front line of conversation. Whether it be through music, social media, or everyday conversation, I’m here for it.

“Ruins” is being released on Paper Garden Records on April 21 and can be pre-odered on their bandcamp. Feel free to catch up with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!