Atlanta’s Book Club, a modern folk quintet founded by Robbie Horlick (of indie rockers Cassavetes), navigates today’s indie-folk sea with a rare honesty and classicism. The band honors the folk tradition, yet is unbound by it; every song is a fresh take on an old history. Anchored by the rich and sweetly-sung co-ed harmonies of Horlick and Leigh Anne Macquarrie, their arrangements range from that of a lone nylon guitar to songs thoughtfully embellished by cello, double bass, pedal steel, melodica, glockenspiel, saxophone, percussion, and more. Paying simultaneous homage to their traditional, and their modern, influences, Book Club draws easy comparisons to She & Him, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and The Dutchess and Duke one minute, and Patsy Cline, The Carter Family, and Fleetwood Mac the next.
Ghost, the band’s first LP, released digitally and on limited edition vinyl - and handmade bookmark - on August 2, 2011, sounds like what might result if Lou and Nico were from the South and grew up on Mermaid Avenue, or if Springsteen’s Nebraska were recorded in Nashville. Or, if by some crazy wrinkle in time, Johnny and June grew up listening to Tom Petty and Iron & Wine. The songs on Ghost are pretty and sad, and there is a magic to their orchestration, at times sparse and delicate, at times embellished and blissful. Carefully arranged and tied together by a simple narrative element - with nary a wasted note - Book Club’s Ghost is at once modern and hauntingly timeless.