Band: Walking Apollo; Musicians: Buddy Taccolini: Music, lyrics, rhythm guitar and male vocals; Christina Rotondo: Female vocals; Liam Ward: Harmonica (on ‘Impossible: The Fairytale of Campus Martius Park;’ and Toby Wilson: All other instruments

EP: ‘You’re My Pride And Joy, Etc.;’ Release date: January 1, 2022; Producer: Taccolini

Experiencing unconditional love is just as powerful of an inspiration to create relatable, profound music as heartbreak. That positive journey is compelling showcased in indie folk band Walking Apollo’s recently released EP, ‘You’re My Pride and Joy, Etc.’ The five-track collection from the Fort Worth, Texas-based group, which is led by singer-songwriter-rhythm guitarist, Buddy Taccolini, features inspirational, relatable lyrics that offer optimistic hope for the future of romantic relationships.

Taccolini was inspired to pen the lyrics for Walking Apollo’s new album by his relationship with his wife, who he has stated is his muse, as she has made his world brighter. As a result, the radiantly composed tunes on ‘You’re My Pride and Joy, Etc.’ feature catchy hooks, blissful melodies and spirited instrumentation, which are reminiscent of such fellow indie folk-pop-rock bands as The Lumineers, He Is We and Wilco.

The recently released record begins with the stand-out entry, ‘Glowing in the Dark,’ which primarily features vocals from Walking Apollo’s female singer, Christina Rotondo. The track, which is notably driven by the harmonica and indie folk guitars, chronicles how two people can build a house together, but the way they connect in it is what truly makes it a home. The musician croons about how she’s happy with the person she’s living with, but they’re still in the honeymoon stage in their relationship. Their story is set to keep unfolding, as they truly start to see each other in the light as they come out of the titualar glow in the darkness.

‘Glowing in the Dark’ then delves into ‘You’re My Pride And Joy, Etc.’s sophomore entry, ‘Impossible: The Fairytale of Campus Martius Park,’ which is the EP’s best song. The tune conjures nostalgia for ’90s indie pop-rock music through its spirited harmonica, guitar riffs and yearning vocals. The track features vocals from both Taccolini and Rotondo, as they strive to figure out how to initially connect, and continue building a bond, in a big, isolating city. While she emotionally notes that it’s easy to feel lonely in a crowded environment, he reassures her that he’s willing to work on building a connection with her, and knows the perfect place where they can connect. While she adds that he’s impossible for her to understand, he insists that he’s willing to figure out their relationship by spending time together.

The middle entry on ‘You’re My Pride and Joy, Etc.,’ ‘Sew,’ is another captivating, memorable piece, as it enthrallingly showcases Rotondo’s melodic vocal presence, which is set against escalating guitar riffs and drum beats. Reminiscent of hit commercial pop-rock songs from the 2000s, she croons about how all she wants is to feel internal freedom and peace of mind, as she needs to be settled in life. She further builds momentum in her self-preservation as she claims she wants to sew her eyes shut because want to shield herself from external pain, as she and Taccolini sing about how they both know the truth about sorrow in their connection.

The album reverts back to its lighter and brighter theme about forming and maintaining a true connection on its penultimate track, ‘Lovely People.’ Taccolini and Rotondo crafted a stellar duet that’s driven by subdued folk guitar strumming, which supports their heartfelt vocals. The duo croon about not wanting the other to stray from their relationship, as they both feel the other is lovely, despite any differences they may have that can stand in their way. The tune’s important message about both people in a relationship wanting to embrace its positivity would make it a soulful, stellar choice for the score in a sentimental movie scene.

Walking Apollo’s new record ends with the demo version of ‘Impossible.’ While the stripped down version of the song isn’t as technically refined as its mastered counterpart, the concluding track is just as heartfelt, emotional and vulnerable in its lyrics and instrumentals.

The new EP from Walking Apollo serves as the perfect reminder that the group is a vital voice in the indie folk-pop-rock music genre. Inspired by Taccolini’s relationship with his wife, the relatable, overall vibrant and inspirational tunes on ‘You’re My Pride And Joy, Etc.’ present an overall passionate, soaring sound that’s fully representative of his engaging songwriting. Along with his and Rotondo’s pristine vocal harmonies and the band’s stellar instrumentals, the musicians showcase their natural ability in creating catchy hooks and authentic track craftsmanship throughout all five tunes.

For more information on Walking Apollo, visit the band’s official website, as well as its Spotify, Bandcamp and Facebook pages, and Taccolini’s YouTube page.

The cover for Walking Apollo’s indie-folk-pop-rock EP, ‘You’re My Pride And Joy, Etc.’

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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