Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers' new album amazes fans

I’ve said it many times, and I’ll stand by it forever – Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers is my all-time favorite band.

Their combination of heartfelt lyrics, unique instruments, and fun-loving personalities makes the Sixers one of those bands you never get tired of hearing.

The band started out in Massachusetts and is made up of Stephen Kellogg, Brian Factor, Keith Karlson and the newest touring member, Sam Getz. The Sixers are closing in on their 1000th show and are still going strong.

Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers released their fifth studio album, “The Bear,” on Sept. 8.

The self-described “definitive” album was recorded in New York and Maine, and presents imperfectly produced, yet effective tracks.

The band’s genre can best be explained as Americana, so the rough-around-the-edges production expresses the songs as they are meant to be heard.

The album’s title track is actually the roughest recording, which I feel was done intentionally to set the tone for the album.

The simple, yet introspective lyrics state, “Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you. Sometimes you’re gonna win and sometimes you’re gonna lose…but you know in the end, it’s all the same to me.”

The more upbeat songs on the album give way to Kellogg’s sensitive side as well.

Two particular songs, “Oh Adeline” and “Howl at the Moon” reveal sincere words from a family man. “Oh Adeline” was written for Kellogg’s youngest daughter, and “Howl at the Moon” was co-written by his wife, Kirsten.

With lyrics such as, “I’m gonna need a second heart for all this love…you’ll never be neglected in these arms of mine,” it’s clear that the general theme of both songs is love and protection.

The first single, “Shady Esperanto and the Young Hearts” is reason enough to give the album a listen. The upbeat and catchy track features infectious handclaps and an overall feel-good rhythm.

The Sixers also filmed a music video for the song, featuring the UMass marching band.

If you haven’t heard of Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers, I highly recommend giving any of their albums a chance, especially “The Bear.”

The album is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, and independent record stores.