An understanding of the dictionary definition of the word Oldermost—an outdated modifier plucked from a ghost-town dialect of the American “Wild West”— is not as helpful in appreciating the identity of the Philadelphia quintet as is a realization that this antiquated adjective is indeterminate enough to allow the band to imbue the word with new meaning.
It is a name so ambiguous that it can be claimed as the handle for a band that tends to wiggle out of your hands if held too restrictively to one specific genre or influence. While listening, you may feel at home yet you quickly realize that is somewhere you have not been before. The landscape is familiar, but fresh—a warm place that draws you in, a beautiful and melancholic flame that attracts. Oldermost’s music gives you the impression that band continually reaches their hand into some version of the American Songbook, some broad tradition of American music constantly subjected to recurrent revision. But whatever Americana means, or in whatever way that Oldermost is American, per se, it would be because of the where they call home (whatever home means.) There is an ever-present quality of rock and roll inclinations in Oldermost’s music and they are able to hint at nostalgic without stumbling into kitsch. The tonal words in which the band constructs their musical sentences are coherent, even if subtly experimenting with the syntax.