"Gretchen and Seth Powers are weary and fragile and they’re not afraid to show it...
I felt relaxed and incubated. Their album “Hinterland,” while generally sonically homogenous, is soft and pleasant."
(Live Performance Review)
"The track that introduces the record to you is one called “Fool’s Gold” and this song is perfect for two reasons. The first reason is that you instantly know that this record is going to be an album out of time. Something that sounds authentically classic and distinctively original and old. The other is that it truly highlights the best of the band’s strengths. Two part harmonies, lush instrumentation, excellent lyricism, storytelling, and strong vocals...
...It’s the dusk in fall of albums. The sort of thing you want to listen to on your headphones while you drink coffee in your back yard on a fall evening, watching the fireflies twinkle in the grass."
Listen to the Mitten
"Prompting images of the horse and buggy days, Hinterland is soothing and quaint. Threaded of mellow and meditative musings, the disc serves to be a breath of fresh air amidst our contemporary world of technical complexity. Thirty Steps To Forward may pedal backwards in time as far as their music is concerned, but their hearts and souls are definitely marching forward and in the right direction. Old school sounds never go out of style!"
Something Else Reviews
"Seth and Gretchen Powers are old souls inhabiting young bodies, producing the type of timeless music that's easy to imagine coming from either a boxcar heading down the rails or on the front porch of a tattered farmhouse in Kansas during the Dust Bowl of the 30s'. It's the music of an impromptu Hootenanny in a San Francisco coffee house in the 60s'. And just as at home on a makeshift stage in the corner of a contemporary bookstore/coffee shop in Chicago, Illinois...
...The music has the homespun charm and serenity of a Norman Rockwell painting depicting rural Americana...
...Gretchen Powers has a beautiful yet haunting quality to her voice - heartfelt, honest, and melancholy. Beauty tempered with pathos."
"The latest release from indie folk ambient pop band THIRTY STEPS TO FORWARD is a very pleasing caressing sound. They write all their own music and should appeal to the indie crowd of artists such as IRON AND WINE,glowfriends, Mazzy Star, Trembling Blue Stars, Nick Drake, Elliot Smith, and so many more! Having seen the band perform recently I was so impressed by their natural talent and heartfelt delivery of each and every song they performed. The sound is sublime, organic and moving. This is real music for real people ..made just the way it should be. Brother and sister SETH AND GRETCHEN POWERS both sing and use an assortment of lovely string instruments such as guitar, mandolins, banjos, ukulele, etc.. and yet what is so nice is to hear these instruments in a more modern pop music context. It's refreshing, natural and nice! Highly recommended. Grade A"
"With a haunting beauty and rich arrangements, 30 Steps to Forward add their touch (to) the folk revival."
-The Yellow Box Sessions
"It’s truly incredible. As I sit here in my backyard writing this, listening to the album for the third or fourth time, I’m watching a calm breeze move the leaves in the trees around me. A bird landed maybe ten feet from me and just sort of stared at me, blissfully. Flies and other insects seeming in complete harmony with the world. The world is a beautiful place, and somehow this music really brings that out."
The Indie Blender
THE BIRD AND THE FOOL REVIEWS
“Very much a diamond in the rough, this South Haven duo crafts beautiful acoustic folk numbers, led by the charge of Gretchen Powers’ sweet and delicate vocal work. In the process of recording a second album, most of the band’s catalog of original music can be found on the full-length “The Bird and The Fool”, which was released in September of 2009.”
— West Michigan Noise
"A marvelous indie-folk-pop duo from South Haven, Michigan--THIRTY STEPS TO FORWARD consists of brother and sister SETH AND GRETCHEN POWERS. The two multi-talented musicians both sing and play an assortment of instruments ranging from Guitar, Mandolins, Banjo, Harmonica, Ukulele etc.. The sound is a modern indie folk style that fans of classic acoustic music like Nick Drake, Tir Na Nog, Mumford and Sons, will enjoy. This band is also recommended to fans of glowfriends, Mazzy Star, and all ethereal atmospheric folk music. Grade A"
"Seth and Gretchen, who both have a beautiful voice and that together have a very sounding so would the whole folk scene of the sixties could have run away. The 10 songs on disc component, which has a perfect period of over 30 minutes, created a fantasy world where children are still satisfied with The Simple Meaning Of Life. Songs both musically and lyrically very strong with a magical and dreamy nature."
- Johan Schoenmakers
“Framing folk-pop lullabies with the sparest of acoustic instrumentation, the indie-pop duo Thirty Steps to Forward prove less can be decidedly more on their new CD, "The Bird and The Fool," an album of fragile and aching beauty. Filled with melodies of crystalline delicacy, "The Bird and The Fool" is that rare debut album that lands fully formed, the work of artists forsaking trends or formula to embrace their music within. Gretchen, the female half of the duo, plays guitar and cello and handles most of the singing … Seth contributes simple - but transformative, guitar and mandolin, and takes a couple turns at lead vocal, his troubadour-ish tenor providing stark contrast to his partner's breathless frailty. Highlights include CD-opener, "Respectively Swollen," title-track, "The Bird and the Fool," Gretchen's sweetly imploring "Won't You Dance" and Seth's confessional, "Bought a Ticket for a Plane," but - truly, there's not a weak song in the bunch. ”
— Rice B.
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