A well-written, well-constructed group of songs backed by an accessible folk-rock production. McMurtry is in fine form as an interpreter and as a storyteller, adding grit to interesting and detailed songwriting. His first in a while and a welcome return.
This self-titled project is a gorgeous set of songs, with delightful, folksy arrangements all throughout. The vocalists play well off each other, and the melodies keep you hooked for the whole project. A beautiful listen.
As always, Simpson has made an interesting, somewhat off-the-wall concept album detailing the lives of his grandparents. As a listen, it's fulsome, well-executed, and sounds great. I'm not sure there's one standout track, but as a piece of work, it hits all the right notes in terms of cohesiveness, production, and vocals (where Sturgill is in fine form.) A compelling and worthy listen.
Quickly becoming one of my favourite artists in the alt-country scene, Crockett has delivered another rock solid, innovative piece of work. On Music City USA, Crockett delivers well-written tracks with a distinct presence and vocal style behind the mic. Bringing a modern flare to old school country, Music City USA is a breezy and interesting project.
Where Soul felt like he was overthinking things, Heart feels more like what we've come to expect from Church. He sounds alive and comfortable behind the tight, rock-based arrangements, and shows thoughtful storytelling on tracks like "Russian Roulette" and "Crazyland". Maybe not his best album, but certainly worthy to stand alongside other gems in his catalogue.
Russell proves herself to be a powerhouse vocalist on Outside Child, where the sheer force of her talent makes this a winner. She does somber just as well as she does breezy; it's a dynamic, interesting album that feels both experimental and cohesive. An outstanding talent behind some great songs and production.
Postcard introduces Burkhardt as an impressive neotraditional talent, boasting an impressive presence that mixes well with a wholly listenable production backdrop. The hooks are strong, the melodies stick with you, and Burkhardt is a strong technical performer. A wonderful start.
I hadn't heard of Parsons before this, but Things To Come is a delightful listen. The production remains restrained while still feeling fulsome, and it allows the songwriting to stay at the forefront. Parsons isn't a perfect vocalist technically, but performs the songs with earnest. It's a tight, well-written album that is both uptempo and easy to listen to, while retaining a strong emotional core.