Chris Stapleton - Higher
8-time Grammy award winner Chris Stapleton is back with his 5th studio album. It’s his first since 2020’s Starting Over. Love is the name of the game as the majority of songs deal with love in one way or another. Stapleton dedicated this album to his wife and backup vocalist Morgane Stapleton. Even though some songs are slower, the album still packs a punch. The album’s lead single, “White Horse,” and “Crosswind” are fast paced southern rock ballads. Stapleton goes fully into his soul influences on “Higher” and “Loving You On My Mind.” The album has a more somber feel compared to Stapleton’s previous works. Stapleton still uses his strengths such as his fantastic vocal range and guitar skills. Unlike previous albums, Higher feels influenced by Stapleton’s previous works. “South Dakota” is in the same vein as Starting Over‘s “Arkansas.” The song “Trust” feels like a continuation of “Friendship” off of From A Room: Volume 2. Another solid entry in Stapleton’s evergrowing discography.
Favorite tracks: ; “The Fire” ; “White Horse” ; “Higher” ; “The Bottom” ; “Mountains Of My Mind”
- Logan Hurston
Daneshevskaya - Long Is The Tunnel
Singer-songwriter Anna Daneshevskaya Beckerman has arrived with her debut LP, Long Is The Tunnel. Fan's and locals in the NYC underground folk scene have likely been familiar with her work for the past couple years, and in the late summer of this year she captured a larger online following by touring with indie darlings Black Country, New Road. At only 21 minutes, Daneshevskaya debut packs quite a bit into a small space. Starting off with a raw, skeletal opening track in "Challenger Deep," I was pleasantly surprised by the wide array of instrumentation used on the rest of the album. With a clear baroque-pop influence, Daneshevskaya navigates with clever innocence in her lyrics gracefully over the top of these dense instrumentals. With a massive span of influences and the creativity and tact to pair them together elegantly, Long Is The Tunnel is an album that sets itself apart from other indie-folk and alternative singer-songwriter music of the day. For an artist at the very beginning of her journey, she clearly has a good sense of how to challenge the listener without turning them away. I can't wait to hear what she has in store for us down the road.
Favorite Tracks: "Somewhere in The Middle" ; "Pink Mold" ; "ROY G BIV"
- Will Lewis
Zac Brown Band - From The Road, Vol. 1: Covers
Zac Brown Band (ZBB) is back and once again experimenting with other genres. This album is a live collection of covers from ZBB concerts over the years. Being a live album, most of the songs are expanded and feature jams sessions in the middle. If you’ve ever been to a ZBB concert, then this album captures the feeling perfectly. Zac Brown doesn’t sing every song, splitting vocals between other band members, other artists, and the original singers themselves. No artist or band is off limits as ZBB covers the Beatles, the Who, John Mayer, Jimmy Buffett, Beastie Boys, Queen, Metallica, and more. Not every song is great, as “Enter Sandman” and “Sabotage” miss the mark vocally. But when the songs hit, they hit hard. The mix of southern rock and the big band style of ZBB mix well instrumentally with almost every song on the album. Some of the instrumentals are better in my opinion than the original. If you’re looking for a fun live album, then From The Road, Vol. 1: Covers is for you.
Favorite Tracks: “Baba O’Riley” ; “Whipping Post” ; “Eleanor Rigby” ; “With A Little Help From My Friends” ; “Neon”
- Logan Hurston