Review by Shannon Shumaker
When an album begins in the way that The Delta Saints kick off Bones, you know you’re in for a captivating listen. Soft, yet fast plucking guitar work alongside urgent drumming opens the album with “Berlin,” hooking you immediately and refusing to let go. With a sense of urgency but still some softer and pretty undertones, “Berlin” is the perfect opening track, and it just seems to set Bones up for success.
The following song, and coincidentally the title track, is slower than “Berlin,” but no less interesting. “Bones” is soulful and verging on bluesey, but still hosts that strong, plucking guitar work that opens the album. “Bones” is just easy to listen to, and as it fades into and even slower track, “Butte La Rose,” it becomes apparent that the same is true for the entirety of the album. “Butte La Rose” isn’t necessarily as intricate as “Bones” or “Berlin,” but what it lacks in fast guitar plucking it makes up for in soulful, raw vocals and tension that doesn’t seem to let go.
“Dust,” the following track, is on the opposite end of the musical spectrum from “Butte La Rose.” This song is carried by distorted guitar, and feels rather gritty. The two songs side by side sound absolutely nothing alike, but they also don’t sound out of place. The soulful vocal work ties Bones together amazingly, despite differing sounds or moods. The next song, “Heavy Hammer,” is another good example of this. Despite the fact that it’s a rather upbeat track, the vocal work and fuzzy guitar and bass tones tie it in well with “Dust” and the preceding songs.
“My Love” is an emotional high point on Bones. Musically, this song is one of the more stripped down tracks on the album, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. Combined, the gorgeous vocal harmonies and sweeping acoustic guitar work are incredible, creating easily one of the more raw and emotional sounding tracks on Bones. And then comes “Soft Spoken,” which hosts some more remarkable vocal work. Coming after a stripped down track like “My Love,” “Soft Spoken” starts of soft and quiet, but it doesn’t take long before it explodes with pounding drums, high vocal runs and fuzzy guitar work.
The cool thing about Bones is that it hosts a little bit of everything, but not one song sounds out of place. There are some more bluesey tracks, some more stripped down and raw acoustic songs, and others that are carried by wailing guitar and insane vocal runs, but they are all backed up by a soulfulness that ties each track together. The Delta Saints have created an album that will hit home with many listeners, all while staying true to a signature sound, and the result is incredible.
Listen to "Berlin" or "My Love"
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