Langhorne Slim's new release seems like a spectacular place to dive into his discography. This is one of the best albums I've heard in a long timedeftly delivered, soulfully textured, raucous when it's not slowly simmering. It's a roadtrip album. An album you take with you as a weapon against regret and sorrow.
In "Bad Luck," the New York-based singer-songwriter belts out "I might not be lucky even though I have tried / Bad luck got in me / But I will survive!" The banjo finger-picking and clap-happy drums mix with shimmering organ to create a stew of roots and zydeco. And then there's the 1970-styled "Fire," which could be a Buffalo Springfield song, but grittier. "Great Divide" is by far my favorite. It's the soundtrack to a train hauling fast across the West, with a rockabilly edge. When Langhorne Slim hits the lonely high note on "We're Lost!" you'll shiver just a little bit.
It makes sense that he's played with everyone from Josh Ritter to the Violent Femmes to the Old 97sthe diversity on this album keeps it always dynamic. It's sweet and sorrowful. It's the kind of revivalism that won't bring you religion, but it'll remind you how good music can be.