Knowing your audience and your genre through and through is a big part of what makes a musical project work to the best of its abilities. On this EP, the song The Rhythm introduces the collection in just about the perfect way – the words, the melody, the instrumentation, and of course the rhythm, reach out and grab you from the offset; presenting those essential country vibes that fans originally turned to the music for. It’s a pleasure to hear a longer project from Luanne Hunt and this collection truly offers some of the best of her songs yet.
Truckstops & Honkytonks follows the opener and a cool bit of electric guitar introduces the vibe. A vocal duet follows and a certain delicate form of story-telling that unexpectedly suits this thicker, funkier, soft-rock ambiance well. The way the music has been crafted – the set-up, the structure, the elements and details that make it what it is – there’s a whole lot to appreciate as the piece pours through, and this is a further testament to Hunt’s understanding of (and passion for) the genre. She also addresses her real life role as a creative here and this lets you feel a little closer to her as an artist; bridging the gap and letting the music connect more intensely.
Broken Branches afterwards takes things down a gentle folk-ballad route, the vocal delivery is softer, lighter, slightly higher sounding. Still the stylish guitar roams around in the backdrop, the piano smooths things out, and all in all the song mellows the mood and offers more of that scene-setting and story-telling you come to expect. On top of this though, the song’s concept is a beautiful one – interesting and poetic, that of family trees, utilising metaphor to paint a powerful picture. Even with the simple joy of the music and singing on this project, there are more than a few clever lyrics that really stand tall and capture your affection.
In the middle of the EP there’s a song called Lightning In A Bottle, a melancholy topic contrasts with a brilliantly uplifting, energizing soundscape, and a pair of voices that add further contrast, driving the underlying style and groove of the song in a memorable way. This is an easy highlight for the sheer good vibes and the carefree energy it gives off. A live performance on a Saturday night is where you’d find yourself struggling not to get up and dance. Old Tobacco Road road follows and offers not the first instance of non-musical ambiance – scene setting again, a flicker of a location to guide you through. The piano and Luanne’s delivery hold tight to your attention throughout. The melody develops beautifully.
Whiskey Wisdom is another highlight from the offset, the harmonica sets the vibe gorgeously – the whole thing feels very organic, soulful and right there in the moment with you. Luanne’s voice has a certain depth here that carries the melody and concept really well. Then you get these warmer vocal choruses, a sense of togetherness, and all the while the song’s sentiment gets you thinking and relating to those all-too familiar instances when the whiskey drives the drinker. A brilliant song that’s incredibly stylish and entrancing, easy to listen to a couple of times over.
Love Led Us Here brings the album to a close in a rock-ballad fashion. The grit and depth of tone of the male vocal contrasts and compliments Luanne’s softer delivery in a captivating way. The instrumentation reaches an equally soulful height here too, the mellow groove and the guitar work, everything surrounding and supporting the whole thing – the vibe is hypnotic and a pleasure to have fill the room around you.
This EP in its entirety is an absolute joy to listen to, so well crafted, really well arranged, and beautifully performed. If you’ve been looking for that fresh country playlist, classic and new all at once, poetic and thoughtful – look no further.
Check out the EP via Luanne Hunt’s Website. Find & follow her on Facebook & Twitter to stay updated.