Aratrea songwriter Joseph Rogers teams up with Louis Butler to become country duo Rogers and Butler. Heartbreak finds a new home with their debut single Florida Rain.
Tuneful, accomplished and thoroughly beautifully sung, it’s a traditional tale of regret, loss and repentance: ‘Ever since you left me / My heart can’t bear the pain’.
The lead vocal feels like it’s being coaxed out, the phrasing exhaustively seeing the meaning through to the end of each line with some aplomb. There are often extra little licks and kicks at the end of lines, which wrings out that extra twinge of emotion – as I say, it’s an accomplished piece. At no point does the vocal feel overwrought or over-pushed.
There’s a vulnerability mixed in with the confidence of the delivery and the kind of bluesy twang that you might expect in such a traditional treatment. There’s also a rootsy authenticity bleeding through, and, in my opinion, a certain enjoyment in the chance to emote this hard – and it’s compelling.
The cleanly-captured guitars complement each other and are mixed well at the top of the track, which, as it continues to build, introduces drums and electrics and bass. The electrics peck and pluck away, chopping away at the rhythm and driving the track along. Other electric parts are beautifully subtle and understated, mixed carefully at the very edge of listening, betraying a more complex listening experience than you might first realise. Some tasteful, thin organ pads add warmth and harmony.
A nicely-judged slide solo appears about three-quarters of the way through, leading into a breakdown and a final stint of soul-searching. Someone comments, ‘That’s epic,’ right at the end of the track – an outtake left on, along with fret noise and ambience. And in it’s own confident way, it is.
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