It isn’t just the various sounds that make up the songs; hints of country, heartland rock, southern gothic and more that create a geographical fix for Hannah Aldridge’s sophomore album. There is something else that inhabits the spaces between the notes, hangs in the pauses for breathes and lingers long in the fade out of tracks. Gold Rush may be autobiographical in looking at the things that have happened in the artist’s life but it is also a very specific biography of Southern culture. Not the clichéd or the obvious, but the deeper threads in the weave, the unseen wefts that the patterns are threaded on to, the darker structures. This is the world found in the backdrops of the writings of Lee, Faulkner and McCarty.
But for all the albums soul searching rather than find itself melancholic or self-pitying, it is an album that is resolute and defiant, demons are faced down, failed relationships are put behind her and the scars of life are worn as a badge of experience. It would seem easy to think that this daughter of Muscle Shoals legend Walt Aldridge would obviously have help at hand and indeed the pen and song crafting skills of the likes of Don Gallardo, Jordan Dean, Ryan Beaver and many more leave their mark on the album, but this is more an album of personal narratives and reflection, exorcisms and confession.
It is at turns wild, introspective, celebratory, regretful, boisterous and gentle, it is rock music with depth, country music dressed in rags rather than rhinestones, folk music with added Muscle (pun intended!) This is nothing short of Americana with a PhD!