As someone who hasn’t travelled as much of the globe as I would like, who explores a lot of the world through its music and everything that it evokes, Earnhardt sound like nothing less than America’s beating heart. To me anyway. But to be fair it is probably an America that doesn’t exist as much as you might think outside of its road movies, TV adverts, old music columns, literature and other rose tinted nostalgia, but in my mind if America was whistling a tune to itself, this is what it would sound like.
Take strands of alt-country, rock and roll, American roots and a few pop hooks and melodic sensibilities, and sonically weave them all together and you have the core Earnhardt sound. As always what makes this, not unique, mix of genres and styles stand out is the quality of the songwriting, the fact that there isn’t a song on the album that wouldn’t do well if sent out into the world on its own, perfectly sums up just how deft they are.
Neversink is a groovesome mix of indie riffs and country rock weight, Transmissions turn on the edgy, alt-rock charm and Women Without Whiskey is the biggest stadium anthem you will hear this year. Even when they are in more reflective mode, as with Angel Coast, they cleverly cocoon a gentle ballad in wonderful harmonies textures and peripheral grace notes.
Away from the celebrity spotlight of what we laughingly call the music industry, disposable pop with it’s bland shopping mall beat and faceless landfill indie – all complicated hair and scenester regulations – Earnhardt offers us something real, something authentic, something that you won’t look at in ten years time and wonder “what was I thinking!” This is not only the real deal, it is the real deal made over for the modern audience. Perfect.