Angie and the Deserters – Country Radio
Angie and the Deserters hit the scene with their 2014 release West of the Night and their latest release, the single “Country Radio”, harbingers the imminent appearance of their second effort Blood Like Wine. The first song off the forthcoming EP plays and feels like a shot across the bow of an entire musical community. The band enlisted uber-respected country producer Jeff Hutchins to helm the recording and he assisted them in creating a lean, meat and potatoes affair that puts Angie Bruyere’s once in a generation voice over without ever short changing her spectacularly talented band. “Country Radio” bristles with enough attitudes for five songs.
Bruyere cites the “outlaw country” movement of the 1970’s as being an important influence on her and you can certainly hear it in this song. This is unapologetic, hard-bitten music played with impeccable chops, especially on guitar, joined with a show stopping vocal and vivid lyrical narrative that plays on the familiar while exciting us with flashes of the new. Everything is sharpened to a fine point, as well, thanks to the muscular economy her songwriting imposes over the performance. “Country Radio” barely clears three minutes in total running time and remains exhilarating throughout.
The guitars explode in a number of rave ups through the song and provide much of the musical firepower. Each succeeding blast varies slightly from the one preceding it and, as a result, the players do a superb job of offering listeners different textures within a traditionally narrow context. Bruyere’s voice is exemplary and one of its chief strengths is her instinct for singing with, instead of against, the hard-hitting music blasting around her. There’s a percussive bite to her voice that helps lightly accentuate the stripped down drumming and her way of turning a number of phrases in the song will stick in the memory. She brings technique and passion together in a potent mix, but it’s the bracing soulfulness and commitment of her vocals that people will ultimately remember.
The lyrical content has strong verses and a to the point chorus. Rather than just a series of random impressions, Bruyere’s lyrics show her surprising depths as a songwriter and benefit from a strong narrative. There’s coherence on every level of this song that one doesn’t often hear from modern practitioners of the genre. Most are too busy serving up reverential tributes to their influences rather than busying themselves with marking out their own musical and lyrical territory. “Country Radio” places Bruyere exactly where she wants to be, a renegade musical force living life on the margins, and filling every line with passion.
An action packed opening single like this can only mean great things from the upcoming EP release. Bruyere is throwing down the gauntlet here and announcing herself as a vital, formidable force to be reckoned with from hereafter. “Country Radio” is a rootsy, unimpeachably honest reminder of what personal and physical music can do for listeners. Angie and the Deserters will turn many heads and win countless fans with this new release.