The Deslondes: Hurry Home

Videos by American Songwriter

The Deslondes
Hurry Home
(New West)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The word “hurry” might be in the Deslondes’ sophomore album title, but the band doesn’t seem to be in any rush on the majority of these 13 originals.

On the contrary, the pace feels relaxed, almost peaceful, even on the more upbeat material. That’s the attraction of, and the thread that runs through, this varied set of generally laid back roots pop, folk, swampy country, blues and some surf-inflected tunes. It’s also the reason you’ll need to spin this a few times, after which the often laconic groove kicks in. That vibe is most prominent on the title track where the protagonist waits for a lover after he “really lost it this time,” over loping piano, subtle pedal steel and a vocal that, like the narrator, sounds tired and lost.

Unlike most bands who are lucky to have two talented singers, the Deslondes feature no less than four, all of whom swap leads. And although the songs are credited to the act collectively, it’s likely whoever sings each track had the strongest hand in writing it. That makes for a diverse sound which, although rooted firmly in Americana, changes substantially as the album progresses. It shifts from the lively, Everly Brothers’ sweet pop of Cameron Snyder’s “One of These Lonesome Mornings” to the far darker opening and closing selections sung by Riley Downing that take us into the backwoods with the sparse, reflective, ominous country of “Muddy Water” and finally the melancholy, broken romance of “Déjà Vu and a Blue Moon.”

As its title implies, the rollicking rockabilly bop of “Hurricane Shakedown” is about as frantic as this album gets. And while it does shake things up, the vibe feels out of place with the lazy, humid summer night style of songs such as the lovely yet somewhat bitter “She Better Be Lonely,” Snyder’s honeyed retro slow waltz “Just in Love with You,” and the lighter than air, sing-along ready “Beautiful Friend,” perhaps soon to be a wedding standard.

Suffice it to say, this set won’t knock you over the head with music you can’t ignore. Rather, it creeps up, gradually engulfing the listener with its straightforward self-confidence, letting the subtle sometimes slow-burn songcraft, refreshing diversity and undeniable vocal and lyrical poise entice you back for another spin. Those are the albums that endure and the somewhat elusive yet persuasive charm of Hurry Home can join them.

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