The Cactus Blossoms/One Day/Walkie Talkie
Four out of Five Stars
It ought to come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever heard the Minneapolis duo known as The Cactus Blossoms that they’ve accrued some ready comparisons to the Everly Brothers. This set of brothers— Jack Torrey and Page Burkum—share the same seductive harmonies and knack for penning crisp, caressing songs in ways that guarantee instant allure.
That ability to offer reassurance and respite forms the backbone of the duo’s delightful new album, One Day, a set of songs that summon optimism even in the midst of these troubled times. Opening track “Hey Baby” starts things out on an easy romp; ostensively about a road trip to the south of the border, its chorus (Baby, I hope it all works out) resonates on a deeper level, looking to the brighter possibilities that lie just beyond the horizon.
Written and recorded in the aftermath of various tragedies that befell the world over the course of the past two years, the remainder of the album purveys the same sort of promise, albeit through more soothing sensibilities. The hushed harmonies and quiet caress instilled in songs such as “One Day,” “Love Tomorrow,” “I Could Almost Cry,” and “Everybody”—the latter featuring guest vocals from Jenny Lewis—summon a sense of inclusion through an intimate embrace, drawing the listener in and refusing to let go.
So too, a song that suggests a darker premise—“Ballad of an Unknown,” about a homeless individual who was too easily forgotten—conveys a shared feeling of empathy and understanding. That also applies to the solitary stance conveyed in the songs that follow, “Not the Only One” and “Lonely Heart,” an unattended homage to Roy Orbison.
Like the pair’s earlier efforts—You’re Dreaming (2016), and their 2019 follow-up, Easy Way—One Day is easy listening at its finest, instilled with the fresh finesse and supple sensitivity that only a genetic bond can bring. Consider One Day the kind of album that makes every day cause for shared celebration.
Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff