I got a tip that Delta Rae was in Chicago from a friend who lives in Charlotte, but I couldn’t make it. I bought the album instead and gave this crew a whirl. Friend recommendations are my number one source for new music now. The days of Pandora are over.
I’m not sure where to put this music. It feels like dramatic rock with some country influence. I say dramatic because it has some sorrowful, soulful aspects. Delta Rae uses both male and female leads with mostly guitars and drums and stuff but they throw in plenty of violins, keyboards, and horns.
The first song, Holding on to Good, has strong female vocals with piano in the background early then rises in volume and complexity to a rousing chorus thing. It then moves on to a completely different set of something before backing off to a quiet vocal set that repeats some of the chorus thing, and finally builds to a dramatic, loud ending. It feels non-standard because it doesn’t have a predictable refrain progression. Nothing is ever really exactly repeated with the same background instruments. Feels kind of artsy, with some operatic aspects.
It leads right into Is There Anyone Out There which comes strong out of the box with a female non-word chorus thing followed by male vocals with spare instrumentation. It’s mostly male vocals, unlike the first song, but retains the slow/quiet aspects followed by rousing choruses.
This stuff is all over the place and it makes for interesting listening. Half way through you hit Bottom of the River with a tribal beat, which they use on the album at certain times. I think there might be two female singers.
This album has a dozen songs and they are all uniformly timed out between about 3:30 and 5:00 each. I think it’s great stuff. Is it going to hit the regular rotation for me? Well, I listened to the whole album again the other day didn’t I? Shut up.
It feels like a love child of that crossover three person band that won all those Grammy awards three years ago (Lady Antebellum) and that Canadian group that rocked the Grammy awards two years ago with Suburbs (Arcade Fire), plus a little stadium rock style drama tossed in.