Album Reviews

Dear County

Low Country

Artist:     Dear County

Album:     Low Country

Label:     pOprOck Records

Release Date:     08/26/2016

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That voice – a little torn and frayed, but also tough and worldly, like that of a young Chrissie Hynde – is what beckons the curious to Dear County. It belongs to Arrica Rose, who has a name that’s just as hard to forget. It’s almost too perfect, fitting her group’s California countrified rock ‘n’ roll like a shopworn calico dress off a thrift-store clothing rack. Gently wooing lovers of Graham Parsons and ‘60s girl groups with soft blankets of incandescent four-part harmonies, light percussion and lazy guitar – sparkling when plucked, but also strummed with assurance –  that knows its place in “Oh My Darlin’” and “On and On,” Low Country makes a star of Rose. Fluttering occasionally, but never wavering from her duty to deliver lyrics of resignation, aching contrition and desperate yearning with equal parts grit and grace, Rose seems on the verge of a breakdown in slowly churned, laborious hymns “Ain’t It Pretty (How a Heart Breaks),” “Losing Leaves” and “All I Regret.” Often charged with carrying melodies all on her own, she absolutely blooms in the sunny soul of “Spun” and the easy, jangly shuffle of “Baby, Let’s Dance,” while Dear County makes a gutsy, cow-punk anthem of Neil Young’s otherwise hazy “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” in the spirit of Uncle Tupelo. If only they’d show a little less restraint.

-Peter Lindblad

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