Album Reviews

Foster McGinty

New Shackle Island

Artist:     Foster McGinty

Album:     New Shackle Island

Label:     Foster McGinty

Release Date:     8/11/2017

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When Foster and Chelsea McGinty first met, Foster saw his future life partner and Chelsea saw a future bandmate. Fast forward a few years and their predictions were both right. On their upcoming EP, New Shackle Island, the Nashville singer-songwriters create a genre-bending collection of six radio-friendly tunes.

New Shackle Island opens with “Radio Dreams,” a swirling outlaw pop-country track. Foster’s rugged voice sings above layered percussion before Chelsea joins in on colorful harmony. Next is “Juanita,” an alt-rock song heavy with windows-down-road-trip singalong vibes. Here, the duo come together for wild, upbeat instrumentation and impressive vocal performances. The record’s third track is the bittersweet folk-rock track, “Bad Ride,” in which thick rhythm guitar solos back up Foster crooning honest lines like “Everyone around here is a ghost / I’m on a bad ride / I’m hurting everyone that loves me the most.” On “Even Score,” a full blues-rock arrangement dances. The duo’s vocals blend expertly here, powerhouse harmony adding to the track’s danceable vibrancy. “Overdue” is an instant radio hit, subtle in its pulsing country piano beats then exploding with Nashville rhythms — we’re talking powerful, in-your-face percussion and electric honky-tonk beats. New Shackle Island ends with the fast-paced “For Life.” The track blends varying elements such as moody electric solos, quick vocal delivery, distant harmony, and country twang.

On New Shackle Island, Foster and Chelsea McGinty have solidified their positions as impressive storytellers on the Nashville scene. Their instrumental production is complex with rich alt-rock rhythms, they are successful in their country-camaraderie harmony, and each track is a potential radio hit with endless singalong possibilities.

–Savannah Davanzo

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