State Line – Brad Byrd (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

When I saw the title, State Line, I was expecting to be met by some sort of hootin’ and a-hollerin’ road warrior, cowboy country music. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I’d be wearing my Joe Ely t-shirt with pride if I could still fit into it.

But no, what greets you here is something different entirely. Something gorgeous and drifting, gentle and ambient, as understated as it is unexpected. It is a song built out of shimmering and sparing guitar chords, floating background sonics and Byrd’s dreamy voice. Even when it kicks up a gear and becomes a more beat-driven affair, it still seems to exist in some sort of idyllic, otherworldly and slightly psychedelic place.

State Line is actually a song about being stuck somewhere, either physically or mentally, and, instead of kicking against the delusions of ambition and misguided potential, accepting the realities and making the best out of the current situation. And with lyrics that are so reflective and dreamlike, the music floats by in perfect sonic harmony.

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