words by tom johnson
Traversing that same wild country as contemporaries such as Big Thief, Angel Olsen, et al, all dust-filled and sun-scorched, stretching out before them so you can’t see an end to it, Neighbor Lady today unveil their wonderfully rich new record, Maybe Later, with a full stream of the album here on GFP, ahead of its full release at the end of the week via the Friendship Fever label.
Like all great records that creep in to the beautiful shaded area which lies between Country music and good ol’ Rock n Roll, Maybe Later rises and falls across its seven tracks, shrinking and bursting, leaping and loitering, but it’s the overall impression that’s left in its trail which resonates most greatly, a feeling of something mighty lingering long after, like the dizzying stillness that follows an almighty storm, as it moves on, regardless, upward over the mountain.
Led by Emily Braden’s timbered voice, so richly delivered it becomes a distinct character all of its own, the record might take its tentative first steps today but, in truth, the whole thing started long ago, Braden’s work seemingly well-informed by her childhood, where she grew up on a farm in pastoral Rome, Georgia. As such there’s a sweeping sense of melodrama to the songs here, romanticism for the great wide world that it comes wrapped-up in, and, conversely, the small details that always outweigh such a thing, despite their differing physical statures.
While each track carries a brooding leverage of its own, it’s perhaps closing track ‘Wring Me Out’ that best typifies Neighbor Lady’s prowess; an expansive six-minutes that weaves together the power of the backing band, all billowing guitars and crashing percussion, that culminates with the record’s most boisterous minute or so, a full-blooded crescendo, that gently, eventually, drifts away; that aforementioned storm carried off somewhere else, roots and bones and all.
‘Maybe Later’ is released this Friday. You can pre-order it right here, and stream it in full below right now.