Native Heart (EmmaJava) is Arizona-based Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers’ most evolved, irresistible album yet. Recorded at Wavelab in Tucson, AZ and engineered by Chris Schultz, it’s a whirlwind celebration of music inspired by living in the kind of landscape that combines the yin and yang of weather, fauna and living life in all its contradictory elements.
Clyne showcases his signature style in its amalgamation of genres, all the while tickling the collective unconscious with snippets from familiar smash hits. Clyne studied anthropology and psychology along the way and his easy understanding of the human psyche is evident. In ‘”Flowerin’” he openly sings “I miss David Bowie” amidst the clearly fluid trumpet sounds of Jon Villa and Javier Games. This is followed by another nod to David Bowie (and Freddie Mercury) in “Every Kind of Lucky,” with the opening line calling out “under pressure.” This month marks the two year anniversary of Bowie’s passing and these tributes strike a familiar chord in all of us.
Every song is joyful, even the ballads, like “Sunday Driving” with its nostalgic reminiscence of the classic 1950’s pastime and its Beatles-esque closing “beep beep’m beep beep, yeah.” And then there’s “Arizona Night,” where the audience can feel the Arizona experience: “something in the Arizona night gets us crazy from the heat and dizzy from the heights.” There’s a maturity in the songs too, with a touch of wisdom in the frivolity. Jon Novelli’s slide guitar adds macabre country twang to “Viva Love” where Clyne vows “I will not go until our hands mend the world anew.” “Shadyside” is more of a lowdown dirty number, which delivers rock tones to the alt-western style. The album skirts the edges of life’s gravity while rockin’ all the way through.
Hurry out to add this new one to your collection!