Sometimes the unexpected music discoveries are the best ones. For example, if you’re an alt-country fan and you were browsing in a record store (remember those?), and you found a copy of All Your Favorite Songs by Will Bennett and The Tells, you would do well to score yourself a copy.
There is an immediate familiarity to this album – especially when you hear Bennett’s vocals. They have a similarity to Ryan Malott of 500 Miles to Memphis. Meanwhile the pedal steel gives it a lonesome while the beat makes this an easy song to dance to.
“Caroline” starts with a guitar part that sounds like Drag the River and a beat that gets your foot tapping. This is a full-on foot-stomper once Bennett launches into the verse. Calling this an alt-country song may be selling it a bit short. It’s actually closer to cowpunk with the energy and tempo.
“Linger On” is another foot-stomper driven by a beat that would get people moving on a dance floor. The narrator of this song admits, “For better or for worse, I’ve been lucky I’ve been cursed. I’ve been in this town too long.” You get the sense that the narrator feels it might be time to do some traveling and get away from the town he’s been in too long. The chorus of this one is easy to sing along with – even if you’re hearing it for the first time.
Bennett has a way with wistful melodies. “Just Looking” is a good example. The pedal steel is the perfect accompaniment to the longing in his voice as he strums his guitar and sings, “I’m just looking for somewhere to call home.” This song is a good reminder that we’re all looking for something, even if it’s just “someone to call my name.”
As you move through the album, you realize a couple things. Bennett, like Rhett Miller, has a clever way of putting words together that makes you take notice. The other thing you notice is that while the melodies may remind you of bands like The Bottle Rockets, this band really does have a sound of its own.
This is an album that is put together very well. Bennett is a strong lyricist, and the band behind him is tight and provides exactly what is needed in every song. All Your Favorite Songs will be available everywhere on July 26. Order your copy here.