Sometimes you listen to an artist and you can’t help but wonder why that artist doesn’t get as much as attention as he or she should. It’s in those cases that you want to do everything you can to spread the word about this great artist you’ve heard. Journey Proud, the new album from Edan Archer, definitely falls into the category of albums you want to publicize because you don’t know if anyone else (like radio stations for instance) will.
Power in music can come from a variety of sources. It’s easier to tell when the power in a song comes from a guitar riff or a drum fill. It is perhaps more subtle if the power in a song comes from the vocals and the lyrics. In “Hard Liquor” the power definitely comes from the lyrics and the vocals. Archer creates the scene by telling a certain someone to put on a suit with alligator shoes and “That white shirt I washed myself. The chorus hits even harder when she says “You like hard liquor and easy women.” She delivers all the lyrics in a voice that straddles the line between sweet and tough.
The lyrics throughout the album are filled with regret whether she sings about breaking up (“Garden Rose”) or not being loved the way she needs (“Younger Man’s Game” ). The height of the regret on this album is in “You Don’t Want Me Anymore”. The tempo is suitably slow for this sad honky tonk song. The pedal steel adds even another dimension of sadness to this song that hits like a gut punch. If you don’t feel anything when she sings, “I’ll never see your boots by the front door”, you might be made of stone.
Archer does a pretty good job of covering the Americana bases from one song to the next. “Alcohol” is a pretty good example of that. The accordion adds a sort of Tex-Mex layer of sound while the rhythm section is enough to get people moving on the dance floor. In an interesting twist, the bridge gets a touch psychedelic with reverb on the vocals.
“You Shoot I Drive” is a great story song that seems like something out of a movie. She sings about an outlaw couple making it to the border having confidence that even if they get captured, they won’t be taken alive. The imagery is so vivid that it’s easy to imagine this couple barreling down the road in an old hot rod shooting at anyone that tries to capture them.
This album is a display of fine songwriting and storytelling. Plus it’s hard not to get wrapped up in Archer’s vocals. She moves effortlessly from tough to sad and sweet, and that’s not something every artist can manage. Journey Proud will be available everywhere on August 2. Order your copy here.