REVIEW: Dustbowl Revival’s “Is It You, Is It Me?” Sharpens Their Genre Blending Sound


With the timely 2020 release of Is It You, Is It Me?, Dustbowl Revival sharpens their genre blending sound, while simultaneously mastering a defined message for the turning of this uncommon era. 

Recorded in a flash two-week studio session, Is It You, Is It Me? looks deeply into the seminal, collective consciousness of today. And it does so deliberately—by literally allowing the album to speak up for itself through the band’s initiation of this conscious creative project. “I feel like we grew up for real on this record,” says Z. Lupetin (lead vocals/guitar). “Both as musicians who have come of age on the road together as a kind of accidental family – and as collaborators making music even we don’t know how to describe or pin down. It’s exciting and a bit terrifying.”

There is an awakening inherit in Is It You, Is It Me?. We find in listening to this most recent record, that part of Dustbowl Revival’s evolution is found in the simple act of listening to each other, and the world around them. By coming together to intentionally confront their own pasts, contributions to chaos, fears, mistakes, accidents they find different ways to heal collectively. In choosing to collaborate so deeply as a band through this two-week recording session, Dustbowl Revival was able to tap into a higher message—that music itself is the most important thing (a prominent theme of their second to last track “Just One Song”). It is through music, sound, vibration, connection that they as a band found revelation and their own cohesive voice. Fortunately for us listening, these concious harmonies are not only insightful, but infectious and very, very fun. 

Sonically, Dustbowl Revival has always leaned towards the more eclectic side of Americana – multi-instrumentalists rooted in folk, jazz, bluegrass and pre-war blues. But the group’s evolution towards a more refined and deepened sense of pop is very clear on Is It You, Is It Me?. There’s confidence in it too, like they took time to slow down and paint a few lush, cinematic set pieces.

Dustbowl Revival is comprised of core members Z. Lupetin (lead vocals/guitar), Liz Beebe (lead vocals) Connor Vance (violin/guitar), Matt Rubin (trumpet/fluegelhorn/keys) Ulf Bjorlin (trombones) and Josh Heffernan (drums/percussion). Is It You, Is It Me was produced by Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter) and engineered by Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, Local Natives). 

Currently, Dustbowl Revival is on tour across the US celebrating the 2020 release of Is It You, Is It Me?. If you are in Nashville you can find them playing The High Watt Wednesday, February 12th.  You can get your TICKETS here.

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