Grady Spencer & the Work – Wait (Self-Released)
Wait is a pretty apt title for Grady Spencer & the Work’s latest LP. In 2020, Spencer finally quit his 60-hour-a-week day job in construction to focus on his music career full time and filled up the calendar with tour dates. And then the pandemic hit and locked down the world, including live music everywhere.
But judging from the 10-tracks that populate the LP, the wait was clearly worth it. The West Texas band has turned in a uniquely strong collection of songs that knit together the Red Dirt music of Oklahoma/Texas with rock and folk, a satisfying hybrid that sticks with you long after the music stops. With this, his fourth full length album, Spencer is tapping more into more personal issues for some of the strongest lyrics he has ever committed to tape. Nowhere is that more evident than on “Therapy Is Good,” a phenomenally catchy track about the importance of seeking help from a professional every now and then – a fantastic message driven by an addictive chorus.
For the album opener, “Find You,” the band went back to 2016’s The Line Between and reinterpreted the song, offering a perfect intro of what’s to follow. The band also dusted off and re-recorded “Heart of Mine,” a sweet mid-tempo love song. The frustration caused by the pandemic and scrapped plans is only obvious on one track here, “Down But Blessed.”
The album closes on “New Year,” a reflection on the beginning of 2020 and all the optimism Spencer and the band felt moving into a new year, day jobs in the past, with a clear focus on the group’s musical future. And while the pandemic may have delayed those plans by about two years, Wait is the perfect album to finally introduce the rest of the world to Grady Spencer & the Work. Produced by Reese Murphy.