The Cactus Blossoms is a duo from Minneapolis comprising brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum. The band’s previous albums had the distinct vibe of another duo of brothers: Don and Phil Everly. The similarities could be found in both the melodies and the vocal harmonies.
The band’s new album One Day takes a turn away from that influence of The Everly Brothers and embraces a warm 70s AM Gold sound that features a healthy dose of organ. Like many albums made after the pandemic, this album features some soul searching and also provides a message of hope. Torrey had this to say about the new album, “That idea of finding a silver lining comes up a lot on this record. It’s an acknowledgment that no matter how messed up things might be, people still want to believe in the world and find ways to feel lucky and joyful.”
“Hey Baby” is the first song on the album, and it’s hard not to think about The Traveling Wilburys when you hear this one. The similarity is especially evident in the harmony vocals and the storytelling. The melody is easygoing, making it perfect for singing along at the top of your lungs as you ramble down a highway with your windows open.
“Everybody” features Jenny Lewis. Of the song, Torrey said, “ It started out as a sad one-sided story, but when I heard it in my head as a back and forth between two people and imagined Jenny singing the lines, it became something different.” However the song might have been imagined initially, it became something beautiful. The melody goes pretty heavy on the organ, giving it a 70s feel. Like a lot of great duets, this features the two vocalists trading verses and singing the chorus. Don’t be surprised if you listen to this one repeatedly.
Some country sounds are incorporated throughout the album. “Is It Over” and “Lonely Heart” lean more toward Bakersfield country with some lonesome pedal steel. On top of that, the closer “I Could Almost Cry” sounds like it could just as easily be a song by The Flying Burrito Brothers. Meanwhile, “Runaway” has more of an alt-country sound – especially in the guitar.
Will this album have you rocking your best air guitar? No, but then that has never been the M.O. for The Cactus Blossoms. While the sound is different from previous albums, it is still a sound built on mellow melodies, lush harmonies, and thought-provoking storytelling that transports the listener to the scene described in the song. In that regard, it has some similarities to The Wallflowers. This album is a good lesson for anyone who wants a lesson in songwriting. One Day will be available everywhere on February 11. Order your copy here.
Enjoy our interview with the Cactus Blossoms here: Interview: The Cactus Blossoms