Delta Rae: After It All

Posted August 5, 2015 by in Indie rock



4.5/ 5


Genre: , ,
Producer: , ,
Label: ,
Genre: Rock, indie rock, alternative, pop
Producer: Peter Katis, Rob Cavallo, Julian Raymond, Delta Rae
Label: Sire, Warner Bros.
Format: Digital download, compact disc, vinyl
Time: 43:04
Release Date: 7 April 2015
Spin This: "Outlaws," "Scared," "Run," "Chasing Twisters"


Pop sensibility at its best, songwriting magic happens along with incredible performances draped with gospel-tinged harmonies


Some songs hardly show off the hard aggression of their live show, distances slightly from Southern folk and bombastic arrangements of debut LP

Family band grows up and out with dashing extension of pop incorporating urban swag, rock and Fleetwood Mac-ness

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Family band grows up and out with dashing extension of pop incorporating urban swag, rock and Fleetwood Mac-ness

Every once and awhile a folk-rock song breaks through the barriers of the marketplace and forces itself into our ears. Mumford and Sons did it, and quickly The Lumineers did the same. But that trend isn’t always in season. And that probably explains why Mumford & Sons went full-fledged rock on their last set. And that’s probably why North Carolina family band Delta Rae is picking up on a few new moves on their sophomore LP, After It All. Inside the set, the talented Hölljes siblings and supporting cast of good friends expand on their warm Southern undertones by incorporating shades of urban swag and pop-centric melodies to the mix. “Scared” is blessed with piano arpeggios alongside Eric Hölljes‘s lead vocals, both permeating the atmosphere with radio-ready accessibility. Then Brittany Hölljes bursts out with a howl of opera prominence, showcasing something spectacularly transcendent. “Outlaws,” also blessed with pop harmonies and an engaging carousel of piano and synths, exposes more of their fruitfully tight harmonies, as if they have tapped into gospel choir superpowers.
As the album paces forward, Delta Rae travels the distance to sound more polished and craftier. “Chasing Twisters” puts Elizabeth Hopkins on a rollicking Western tempo marveling in a Lady Antebellum-esque grace. “Cold Day in Heaven” also drips with confetti of crossover pop, even if its rhythmic arrangement seems to be screaming for more grit and soul.
They haven’t exactly tossed out their Delta influences and Appalachian folk-rock foundation, which percolates in most places on After It All, although spread evenly across the way. “I Will Never Die” pulls on the strings of gutsy Southern rock masked around an African-American work song. Inside the determination to fight outer forces is poignantly documented: “You can bury my body but I’ll never die.” Songs like “Bethlehem Steel” and the title track also carries on rich acoustic elements of their debut album’s tradition, but seems almost buried in comatose when looking at the bigger picture. When you hear the Nashville-influenced “Dead End Road,” DeltaRae’s folk sound is beautifully glossed over with an immersive Fleetwood Mac sweetness. With crossover in sight, the band is morphing into a bigger well-oiled machine, adding more weight to their productions using additional personnel including pedal steel, viola and even electric guitar. The overall passion felt inside the lead parts and harmonies are also elevated past the performance of their first effort. Even lightweight B-side songs like the “You’re the One For Me” are pleasantly rendered, exposing the gravitas of Delta Rae’s evolution. There’s no reason why music lovers and critics shouldn’t be rushing towards a record of this brilliance.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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