Steel Blossoms – Steel Blossoms

Steel Blossoms return with their most stylish collection of alt-country ballads and groove-laden Americana anthems yet in their all-new self-titled LP, due out this April 26th via Billy Jam Records.  In ten opulent tracks, including the playful “You’re the Reason I Drink,” the powerful slow songs “Revenge” and “Heroine” as well as the swinging “Kentucky’s Never Been This Far,” the duo of singer/songwriters Sara Zebley and Hayley Prosser duel for our affections with their exquisitely captivating crooning, but Steel Blossoms isn’t about their amazing vocal capabilities alone.

There’s just as much instrumental prowess present in these songs as there is a lyrical luster, and it could (and should) be described as the band’s most well-rounded set so far.

Producer Jerry Salley lends his incomparable skills to the soundboard in this album, and does nothing less than a phenomenal job of highlighting all of the rich subtleties in Steel Blossoms’ sound. In calculated numbers like “Pick Me Up,” “Killed a Man” and the fiddle-driven “Trailer Neighbor,” there’s a lot of action going on in the instrumentation, but our focus is always trained on the melodies being dispensed from behind the microphone.

Zebley and Prosser show off a chemistry that many of their contemporaries could only dream of capturing in the studio, but their confident attitude here never drifts into the realm of arrogance.

You Ain’t Sleeping Over” is a really energetic track, and along with “Pick Me Up” and “Innocent,” I think that it demonstrates Steel Blossoms’ vocal versatility as well as their agile command of rhythm better than anything they’ve released in the past has.

This is a pretty diverse collection of content stylistically, with Zebley and Prosser flirting with traditional country in “You’re the Reason I Drink” and “County Line,” embracing a vintage folk-rock tonality in “Pick Me Up” and “Killed a Man,” and touching on elements of bluegrass with “You Ain’t Sleeping Over” and the brutally emotional “Revenge.”

Despite the varying compositional approaches taken in creating Steel Blossoms, the record never feels hopelessly scattered or creatively fragmented when played in a single sitting; in fact, quite the contrary.

Unlike a lot of their closest rivals in the Nashville scene, this band isn’t afraid of experimenting with their sonic depth, and as a result, we’ve been subsequently treated to some of the most engaging material that the Americana underground has heard in quite some time.

These talented singers are getting better and better as time goes by and are constantly evolving from where they started in their awesome debut extended play Year Number One, and based on what I hear in this latest release, I don’t think there’s much of a question as to whether or not Steel Blossoms is at the top of their game right now.

In this album, they’re getting more personal with their lyrics, incorporating the essence of old fashioned Americana into their harmonies and continuing to distinguish their sound from that of their mainstream counterparts.

Theirs is a style of alternative country that doesn’t just appeal to the genre’s most diehard fans, but to anyone who loves a refined bucolic ballad, and I can’t wait to hear more in the future.

To find out more about the Steel Blossoms, visit their official website by clicking here. Give them a like on Facebook by clicking here & a follow on Twitter by clicking here.

Eric Jarvis

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