After spell binding listeners with their truly spectacular vocal harmonies and captivating Americana sound, Delta Rae returns with a teaser of their upcoming album. Their new EP, Chasing Twisters, brings us a five song track list that manages to remind us why we fell under their spell in the first place, but also takes us in surprising new directions.
In addition to three exciting new songs, we’re treated to alternative arrangements of the group’s previous hits, Dance in the Graveyards and If I Loved You. The group’s voices really shine during their acoustic performances, so the inclusion of a stripped down Dance in the Graveyards was a no brainer. The new arrangement gives the song a much more down to earth vibe that really makes you want to sing it around a campfire. Eric takes the lead in the lively and uplifting spiritual number, while the group’s harmonies simply elevate the song to soaring heights.
If I Loved You sees Elizabeth Hopkins on lead, while Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham provides guest instrumentals. Liz’s voice channels pure, heartfelt emotions perfectly as she breaks a heart that she doesn’t want to break. While this new “radio version” is a nice inclusion, the difference between the album version isn’t terribly noticeable.
However, Delta Rae manages to really generate some excitement for their new album with the three new songs. It seems as though the group may be leaving behind their easy going folk sound in favor of something more exciting. Run, I Will Never Die, and the title track, Chasing Twisters, are raw, powerful, passionate, and simply electrifying. Each one features the haunting rasp of Elizabeth and Brittney Holljes, each alternating on lead vocals, along with a much grittier, Country-tinged sound.
With rolling drums, electrifying guitars, and whistles usually heard at high noon, Chasing Twisters plays like its ready for a good ‘ol fashioned shoot out! Liz growls her way through verses like a horse riding through the desert. She opens with the line “I was born with lighting in my heels, Sewed a spur unto my ankles, Bit a horse under the steel,” immediately making it known that she isn’t just messin’ around. The chorus simply erupts with thunder and fury thanks the the harmonies of her group mates, and her unrestrained vocal power. With its raw sound, and gritty guitars, this is destined to be a big time hit on Country radio.
Run can only be described a free spirited. Its stirring percussion and jaunty strings instantly make you feel like riding through the countryside on a wild horse. Brittney’s vocals are warm and full of life…simply compelling, and absolutely enchanting! Its the type of song that truly uplifts and inspires, without any of the campiness usually reserved for such country hits. Its delivered in a captivating way that only Delta Rae can manage.
Finally, the album ends on a much darker note. Let’s face it…Delta Rae became famous for the chilling and other worldly hit Bottom of the River. That supernatural realm is revisited in the song I Will Never Die. This song once again delivers a bewitching and haunting sound thanks to the deep pounding of drums, the rattles of chains, and the ghostly chorus of the group’s harmonies. However, this song gets an added boost from some dramatic electric guitars, an element absent from their debut hit.
Once again, Brittney’s hypnotic vocals that steal the show. With lines like “Hickory, Oak, Pine and weed, bury my heart underneath these trees,” she unravels the lyrics like a spell being cast. Her voice ranges from a whispered incantation to a soft and mesmerizing siren’s call, finally coming unhinged in the song’s dramatic chorus. I Will Never Die is dark, its chilling, and it is simply unforgettable in every way. It is undoubtedly the rightful squeal to the group’s signature hit.
With Chasing Twisters, Delta Rae has managed to prove that they are more than capable of recreating the magic seen on their debut album. In fact, in these three new songs, they’ve somehow managed to take their sound to a whole new level. Delta Rae set out to create music that “demands to be listened to.” Well…they’ve surely succeeded, because I’m anxiously demanding that the group release their new album!
Final Score: 4/5