Nashville’s a town of strata, and while the country royalty and Third Man a-teams might split the coverage, there’s a whole broiling underground full of indie country slingers that aren’t quite popping to the surface on a daily basis. Quite a few of these have been graced with the stringwork of Sean Thompson. He’s played alongside Teddy & The Rough Riders, Skyway Man, Ornament, and Promised Land Sound and since last fall he’s been striking out on his own for a series of EPs that capture his own songwriting. The first of these, Weird Ears Part 1 featured the members of Ornament backing up Thompson’s songs, mostly swimming through the indie-twang waters that snake through his former ouptposts. For the second offering under the Weird Ears banner, Thompson’s stretched for concept and struck gold in the process.
Still backed largely by the members of Ornament, but also adds in the vocals of fellow Nashville local Annie Williams and the Pedal Steel work of scene stalwart Spencer Cullum (Miranda Lambert, Lambchop). The album’s concept revolves around a resident who gets fed up with gentrification and heads to the country to live on a raspberry farm. Seems pretty much like the average resume of every third person I meet here in the Hudson Valley, but the results work out nicely. Thompson’s songwriting has solidified over the last year, and this second EP is vibrant, lush, and bittersweet – sliding easily between barstool blues, instrumental blushes, and a reprise that touches the more storm-torn psychedelia of Dire Wolves.
Williamson’s work on the title track(s) is perfectly hued and Cullum gives the record a great touch of shading. The concept never gets in the way of Thompson simply putting together a great run of songs that open deeper on each listen. Plus, the artist is donating half the sales from each purchase to the Nashville Food Project, so you can do a bit of good while listening. Hoping that this progression from Thompson only continues to shine brighter with each new offering.
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