Everyone has his or her go to summer record. You know, the one that you can listen to over and over while driving around, laying outside or at a bonfire?
Well now, you may need to add another record to your repertoire, because The Apache Relay’s self-titled release will be the soundtrack to your summer. Masterfully written and wonderfully recorded, the record meshes a sound of indie rock mixed with ’60s pop.
The album starts out bold with the band’s single, “Katie Queen of Tennessee,” which has the potential to be a radio hit. The beginning swell of violins meeting with warm vocals gives listeners a warm welcome to the album. It also has a chorus that will have listeners humming along.
The next song takes a much different turn. Relying heavily on different percussion mediums, “Ruby” thumps more than McConaughey and DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
The Apache Relay showcases its new sound on the track “Don’t Leave Me Now,” which is also the band’s first music video for the album. The combination of ambient guitars and Michael Ford Jr.’s impeccable vocal range shows Apache’s exploration into new sounds, while still holding true to their indie rock style.
What makes this album so special is the utilization of various instruments on each song, leaving every track sounding differently than the last, yet it is still tied together by a common element.
It doesn’t stop there.
The tracks following “Don’t Leave Me Now” keep the album interesting at a point where most artists lose listener interest. Twang filled “Growing Pains” and riff charged “Good as Gold” are prime examples of this record’s versatility. “Growing Pains” is evidence of The Apache Relay’s bluegrass and country influences while “Good as Gold” shows the band’s ability to tell a story within a song, both through lyrics and instruments.
The track “Dose” is also a piece of evidence towards Apache’s new sound. With angelic background vocals and a bona fide campfire sing-along chorus, this track is as strong as the opener.
The record goes out with a bang, but not as one would expect.
Throughout the record, The Apache Relay has been quietly brilliant, and it all ties together on the outgoing track, “Happiest Day Of Your Life.” With only an acoustic guitar and the voice of Ford, the track delivers sorrowful lyrics, proving that all that glitters is not gold. As the record fades out, we are only left with the words, “The happiest day of your life was the worst day of mine. “
Bottom Line: The album is nothing short of a stroke of genius. The Apache Relay has taken its idea, ran with it and crossed the finish line with a big fat trophy on the other side. The album’s mix of instruments combined with their ability to arrange tracks in so many different ways will leave listeners demanding more and the radios filling the airwaves with their songs.
Favorite track: Dose