This country album just manages to keep hold of its authenticity despite having huge crossover appeal and a pop sensibility
The title track of Red Sky July’s latest album is about “the delicious and excruciating feeling of being in love with your best friend (the truth) and trying to hide it (the lie)” and similar sentiments shine across the record’s 10 tracks. It’s as close to mainstream pop as a country album can be, with rousing choruses and catchy hooks flourish throughout.
It comes as no surprise that one third of the trio, Shelly Poole [who we interviewed here] was once in Alisha’s Attic and guest musicians featuring on the album have worked with mainstream acts such as Adele and Kylie. Jet Trails establishes the style from the outset and it’s one which continues throughout, on songs like Dodge and Walking Country Song. There is huge crossover appeal; a welcoming gate leading the listener into the world of country and Americana.
If anything, the sound is slightly too polished. It’s strange to accuse the harmonies of being overly pristine or the songcraft unduly intimate, but occasionally you have to press the demolition button on perfection in order to build something truly authentic. Thankfully, there is enough talent on display to prevent The Truth And The Lie from becoming a pastiche – instead it remains an enjoyable pop-infused treat.
Verdict: Country at its most accessible