The Worry Dolls have been on our radar for so long that it’s hard to reconcile the fact that this is actually their debut album. During “Home Farm Festival” in 2013 we witnessed Worry Dolls turning a festival crisis completely around in their favour. With a catastrophic technical meltdown unfolding around them on the stage (entirely through no fault of their own) they calmly stepped down, walked into the audience, and performed unplugged in the round. It was a remarkable performance, and we’ve been keeping an eye on their progress ever since.
The unmistakably country “Miss You Already” (probably the stand out track on the album) pulls you in with gentle southern slide guitars echoing around sliding vocal harmonies. The duo hail from Devon and Kent and met in Liverpool but it’s the East Nashville production of Neilson Hubbard and the co-writing and session contributions that are the beating heart of this recording, firmly rooting this release in the American tradition. Whilst the album press release does state an intention to stay true to their English roots; this is a definitively Nashville sound. There’s no complaints from us though; this album quite possibly contains some of the best country songs that you’re going to hear all year. From the opening notes you know this is the Worry Dolls singing, a credit to their sound.
The album starts with a powerhouse of brilliantly written songs. “Don’t Waste Your Heart on Me”, “Endless Road” and the already mentioned “Miss You Already” are definitely amongst the stand out tracks on the album for me. “Train’s Leaving” is perhaps the best example of the variety the Worry Dolls weave into the album, it starts as a stripped back vocal track before developing into a fully produced kick drum and banjo driven anthem. It’s a highly commercial and beautiful sound.
This album is exceptionally produced throughout, and is wonderfully recorded. There’s variety and texture throughout, although the album as a whole feels slightly front loaded. There’s a few moments in the album, the track “Passport” for example, which sound distinctly pre-Nashville and don’t quite seem to sit as comfortably with the rest of the production as a result.
The Worry Dolls have travelled a long way in their pursuit of their musical aspirations, and the album is wholeheartedly worth the miles they’ve travelled. Several of the songs feel clearly inspired by their own journey - “Things Always Work Out” is a plea: “I’ve put it all on the line, and I’ve gambled my life just hoping, surely it’s my time”, “but if anyone’s out there, calling the shots now, won’t you come on… help me out”. Well, there’s plenty of people out their listening. The Worry Dolls are fully deserving of their growing following, and this album is a glimpse of an increasingly bright future. Wherever they decide to go next they’ve undoubtedly helped themselves out by discovering their Nashville sound.
Ange Hardy & Rob Swan
|Henry Senior Jnr: Plates Of Meat||Kelly's Lot: Bittersweet|
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