Angie and the Deserters – “Country Radio”
Born in upstate New York and raised in Southern California, Angie Bruyere has taken an unlikely road to arrive at this place. She pursued a modeling career initially and experienced great success in that area, but the allure of music from over a distant hill continued calling to her. She made her professional debut with the 2014 release of her album West of the Night and rode the success of that release through a number of live appearances throughout the United States and Europe. On the cusp of releasing her sophomore effort, an EP entitled Blood Like Wine, Angie and the Deserters have sprung the EP’s first single, “Country Radio”, onto an eager and growing fan base. Produced by former Carrie Underwood collaborator Jeff Huskins and recorded at the legendary Castle Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, “Country Radio” follows up on the enormous promise of her debut.
It’s a high octane rockabilly number peppered with some flashes of outright rock guitar. There’s an interesting contrast between the lyrical themes of desperation, disorientation, and defiance coming through opposing the almost manic nature of the music. There’s some light reverb applied to the guitars, but they otherwise sound clean, though overdriven. The difference comes in the way that the musicians attack their instruments. “Country Radio” plays like a song powered from a bottomless well of energy and lacks even a single dollop of pretension or self-indulgence.
Angie Bruyere has chosen her collaborators wisely, but her vocals and lyrical talents are the undisputed star of the show. The song isn’t produced or mixed in such a way that it highlights her at the expense of other elements, but her signature sound and style cuts through any efforts to make it one part of a greater whole. This is a voice that commands attention. Even longtime devotees of the genre won’t be able to help themselves from noticing how she seamlessly marries a variety of tones and approaches under one banner without ever straining for effect. Her lyrical talents touch on a number of standard situations/themes in the genre, but she finds new ways of restating those tropes and they gain added freshness from her delivery.
The song never overreaches in length. Clocking in at just over three minutes, it’s a model of construction that has listeners hitting the first chorus inside a minute. It doesn’t waste listener’s time with guitar solos that only aficionados clamor to hear in these songs anyway. This laser focus is reflected in the aforementioned lyrical approach – Bruyere keeps her goals modest and doesn’t overwrite. A lifetime spent honing her craft on notebook pages has resulted in the debut of an artist who’s development is astonishingly complete at an early age.
Songs like this restore faith. Angie and the Deserters are one of a handful of modern performers who’ve grasped the deceptively simple task of pouring new wine into old bottles and “Country Radio” is vivid evidence of that. Bruyere’s talents are immense.