Flatt Lonesome – Silence in These Walls
The cool, confident course that Silence in These Walls through its twelve songs is born from a musical vision that’s uniquely sure of itself. Flatt Lonesome, nominally led by Paul Harrigill and Kelsi Robertson-Harrigill, are a six member outfit who has experienced considerable commercial and critical success since they first emerged on the scene in 2013. Four albums later, their latest release Silence in These Walls finds them moving far past their origins as a prodigiously talented pastiche into an altogether different world where they are producing quality original material that revamps the traditional sound, even incorporating inspirational tunes, without ever finding itself beholden to following its formulas lockstep. This development has landed them on stages like the Grand Old Opry, brought chart success, and garnered them impressive awards. They make great use of the past in their music, but Flatt Lonesome do something more – they pour old wine into new bottles with an artistry few will miss.
Silence in These Walls kicks off with “All My Life” and it isn’t exactly the rambunctious opener you might hope for. It does, however, make you abundantly clear about Flatt Lonesome’s intentions – they are a talented band in every conceivable facet of their presentation. The harmony vocals make it easier to swallow the song’s melancholy. “It’s Just Sad” is a meditative tune in a much different way – there’s a balanced amble to the way this moves and it glides along within a relatively brief duration with an abundance of melody and color. “Build Me a Bridge” moves away from the classic country sound and dirties things up with a bluesy acoustic drag that never surrenders its melodic potential. Buddy Robertson’s voice is the dominant vocal instrument on this song, but he benefits from key contributions on backing vocals. The tempo picks up slightly for the song “I’m Not Afraid to Be Alone”, but it still shares many of the characteristics common to ballads and Charli Robertson’s singing does a superb job of realizing the emotive potential thanks to the lyrics.
“Draw Me Near” is one of the spiritually inclined songs on Silence in These Walls that makes no great ballyhoo about its religious leanings but, instead, speaks from the heart both lyrically and musically. The later “Happy ‘Til He Comes” mines the same territory with even more entertaining results and radiates an abiding, soft soulfulness that doesn’t make demands or challenge the listener. We’re treated to the album’s finest ballad, however, with the heartbroken track “Gently Please Tell Me Goodbye” and Paul Harrigill’s writing beautifully embodies the emotion in music as well as lyrically. “Falling” is the final original from Flatt Lonesome included on the release and it has a light touch while showing off another entertaining side of their musical character. There’s something for everyone who loves roots music and Americana on Silence in These Walls and the quality of this release seems to be ideal for pushing the band to a higher level than ever before. The third or fourth album for a lot of musical acts usually proves to be the first peak in many to come, if they have that sort of staying power, and there’s no reason to hear or see why Flatt Lonesome won’t continue to entertain and comfort our hearts and ears for years to come.