Album Of The Week: Applewood Road – Applewood Road

Applewood Road - Applewood Road

Just to say: I still haven’t heard Kanye’s album yet, but even if I had and it was brillant I’d still pick Applewood Road‘s debut as our ‘Album Of The Week.’

The trio comprised of Emily Barker, Amber Rubarth and Amy Speace met for the first time in September 2014 at a cafe in East Nashville. By the next morning, they had put the finishing touches on their first song, “Applewood Road”, which they recorded live to tape at Nashville’s all analogue studio, Welcome to 1979.

The song’s nostalgic air, along with the clear, sparse arrangement of three vocals accompanied by double bass, drew an immediate positive response, and they decided to expand the idea into a full album.

Six months later, they reconvened to write, rehearse and record songs for the self-titled album Applewood Road. The songs were again performed live around a single microphone at Welcome to 1979 and recorded to two-track tape with minimal accompaniment from some of Nashville’s finest session players, including Aaron Lee Tasjan, Josh Day, Fats Kaplin, Jabe Beyer, and Telisha Williams.

The tapes were assembled at London’s most exclusive high-end mastering suite, Gearbox Records, mastered through their vintage analogue outboard, and lacquers cut in-house on their own Heaco lathe.

On Applewood Road, the trio creates many different moods ranging from the beautiful, atmospheric “Home Fires” to the reflective “Josephine,” there’s the tender love song “Give Me Your Love” and straight up Country “ Lovin’ Eyes”. The production is slick yet not over produced as the trio deconstructs country/ bluegrass to its barest essentials. The incredible title track is a testament to this, the wonderfully minimalistic song features just the threesomes delicate harmonies and an enormous double bass. Listeners should make sure to hear other highlights “To the Stars,” “Old Country Song” and “Honey Won’t You”.

With Applewood Road, there is such a simple aesthetic to their music — it’s relaxing, enjoyable and perfect for these cold winter days where all you want to do is snuggle up inside and play some music that takes you far from the outside world.

There’s really nothing at all to skip over on this album. Every single track on it is a must listen. And that’s why this album will be one of the top projects of the year.

9/10

 

Applewood Road’s self-titled album is out now (buy)

CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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