American musician Jace Everett enjoyed delayed success with his song Bad Things after it was selected as the theme tune for HBO’s vampire series True Blood, which was based on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels. Originally released in 2005, the song started to achieve global success in 2009 and since then has help Everett reach an international audience with his music. With five albums under his belt, Everett’s last release was 2013’s Terra Rosa. Four years on from that and Everett has just released his sixth studio album Dust & Dirt.
UK fans got an early glimpse at the album in April when Everett performed a one-off show at The Water Rats. Lead single Woke Up in This Town opens the album with Everett’s deep tones drawing you in and setting the scene for 10-track collection full of variety. The song is one that is full of optimism and hope as Everett expresses a desire to move on from one situation and towards achieving the things he dreams of. Lyrically it’s a nice juxtaposition of reality versus fantasy.
Green Or Blue surprisingly softens the vibe as Everett delivers a love song. He sings of the unexpected arrival of love before admitting the effect it’s had on him. It’s a shift of gears for Everett and a side of him that we’re not used to seeing. Vocally he gives a softer performance and it’s a welcome sound from him. Rescue Me, one of the early highlights on the record, comes next as Everett sings of being trapped in a cycle that he can’t get out of. It’s a theme that’s easy to relate to and the urgency in his voice adds to the overall emotion of the song.
What We Do has an angry edge as Everett gives his take on the state of the world. The song was written after Everett watched one of the Presidential debates in the run-up to last year’s US Election. Many musicians shy away from infusing too much social commentary in their music but for Everett it further adds gravitas to his output.
Elsewhere on the record the stripped-back Free (Don’t Ask Me) contemplates what being ‘free’ in the modern world actually means, the acoustic-driven Golden Ring has a beautiful fragility driving it, and Someplace features a strong melody that could easily fit in on the radio should Everett decide to release it as a single in the future.
Dust & Dirt comes to a low-key finish with Last Gunfighter, which sounds like it was recorded completely live. Everett’s voice is the focus of the song’s organic sound and it’s an interesting track. It brings a surprising moment of calm and features some really wonderful guitar riffs.
Everett delivers on Dust & Dirt and the record could be his most accessible since Red Revelations. Everett paves his own path in music and he isn’t trying to be like anyone else, which is one of the reasons his output is always so compelling. On Dust & Dirt he shows many different sides to his abilities and talent, and for my money it’s his most intriguing body of work to date.
Track Listing: 1. Woke Up in This Town 2. Green Or Blue 3. Rescue Me 4. Under the Sun 5. Golden Ring 6. Someplace 7. Free (Don’t Ask Me) 8. What We Do 9. Lowlands 10. Last Gunfighter Record Label: Humphead Release Date: 19th May 2017