Tracy Ford is the kind of front woman whose presence pours over the songs she writes. The exceptional new album Long Shadow Day by The Crags showcases Ford’s prolific songwriting, which she backs up with commanding vocals and solid guitar playing. She is supported by Dan Leek (upright bass), John Ford (drums) and Tim Lillyquist (lead guitar) who are nothing to scoff at.
The album is a good mix between country, surf, rock and a couple of sub-genres in between. They do a good job weaving it all together so the album doesn't feel too inconsistent. In general they use the same palette of sound, which centers on twangy guitars.
My minor gripe with the album is the length. At fourteen songs and no filler I was getting antsy by the tenth track. Knocking off about three of the weaker links in my opinion would have made the experience a bit more powerful and impressionable. That being said the songwriting is rather consistent throughout the whole album.
I could easily make a case for the song “Walida” being the highlight of the album. It is an arguable statement but would definitely be within the top three with anyone who has a decent taste in music. “Walida” is a simple song but also contains a chorus you won’t be forgetting anytime soon after you hear it. It’s ridiculously catchy and was up there and in some ways reminded me of other female fronted band like The Bangles or Heart.
Some songs like “Lame” are “Baby ‘n’ Wine” are quality surf songs. I really enjoyed the guitar tone they got on these tracks and was obvious they did their homework. Ford’s vocals on both songs are easy to enjoy. There is some intangible quality in her voice that reminded of females singers from the ‘70s
“It Ain’t Funny” switches up vocal duties while “Moratorium” is an infectious song done in a punk rock style minus the distortion. Not every song hits it out of the park but I can’t say there were any that made me cringe.
Overall, there is some really great material here that you should check out. Recommended.
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