For the longest time when we’d hear someone bring up Americana music, we’d generally yawn. The genre is full of artists who are amazing songwriters or amazing musicians, and sometimes they meet together-though sometimes like with most genres-they don’t. What gets called Americana or what we get presented with many times isn’t the shot of adrenaline the genre has needed for a good while. However with Molly Tuttle, that all changes. Aside from the awards she’s won for her guitar playing skills, her new full length When You’re Ready adds touches of pop and even more importantly, impeccable playing ability to a sound that’s hard not to fall for.
There’s tons of precision here, mostly due to Tuttle’s strong abilities as a player. However, with opener “Million Miles,” it become painfully obvious that Tuttle has figured out a way to incorporate that award winning playing ability into a tenderness and not something robotic or formulaic. The way the picking intertwines with her sweet voice, the Appalachian notes and bends that swirl within the stride offer the catchy sound that the Americana genre has needed for the longest time. That, is the preface for this album. It’s done at the highest level of craftsmanship, but the songs have just enough shine to be catchy, though they don’t sound like they were worked on by a team.
“Take the Journey” has a foot stomping stride that keeps it in your head days after it first plays. We found ourselves humming it well after the first pass through. “High Road” has the feel of a song penned by an elder statesmen, though Tuttle quickly brings a softer side with her tender voice, where the anguish within seeps through like a leak through sheet rock. “Light Came In (Power Went Out)” has the kind of energy you’d expect from a country act, but it’s not a country song. Molly Tuttle has figured out the key to have pop structures fall within Americana and still sound genuine. It all works here, so much so that slower tracks like “Don’t Let Go” and “Sleepwalking” will just melt your heart rather than turn you away.
You can stream When You’re Ready on all streaming sites, you can purchase it in all digital music retailers, and you can pick the album up in multiple formats directly from Compass Records. Molly Tuttle will be on tour tonight at the Savannah Music Festival in Savannah, GA until August 31 at Four Corners Folk Festival in Pagosa Springs, CO. All of her upcoming appearances can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Alysse Gafkjen.