Angie and the Deserters – You
EP Review of Angie and the Deserters: You
Led by the inimitable, engaging voice of Angie Bruyere, Angie and the Deserters have released their second EP this year, You. It’s the follow-up to Blood Like Wine, which I reviewed in September. Angie & the Deserters play a version of Americana that blends country and Western music, adding in a rocking edge from time to time. The Deserters are guitarists Kyle Stevens (Bang Tango) and Danny Hulsizer (Gutter Boy) along with pedal steel player Chris Lawrence. But it’s Angie’s voice that makes this band particularly special. It’s a gravelly type of breathy, and on some of the more rocking songs – notably “Forgetting to Forget” and “17 Days” – she almost seems to be channeling the energy of Chrissie Hynde. Indeed, once you hear the comparison, it’s impossible to unhear.
In fact, Angie’s voice sounds a lot like Chrissie Hynde with a hint of E.G. Daily (whose singing voice you may remember from her role as Phoebe’s former singing partner Leslie on Friends… or her turn on The Voice). And it’s that combination, when Angie’s voice occasionally unleashes a sexy, gravelly rock ‘n roll squeal for emphasis, that you’ll remember long after the disc is over.
The two catchiest tracks on this EP are the aforementioned “Forgetting to Forget” and “17 Days.” “Forgetting to Forget,” which builds to power with a soft edge and features emotional rock guitar bridges, is probably my favorite song on here, though “17 Days” is a close second. “17 Days” kicks off a bit more raucously, with insistent drumming, and carries that mid-tempo energy through to the end.
Sandwiched between those numbers is the title track, “You.” It’s an engaging waltz; yes, it’s a pure enough waltz that any fourth grader paying attention in music class would be able to identify it. It swoops and sways, punctuated with marching band-style drum accents and, of course, Angie’s voice rising, falling, providing emotion, and adeptly moving around the melody.
That’s not to say the rest of the disc isn’t fine, as well. The strumming and fiddling that open “Stay” set the mood for the EP; combined with a little twang and skillful plucking, it’s likely to be some listeners’ favorite gravelly crooner. Meanwhile, the more ominous “When the Nighttime Comes” and gentler “Goodbyes,” a revamped, more crossover-friendly version of the song that appeared on The Deserters’ West of the Night album, complete the EP, a terrific follow-up to Blood Like Wine.
In the short-term, I absolutely can’t wait for a chance to see Angie and the Deserters live if that opportunity presents itself. Longer-term, I can’t wait to hear what comes next, where these EPs lead Angie and her cohorts on the next step of their musical journey.