Roanoke Releases LP of Pure Americana Goodness


Cowboy hats, banjos, and denim shirts are all part of the stereotypical aesthetic of Americana music. With roots in country, folk and blues, the Americana movement is a conglomerate genre that blends both the cultural and musical aspects of the South, a place that is famously known for its pickup trucks and heartbroken cowboys.

Almost everywhere that isn’t the South, what passes as “Americana” in the mainstream is viewed with a somewhat mocking tone — artists like Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton retain an artificial persona that is nothing short of a country caricature.

Roanoke Restores Faith in Americana

However, bands like Roanoke are working to restore our faith in country music. With the release of their self-titled debut album, the band sets forth an honest approach to Americana, which is relatable to even the most anti-country East Coasters, such as myself.

Far from being a country fan, I find it hard to relate to the lyrical content of popular country music. Yet, somehow I found myself identifying with some of the topics discussed within this album. This is probably because Roanoke’s transparency is so persistent throughout the record; the simplicity in which the band introduces itself is enough for anyone to fall for.

Roanoke has a special place in all of our hearts as it is our introduction into the world,” said the band of its release. “It’s our best foot forward and our shot in the dark.

“We’ve worked countless hours on this record, poured our hearts into this record, relocated and grown together because of this record, and we are all a family because of this record. It means so much to all of us to finally have a way to include listeners on our journey, which is only just beginning.”

The album opens with “Jordan,” a track that depicts the ins and outs of struggling with one’s faith. Although the track incorporates religious themes, the lyrics can easily be seen through a secular lens.

Lyrics like, “Jordan won’t you save me / I’m barely holding on / Jordan, can’t you hear me / take my faith and bring me home” provide an uplifting atmosphere that illustrates one’s journey to restoring faith when all hope seems gone. The chemistry between lead singers Joey Beesley and Taylor Dupuis is evident as they weave smooth harmonies throughout the track; their voices complement each other so well that they meld together as one.

Tracks like “The Light” and “This Love” show off the band’s country roots, with banjos, string instruments, and the well-known sound of a slide guitar coming together in a cheerful jamboree.

As the album continues, the songs start to get deeper. While most country songs seem to commercialize the theme of heartbreak, Roanoke grapple with themes of pain and love that don’t include chugging Coors Light into the deep hours of the night.

“Heavy Goodbyes” is a track that is sincerely melancholic, including lyrics like “You won’t ever cross my mind / between the morning coffee and the midnight wine / so lay me down with tears in your eyes / don’t waste your time on heavy goodbyes.”

Roanoke does a great job of steering clear from the tiresome country stereotype and instead brings something wholesome and pure to the table in Roanoke, making even the most non-country believers relate to their music.

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