Music Review – Realize

Album: Realize
Artist: Tumbleweed Wanderers

The days are growing warmer, very warm where I live, and the grass and trees are becoming greener every day. It feels like summer is in the air and I am looking for my summer road trip music.

Tumbleweed Wanderers? album Realize is coming out just in time. To be released on June 9th, Realize is full of life and rich stories. Tumbleweed Wanderers is usually described as being Americana and rock, but there is also a smattering of blues, bluegrass, country, and funk. Their sound has been compared to Jack White and Wilco, but they remind me of The Trews and The Black Keys.

Coming from Oakland, California, Tumbleweed Wanderers have been busy sharing their music with audiences across North America since the formation of the band in 2011. They’ve opened for many musicians and bands, such as Angus Stone and The Revivalists, and they have even been featured at several music festivals in the US.

Overall, I really enjoyed this album, but, at times, the country influence was too strong for my taste. I expected the song “Pirates” to have more of a rock sound, and was surprised to hear that it didn’t. As well, “Restless” and “Easy Come” almost turned me off the album altogether because of the very strong country sound. But “Bad Blood”, “Into The Mines”, and “Ghosts” saved this album for me. As well, the seamless transition between songs is a feature that I always enjoy on an album.

“Bad Blood” is my favourite song on this album. I love the harsh vocals and the accompanying music that feels restrained?until it is let loose at the climax of the song. Very similar to songs by Jack White, I find that this song also makes me think of a James Bond movie opening song. The song has some wonderful suspenseful emotion behind it, and the gritty guitar and drums are perfect for the song.

“Into The Mines” is less rock and more folk?with interesting electronic effects. To me it feels like the story in the song is being told from memory as the electronic effects add a surreal touch to the sound. As well, I love the guitar solo that abruptly ends as the song transitions to the next track. If you weren’t paying attention then you would never notice that “Into The Mines” had ended.

“Ghosts” is dark with a macabre sense of fun. The lyrics are told from the perspective of the ghost that is haunting someone, which I found unusually refreshing. The music is simple, yet grand, with the traditional rock instruments accompanied by a piano, cello, and violin, adding to the otherworldly feel.

And once again the music from “Ghosts” gently fades into the final track on the album “Real Eyes”. This final track lasts for over 8 minutes and the music defies any genre. The combination of jazz, country, rock, folk, and blues results in a stunningly beautiful end to the album.

I may not have enjoyed the country influence at times, but Tumbleweed Wanderers? album Realize is full of gems just waiting to be discovered. And if you are looking for some music to listen to while basking in the soon-to-be summer sun, I highly recommend checking out Realize.

Samantha Stevens is an aspiring writer who loves combining her love for literature with photography, painting, music, and all creative pursuits.

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