Guthrie Brown is an up and coming artist that’s recently been making waves in the Nashville music scene. That ever-wavering arrow of success seems to be pointed in the right direction for this eccentric boy from the sprawling plains of eastern Montana, as he demonstrates on his latest EP release, Natural.
Having followed Guthrie’s music career since he was a young lad, I was excited to listen to what he could do in a professional setting, having a Grammy-winning producer in Jaquire King (Kings of Leon, Norah Jones, Of Monsters and Men) at his disposal. Guthrie provides lead vocals and guitar and is joined on the album by his wickedly talented band mates Will Honaker (bass, keys), John McNally (guitar), and John Ogelby (drums). The chemistry between these four is apparent.
Guthrie Brown and his band of merry men have created a unique blend of pop, rock, country, blues, folk, and alternative styles that gives the listener a wide range of experiences. The opening track ‘Stay Gold’ is an immediate invitation to get up and dance your ass off. It’s an upbeat tune with distorted guitars that dance around a solid bass line. Brown employs a melodic and smooth singing voice with just a touch of rasp to add an underlying layer of rock and roll grit. This was a perfect introduction to the EP that left me wanting more. The music video that accompanies it, a tribute to Netflix’s Stranger Things, has the same infectious vibe and youthful enthusiasm.These guys know really know how to throw down some dance worthy tracks, and the titletrack ‘Natural’ is another example of this. This track features a smooth drumbeat, a grooving bass line, and a couple of killer guitar solos - not to mention a Tom Petty reference!
I find one of the strongest features of this album to be Brown's lyricism. Brown provides the listener with short stories of youthful ambition and fresh beginnings. I think this is most apparent on his more country/folk inspired songs ‘Wild Child’ and ‘Day to Day.’ Both songs paint vivid images of youthful narrators and their adventures and misadventures as they traverse into adulthood, accented by an acoustic guitar and wailing slide guitar. “You say I’m older and that I should know, / where I have been and where I’m planning I will go. / But that’s so heavy for a young boy like me, / cause I’m itching for a life without responsibilities,” Brown sings in the opening bars of ‘Day to Day.’ I’m a sucker for lyric heavy-music and Brown employs a prose-like style in a similar vein as Bruce Springsteen or Neil Young. You can tell that Brown's grown up immersed in these sorts of songs and tales: “I’ve heard stories, / most of them boring, / about makin' bread from nine to five. / I’m on a journey, / but you can join me, / we could cross that county line,” Brown belts out in ‘Wild Child.’
This EP is well worth your time and money. I’m excited for what’s next on the horizon for this group, to see what they can do in the context of a full-length album. Natural is available for on Spotify or iTunes or the band’s profile page. Be on the lookout for tour dates in a city near you to see a killer live show as well.