Review: Colter Wall looks to his roots and inspirations on his latest effort

Colter Wall Facebook | Photo Courtesy
Wall’s first album in nearly two years is a short, sweet collection of songs

The album delivers a blend of new tracks with classic covers

Colter Wall is the definition of a “different” sounding artist. Born in the countryside of Saskatchewan, Canada, Wall’s baritone voice delivers a country twang that harkens back to western music before “pop country” took over the charts.

This “different” sound is what has kept his core fanbase coming back to him with every new project released. Colter Wall can be recognized by his notable use of the harp, fiddle, and other “old-time” instruments that have been replaced by bass kits and beat producers. Three studio albums in, Wall is still improving his distinct sound and taking it in directions we haven’t seen before.

The album, Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs is a trim ten tracks long. Clocking in at a mere 33 minutes, it’s on par with Wall’s tendency to leave his fans wanting more, yet still satisfied that they were given new music in the first place.

Wall’s low-rumbling and Southern sound are just some of the elements that set him apart from the rest of the crowd. Known for his original touching, and yet clever lyrics, the artist decided to change things up this time by beginning to pay tribute to his predecessors.

This time around, the project contains a significant amount of covers, or as he calls them, “Punchy Songs”. Some covers include western classics such as “Big Iron” and “I Ride an Old Paint” that harken back to the earliest sounds of western music.

Wall has distinct inspirations in the music industry that most other artists don’t look to. Wall grew up on western music of the past, which also tends to be primarily heard in western television shows. He also turns to various elements of newer folk and bluegrass music.

With the album containing a multitude of cover tracks, it tends to take away from his original music at times. While it’s not bad that he wishes to pay tribute to some of his biggest inspirations that encouraged him to follow his musical path, many can agree that his original music is more enthralling. Rather than creating a mold to shape his voice and sound, he attempts to fit in someone else’s from a specific time before.

Despite the honorable cover songs, the album is bound to hold his fans over for another year or more until his next project. By refusing to conform to the stereotypical, modern-day sound of country music, Wall is continuing to build his modern-day sound from the ground up. Only time will tell if he begins to bend to the will of others for mainstream success. In the meantime, his primary fanbase seems to be more than satisfied with what he’s delivered.

At the young age of 25, Wall is sure to have a long and satisfying career ahead of him, as he picks up more fans with every release. His music may not be for everyone, but anyone interested in expanding their musical palette and exploring another time in our country’s musical sound should check out Wall’s new album.

Review: 4/5

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