With each track standing on its own merits, On the Ranch is as classic as they come.
Emily Nenni wanted to run away. Working a restaurant job during Covid, she felt the stress piling up like dirty dishes. So, she fled and took refuge from the world on a Colorado ranch, where producer Mike Eli’s wife was herding cattle. The expansive countryside proved to be exactly what she needed. She recharged her soul and finished writing what soon became a good ole fashioned honky tonk record. On the Ranch was born out of this creative rebirth.
Her second studio effort is brimming with classic tones. From knee-slappin’ opener ‘Can Chaser’ to ‘Get on with It''s traditional guitar swirls, the 10-song set feels ripped from a bygone era, when Tanya Tucker and Merle Haggard ruled the roost. While Nenni navigates her rhinestone-stitched style with natural agility, what sets her apart from the crowd is razor-sharp penmanship.
“Out on the ranch to avoid my troubles / Looks like I’ve got double,” she sings on the title track, cracking open a few cold brews on the front porch to ruminate on life. Nenni threads such hand-sewn, home-grown imagery throughout the entire record. “I’ll greet you at the gates of hell / I’ll be the one punching the tickets,” she lights a match to a toxic relationship on ‘Gates of Hell’.
On ‘Leavin’,’ she spins an intimate conversation with an ex-lover. “I haven’t missed you / You haven’t missed me / And I’m just leavin’”, finally putting the relationship to bed for good. Nenni reaches the pinnacle of her storytelling with ‘The Rooster and the Hen’, an allegorical glimpse into a relationship gone sour; “He blamed all his faults on the happy hen / Tell her he was leaving / not to come back again” she sings, cutting to the heart of romance and heartbreak.
With each track standing on its own merits, On the Ranch is as classic as they come. Nenni excels in every moment, her voice fluttering amongst the ornate arrangements as she forges an album of tremendous heart and great attention to detailed songwriting. This is only the beginning for Emily Nenni; a long career stretches out before her.
9.0 / 10.
Emily Nenni's 2022 album, On the Ranch, is released on November 4th via New West Records. You can purchase the record from one of Holler's selected partners below: