Album Review

Kelsey Waldon - There's Always a Song

From top to bottom, There's Always a Song is a masterful blend of a cappella intimacy and collaborative richness, offering a captivating journey through life's joys and sorrows.

Album - Kelsey Waldon - There's Always A Song
May 10, 2024 3:19 pm GMT

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Kelsey Waldon - There's Always a Song

Label: Oh Boy Records

Producer: Kelsey Waldon & Justin Francis

Release Date: May 10, 2024

Tracklisting:

1. Keep Your Garden Clean
2. Hello Stranger (with S.G. Goodman)
3. I Only Exist (with Isaac Gibson of 49 Winchester)
4. Uncle Pen (with Amanda Shires)
5. Pretty Bird
6. I’ve Endured
7. Traveling The Highway Home (with Margo Price)
8. Your Lone Journey

Kelsey Waldon's latest album, There's Always a Song, showcases the Kentucky-born artist's rural upbringing, capturing the essence of a fleeting life and the human experience. It’s a project that offers both raw a cappella pieces, as well as vibrant collaborations with some of country music's most respected artists.

The hauntingly beautiful ‘Keep Your Garden Clean’ sets the tone for themes of life and death, starting with the poignant lines, "Come all you pretty fair maids, who flourish in your prime." Meanwhile, ‘Pretty Bird’ unfolds with tenderness, telling the story of releasing a beloved bird into the wild. It’s a reflection on the passage of time and the inevitability of letting go, each line layered with emotion and highlighting the bittersweet essence of goodbyes.

Elsewhere, foot-stomping tracks such as ‘Hello Stranger,’ finds S.G Goodman adding her own unique depth and energy to the album. Likewise, There’s Always a Song includes the previously released duet with Margo Price covering ‘Traveling the Highway Home’, originally performed by The Grascals. This collaboration showcases the seamless blend of  Waldon's and Price's voices as their vocal chemistry adds depth to the track and makes it a standout piece.

‘I Only Exist,’ featuring 49 Winchester’s Isaac Gibson, offers a reflective pause, unfolding like a quiet afternoon on a porch swing. The languid pace invites contemplation on life's purpose after a breakup, with the melody carried by mournful twangs of steel guitars and gentle acoustic strumming. Similarly, ‘I've Endured’ slowly reflects on life's challenges and hardships, capturing the essence of resilience through reflective lyrics.

Serving as the quintessential example of classic country music, ‘Uncle Pen’ brims with lively energy, while also honoring the life and legacy of a beloved family member through its narrative lyrics. However, the album's final track, ‘Your Lone Journey,’ is perhaps the best example of heartfelt storytelling. Featuring a stripped-down, bare-bones composition, it explores the all too relatable theme of letting a loved one pass on. Despite its simplicity, it exudes grandeur and profound emotion.

From top to bottom, There's Always a Song is a masterful blend of a cappella intimacy and collaborative richness, offering a captivating journey through life's joys and sorrows.

9/10

Kelsey Waldon’s 2024 project, There’s Always a Song, is available May 10 via Thirty Tigers.

For more on Kelsey Waldon, see below:

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