Deer Tick release their new album, ‘Emotional Contracts’ this month which has additional guest musicians like Steve Berlin of Los Lobos. This Americana alternative indie rock quartet have stated that the subject matter is concerned with growing older and the finality of life while maintaining an overall sense of informed hopefulness,

The album opens with the wistful `If I Try to Leave` a bluesy rock reverie about the importance of family as we grow older. I read that `Forgiving Ties` is about just trying to stay afloat amidst adversity and although it has a pretty light and bright rolling sound there is that touch of anxiety within.

`Grey Matter` is a much more brooding offering that begins quietly before picking up pace with some intricate guitar work shared on route. It seems to be a kind of `carpe diem` or forget the past and make the best of the time you have left rumination. We enjoy a further deep number in `If She Could Only See Me Now` a kind of bar room bluesy tinged ballad with tinkling piano keys and some horns splayed throughout.

There`s a real intensity to `Running From Love` a thoughtful soulful slow burn with some really sweet backing vocals and a lead vocal that encapsulates the pain felt by the narrator`s unfulfilled passion. I read that the jaunty `Once in a Lifetime` is a “song about how when you see an opportunity you need to take it, because time is always running out.” It has that part midway through that is made for singing along to.

`Disgrace `is a real toe tapper with a rhythmic drum beat and organ keys where I wasn`t sure if the storyteller was sharing a dream reflecting on a relationship that went south after an indiscretion committed by their former partner. I thought that `My Ship` was a power ballad in the same vein as Bread`s big early seventies hit `Baby I’m-a Want You` but with a deeper vocal and a touch more upbeat.

`A Light Can Go Out in the Heart` is a pretty melancholic reflection made all the more poignant with a lilting organ, whispered harmonies and lonesome guitar solo. The album closes out with `The Real Thing` which runs at around nine minutes and is pretty ambitious but didn`t feel overly long. A song that gave the impression that it had to be made and was fairly cathartic for those involved. A pretty momentous listen to end on.

There`s plenty of variety on `Emotional Contracts’ and for me the closing track `The Real Thing` really resonated but I think I’ll need to give the album a few more listens before it really seeps into my soul.

I`m sure then it will become a real emotional contract or bond.



Rating 8 /10

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