More than a year after its most recent in-person event, Delta Rae is scheduled to holds its next in-person event. The band is scheduled to hold a free event dubbed “The Light + The Dark Happy Hour at 5 p.m. Friday at Living Waters Brewery in Nashville, TN. The free beer-tasting event is meant to celebrate the debut of two new drinks inspired by the band’s album’s The Light (2020) and its follow-up, The Dark, which the band released March 19. Nashville, TN-based record store Grimey’s New and Pre-loved Music will be on hand for the event, selling copies of each album. The Dark, released through Never Say Die Records, is a successful new offering from the band. Additionally, it is an equally positive companion piece to The Light. That is due to the album’s musical and lyrical content. the record’s musical arrangement continue to show the evolution of the band’s hybrid Americana/pop sound while its lyrical themes are themselves diverse. One of the most notable entries that shows the impact of the album’s overall content comes midway through its 12-song body in the form of ‘Shadows of Vegas.’ This song will be discussed shortly. ‘Pay No Rent,’ which closes out the album, is another notable entry in this latest offering from Delta Rae. It will be discussed a little later. The socially conscious ‘All Good People (ft. Vocal Rush)’ is yet another way in which the album’s musical and lyrical content proves so important to the album’s presentation. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album. When they are considered with the rest of the album’s presentation, they make the record another work that Delta Rae’s fans will agree is a success.
Delta Rae’s latest album, The Dark (its fourth album), is a presentation that the band’s established audiences will agree is another successful outing for the band. That is proven from the album’s opening to its end through its musical and lyrical content. One of the songs that best serves to support the noted statements comes halfway through the album in the form of ‘Shadows of Vegas.’ The song’s musical arrangement is the epitome of heavy without being heavy. The simplicity of the vocals and piano line that serve as the arrangement’s foundation makes for such depth. The addition of the choral approach that the rest of the band adds deepens the song even more. What is really interesting here is that as the song progresses, the addition of the guitar, bass, and drums conjures thoughts of works from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Clearly, there is a lot going on here, looking at all of this, but the band and those behind the boards are to be commended for bringing it all together and making it whole. The end product is a composition that is one of the album’s best. The sense of melancholy that the arrangement exhibits does well to help translate the seeming message in the song’s lyrical theme.
The lyrical theme that seems to be presented here is a social commentary. Specifically, the commentary focuses on the challenges that face everyday people. It is all presented in allegorical fashion, using the influence of Las Vegas as the center of that commentary. It is an original way to address the challenges that people face, too. The whole thing opens in the lead verse and chorus, which state, “Drive all night through a sleepless desert/Neon lights like a northern star/I could ride these roads forever/Babe, we’re never gonna get that far/’Cause the odds are stacked in their favor/We’re just working for a rich man’s crumbs/Get so far into the darkness/Forget where you’re coming from/And we’re standing in the shadows of Vegas/Yes, we’re/dancing at the edges of thе city of sin/Everyday we try to play the hand wе’re given/But the house always wins.” Again, what audiences get here is an allegory of sorts here equating everything in life to gambling, and the odds being at times very overwhelming, thus the use of Las Vegas as its center. The song’s second verse adds even more to that seeming allegorical commentary as it states, “And the banks became casinos/And they anted up our homes/Golden parachutes filled up the sky/That’s when I knew we were alone.” The mention of homes would seem to hint at the housing bubble that burst back in the mid 2000s. All things considered here, this seeming overall commentary proves itself to be a unique approach to a familiar lyrical theme across the musical universe. The really good thing here is that it did not just go the full melancholy route that it could have taken. Rather, it took a more heartfelt approach. The same can be said of the approach taken to the song’s musical arrangement. Keeping all of that in mind, the overall presentation here makes clear why ‘Shadows of Vegas’ one of the most notable additions to The Dark. It is just one of the songs that exhibits the impact of the album’s musical and lyrical content. ‘Pay No Rent’ is yet another example of that impact.
‘Pay No Rent’ is a touching, folk style song whose celebratory approach will touch listeners at the deepest level. The dichotomy of the simplicity in the verses and more energetic approach to the verses adds even more to that impact. The overall approach makes for a good accent to the song’s seeming lyrical theme that apparently comments on the acceptance of one’s mortality.
The noted suspected theme is inferred in the song’s lead verse and chorus, as they state, “When my time comes/Put me under the ivy/Next to the willow/In my parents’ garden/Let the flowers grow from my body/Out in the fields where the children run/Oh, I won’t pay no rent/For the land that I’m under/I won’t feel any pain/I won’t know any hunger/So don’t cry for me/Cause Lord I’m free.” It continues in the song’s second, brief verse, which states, “When my time comes/Think of the living/Be good to your neighbors/And ask for forgiveness.” The verses that follow (three in all) are similar in style. Between those verses and everything presented in these first two verses, the seeming theme becomes even more certain. Add in the fact that few people like having to address their mortality and that makes this song even more notable. It is not the first time that Delta Rae has addressed mortality. They addressed it some years ago in the even more touching ‘Dance in the Graveyard.’ However, this song is not just a rehashing of its predecessor. To that end, this song lyrically becomes that much more important to the album’s overall picture. When it is paired with its musical counterpart, the whole makes the song that much more memorable an addition to the album. It is still just one more song that shows the album’s strength. ‘All Good People (ft. Vocal Rush)’ is yet another key entry in this record.
The musical arrangement featured in this song and its lyrical content partner to present the song very much in the vein of a spiritual, adding to the song’s impact even more. At one point in the song, there is even a throw back to the timeless song ‘Amazing Grace.’
The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement is a clear social statement in response to everything that happened nationwide in 2020 with the protests that happened. The band addressed the song’s lyrical content in a prepared statement.
”We are running full tilt in search of true Justice, not a deified force who upholds unjust law,” the statement reads. “We hope you’ll run with us. Everyone is at different points in this journey — some people have been sprinting for longer than we’ve been alive, and so many are desperately tired. Wherever you are on the road, we hope you see yourself reflected in this video. It’s up to All Good People to continue to carry the fire. Vote. Wear a mask. No doom-scrolling. Take care of yourselves this week. Hold up each other.”
When the statement in this song is paired with its musical arrangement, the whole here makes just as clear why this song is also a key addition to The Dark. For all of the darkness presented throughout this record, it really is its own ray of light, much like ‘Pay No Rent.’ It puts a positive light (no pun intended) on such a dark topic. Keeping this in mind, this song and the others examined here work with the rest of the album’s songs and make the album in whole that much stronger and worth hearing.
Delta Rae’s recently released album, The Dark is a surprisingly engaging and entertaining new offering from the neo-folk/Americana act that got its start in Durham, North Carolina. Its success comes through its musical and lyrical content. All three of the songs examined here serve well to support the noted statements. When those songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole becomes a work that Delta Rae’s establishes audiences will enjoy just as much as any Americana and folk fan. The Dark is available now.
More information on The Dark is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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