A band whose mystique and experimentation have earned themselves a solid following over the past few years, The Americans have cemented themselves as one of the most intriguing acts hailing from the Americana scene. Gaining traction with their prior release Stand True, the pulsating group have continued to impress, with the release of their EP Strays providing the swift follow-up fans so desperately desired. Continuing their hot streak of hard-hitting albums, their latest effort, Strays sees the enigmatic outfit extend beyond their gritty soundscape, as they embrace their diversity and begin to occupy more contemporary territories.
While the band’s trademark touches carry over into the new EP, Strays is also drawn towards more conventional sounds, resulting in a body of work which combines multiple influences, but ultimately remains both relatable and accessible. Songs such as lead the lead single “When You Get Back,” provides a great example of this new direction, with its bold and spacious mix paving the way for some nostalgic chords and Americana-rock grooves which help inject a sense of nostalgia into the tracks. In comparison, the energetic second single “Kingdom” comes alive with its catchy chorus, and infectious guitar work containing all the hallmarks of a smash release.
Bringing their dynamic approach to the table, it should come as no surprise that the band alternate between differing production styles throughout the record.
Among the changes in tempo which occur throughout, the band succeed in creating a textured Americana ambience which shines through within every listen. This diverse approach sees the band fluctuate throughout the release, allowing them to adeptly dictate the mood of each track.v
Throughout out the course of the last several years, The Americans have an impressive amount of accolades to their name. The band has backed Nick Cave, Lucinda Williams, Ashley Monroe, and Devendra Banhart, and joined Ryan Bingham on four national tours. They worked closely with Jack White and T Bone Burnett, joining Nas, Elton John, and Alabama Shakes in the PBS/BBC primetime series American Epic. They have appeared on The Late Show (CBS), and their music was featured in the films Texas Killing Fields, A Country Called Home, Little Glory, and the TV series No Tomorrow.
By expanding on the sombre mystique of their previous work, the release of Strays sees The Americans explore a new, poetic avenue, helping diversify what was already an incredible range of songwriting. Oscillating between hope and despair, the enigmatic band have delivered a varied production style which builds a unique and worthwhile sound. Strays solidifies themselves as one of Americana rock’s hottest properties.