Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors: Chasing Someday
- Article by: Matt Dodson
- Posted: 02/11/2011
I feel like the winter of 2011 should be dubbed “The Season of the Nashville Artist.”
We saw the rise (explosion, rather) of The Civil Wars, Matt Wertz prepping for another album release, Apache Relay hosting Mumford and Sons for one of the coolest house parties in this city’s history … Even local grads Ke$ha and Kings of Leon are ruling the national airwaves.
So what else is new in Nashville this winter? Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors’ incredible new album, Chasing Someday, which has been rocking the iTunes charts just below The Civil Wars for the past two weeks, reaching number eight overall.
I grew up in the days of the Matchbox Twenties and Lifehouses of the world, so I/m a sucker for good, old-fashioned radio rock. When that radio rock has hooks as catchy and lyrics as intelligent as Drew’s band offers, let’s just say I’m sold.
From the first chorus of “Fire and Dynamite,” the very first time I heard Drew’s strong but relaxing voice intone, “You are a novel in a sea of magazines,” I was enamored with his accessible turns of phrase. Not to say anything bad about magazines, of course – I do work for one after all – but with metaphors this good, an album is bound to catch my ear.
Then, the energetic and hooky guitar riff that opens “Anywhere But Here” (the album’s second track) reeled me in for good. From there, I was just along for the ride, enjoying every single song. Many of the lyrics could pass on Christian radio, but none of the songs is overtly religious, and a person of any creed could easily relate when Drew sings, “Laughter is the only thing that’ll keep you sane in this world that’s crying more and more every day.”
The album is solid and consistent, with sensitive moments dropped in right where they need to be to keep the energy going while exposing the album’s depth. Even through the minor-key verses of ballads like “Hourglass,” the sound is always new and intriguing, and I found myself anxiously awaiting every cymbal crash.
This depth has clearly translated well into a polished product, and fans are responding, to say the least. After hovering around the fringes of a breakout for a couple years, Chasing Someday is definitely hot right now, selling records and bringing in big audiences for the band’s shows. The Neighbors began a tour in support of Marc Broussard February 15, but have been attracting audiences of their own as well.
Some of my favorite songs are those with one or two lines that actually gave me chills. “Someday” resonates with me because I can relate (who can’t?) when Drew sings, “We take a ride through the city; I play some music to ease your broken heart.” The metaphors of “Fire and Dynamite” and the simple phrasing of “Miracle” are stellar as well.
But the most stirring moment comes at the album’s close, as “Weight of the World” winds down. Already an emotionally charged song, it shuts off the album’s lights with the lines, “All our desires caught the world on fire. We made love as we watched it all burn. It was the only thing left to do.”
As soon as the strings faded and the final guitar chord dissolved, I had to sit for a moment processing the impact of the song. I was rather awed.
So yeah, I guess it’s safe to say I enjoyed Chasing Someday, and all the great songs East Nashvillians Drew Holcomb, his wife Ellie and the rest of the Neighbors have created. Check out this timeless Nashville band if you get a chance, and you will be glad you did. Their songs have energy and catchy melodies balanced by enough poetic and philosophic depth to keep you thinking.
Only want to spend a few dollars? That’s OK too; give “Fire and Dynamite,” “Someday” and “Anywhere But Here” a shot, and do what you can to support another of this city’s best up-and-comers.