Natalie Hemby - "Puxico"

With five number ones under her belt as well as a string of other cuts from some of country musics biggest artists, Natalie Hemby is arguably better known as a song-writer rather than a singer in her own right. This is set to change with the release of her album Puxico on Friday 13th. Primarily angled towards an Americana sound with a traditional country edge, Puxico is a cohesive and generally outstanding album.

Whilst the album as a whole is incredibly strong, a few songs in particular stood out for me. One of which is Grand Restoration, a distinctly listenable track which seems to suit Natalie very well. Led by a continuous acoustic guitar hook, Grand Restoration is a catchy track and one listeners will certainly want to hear again and again.

The sincere emotion behind I'll Remember How You Loved Me is what is sure to really draw listeners to the track. The sombre production rounds out a song that is truly all about the thought-provoking lyrics and Natalie's heartfelt, emotive vocal delivery. With a bittersweet central story-line portrayed through lines like "when I'm sure that I knew exactly how the story went, I will forget" and then paired with the central "I'll remember how you loved me", the emotion is palpable throughout what is, put simply, a truly gorgeous track.

I also found myself really liking the imagery behind Ferris Wheel. The song paints a vivid picture that gives a compelling alternate look at travelling through life's ups and downs. With an overall sound reminiscent of what listeners heard on Sheryl Crow's Feels Like Home album, Ferris Wheel mixes various instrumental lines to create a strong overall instrumentalisation which builds a base for Natalie's vocals at sit comfortably above.

Interestingly managing to push the boundaries of the overall sound whilst remaining a cohesive part of the album, This Town Still Talks About You intrigued me when it was initially previewed a few weeks ago as part of the led up to the album's release and continues to be one of my favourites. The contrast between the main reoccurring hook and Natalie's vocal tone works incredibly well and the song as a whole once again showcases her song-writing talent as well as the talent of the song-writers that she has decided to surround herself with.

Track listing....
1) Time Honored Tradition - Natalie Hemby, Trent Dabbs
2) Lovers On Display - Natalie Hemby, Trent Dabbs
3) Grand Restoration - Natalie Hemby, Trent Dabbs
4) Cairo, IL - Natalie Hemby, Jonathan Lawson, Cassandra Lawson
5) Ferris Wheel - Natalie Hemby, Lindsay Chapman
6) Worn - Natalie Hemby, Lindsay Chapman
7) This Town Still Talks About You - Natalie Hemby, Kelly Archer, Jenn Schott
8) I'll Remember How You Loved Me - Natalie Hemby, Jon Randall
9) Return - Natalie Hemby, Trent Dabbs

With the release of Puxico Natalie Hemby has marked herself as a distinctly talented artist in her own right. I must commend Natalie for being brave enough to not gravitate to releasing versions of tracks of hers that other artists have cut, each of the tracks on Puxico stands impressively strongly on it's own as well as coming together to create a highly appealing listen. I am incredibly impressed by this outstanding album, it manages to sound completely natural and personal to Natalie whilst still being relatable to a wider audience. Puxico is one of the first releases of the year but I am already sure we will look back on it as one of the strongest.

Credit to Kate York for the photo of Natalie!