Nashville quintet Old Dominion consists of Matthew Ramsey (lead vocals), Trevor Rosen (guitar, keyboards), Whit Sellers (drums), Geoff Sprung (bass guitar), and Brad Tursi (guitar). After individually writing songs that went on to be recorded by big country acts such as The Band Perry, Tyler Farr and Dierks Bentley, the band started to pick up steam of their own with their single Shut Me Up and their debut self-titled EP, which was produced by Shane McAnally. Last year Old Dominion released their debut album Meat and Candy in the US, and now the album has made it over here to the UK.
Prior to the album’s release Old Dominion scored their biggest hit to date with Break Up With Him. The track topped the US Country Airplay chart and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It’s indicative of the way Old Dominion fuse together a variety of genres to craft their own sound with its soulful vocals, mellow rock melody and steady beat. Current single Snapback has a shimmering 90s vibe that recalls the radio-friendly sound that dominated contemporary rock radio back in the day.
Meat and Candy is packed with catchy radio-friendly songs that are sure to dominate the airwaves as and when they are released as singles. Lead vocalist Matthew Ramsay has a voice that’s is equal parts rock as it is soulful with a country twang that I find quite irresistible. On songs such as Half Empty his voice effortlessly glides over the melody and it makes you take notice.
Elsewhere on the album the band infuses hip-hop influences on the soaring Wrong Turns, sounds carefree on the sing-a-long Crazy Beautiful Sexy, and closes things out with the beautiful We Got It Right. The highlight on the album is the funky groove of Said Nobody Ever that has a tongue firmly placed in its cheek with a clever play on words.
Old Dominion knock it out of the park on their debut release. It shouldn’t be a surprise given the high quota of talent that makes up the band. Meat and Candy is an album that makes an impression on the first listen and continues to work its way into your affections with repeated listens. I can’t wait to check the band out when they play at C2C: Country to Country in March. I’d say the band had a good shot of crossover appeal here in the UK too if they lead with the right single.
Track listing: 1. Snapback 2. Half Empty 3. Wrong Turns 4. Said Nobody 5. Crazy Beautiful Sexy 6. Nowhere Fast 7. Beer Can in a Truck Bed 8. Break Up with Him 9. Song for Another Time 10. Til It’s Over 11. We Got It Right Record Company: Sony Music CMG Release Date: 22nd January 2016