Morgan Evans has been working especially hard since making the move from his native Australia to Nashville. For the past year he’s been touring, recording and promoting his music, and that paid off when his debut international single Kiss Somebody went to number one in the US. 2018 has proven to be a packed year for Evans as he appeared several times throughout C2C: Country to Country 2018 and he married fellow singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini. Adding another achievement to his tally, Evans has just released his debut international album Things That We Drink To.
Having seen Evans several times the past 12 months, I was fairly familiar with a handful of the tracks on Things That We Drink To before I listened to the whole record. Alongside Kiss Somebody, Evans has also been performing I Do, Day Drunk, Dance With Me and Young Again. All of those songs show his strong knack for combining Country with pop centred around his guitar skills and of course his voice. It’s clear from listening to any of his songs that Evans has been heavily influenced by Keith Urban, and at times he sounds quite like him too.
Things That We Drink To opens with American, one of many songs about his relationship with Ballerini. He sings about how being with her has made his world better and made him fall in love with America, his adopted home. It’s a sweet start to the record and sets the tone for a collection of personal songs that will allow fans to get to know him a little better. Of the songs I hadn’t heard prior to the album’s release Song for the Summer has a rockier feel, Me on You infuses a little R&B into the vocal delivery and melody, and We Dream is a song encouraging listeners to follow their dreams.
Kelsea Ballerini pops up on Dance With Me, which is one of the album’s strongest moments. Ballerini’s voice perfectly complements Evans’, especially on the soaring chorus. It’s a beautiful moment and perfect for a wedding first dance. Day Drunk is a loop-pedal fuelled anthem and the title track Things That We Drink To is a reflective moment that you can imagine fans put their phone lights in the air for.
Evans delivers on his promise with Things That We Drink To. My only complaint is a couple of songs are a little similar but that doesn’t make the record any less enjoyable. Evans is a charismatic artist and that carries through in his music. Things That We Drink To should be the start of a very successful career for Evans outside of Australia and I predict it’ll be a stepping stone to even bigger and better things in the future.
Track listing: 1. American 2. Kiss Somebody 3. I Do 4. Song for the Summer 5. Day Drunk 6. Dance With Me (feat. Kelsea Ballerini) 7. Me on You 8. Things That We Drink To 9. We Dream 10. Everything Changes 11. Young Again Record label: Warner Music Nashville Release date: 12th October 2018