Australian-band The Teskey Brothers – brothers Josh and Sam Teskey, and their friends Brendon Love and Liam Gough – recently announced that they signed a major label deal with Decca. Influenced heavily by 60s American soul music, the band have been together since they were teenagers. Following a sold-out show at London’s Omeara earlier this year, the four-piece have just released their debut album Half Mile Harvest.
Half Mile Harvest was recorded live to tape in a bid to capture the band’s raw talent and to give their music authenticity. It works like a charm and the 10 songs on Half Mile Harvest song like lost gems from yesteryear. Vocalist Josh Teskey isn’t dissimilar in sound to the mighty Chris Stapleton, who has been bringing some grit back to modern Country music. The passion and the soul pours from his voice throughout the record but one of the standout moments is Say You’ll Do, which showcases the magnificent power he possesses.
The album opens with the riff-driven Crying Shame and it sets you up nicely for what to come. The band has clearly drawn from their influences and there’s a mixture of soul, R&B, country and Americana present across the record. Pain and Misery sounds a lot like Stapleton’s version of Tennessee Whiskey as it has the same lilting beat and intermittent guitar riffs. That’s not a huge problem but you can sing the latter over the former.
Elsewhere on the record Shiny Moon is one of the moments where the band steps outside of their comfort zone. The vocals are produced differently and the music is a little more in the country wheelhouse. Reason Why is a showcase for the band’s musicianship, offering little in the way of vocals, while the hand-clap led uptempo track Louisa is a rousing anthem that will be a huge hit in a live arena.
The moody Til the Sky Turns Black is a strangely affecting five minutes of foot-stomping deep south Americana and Hard Feeling is a laidback song that features tight harmonies and a loose vocal from Josh. The album comes to a close with the 12-minute epic Honeymoon, which turns into an addictive jam session that you don’t really want to end before changing into an orchestral outro.
Half Mile Harvest is the kind of debut album that makes people take notice. The Teskey Brothers are already picking up awards back home in Australia and they’ll be collecting them in other parts of the world very soon I’m sure. If you’re a fan of old-school soul and/or strong vocals, then this album is one you should definitely pick up. I get the feeling the album is only half of the story for The Teskey Brothers and I imagine when they announce live dates for 2019, they’re going to see their star rise even further.
Track list: 1. Crying Shame 2. Say You’ll Do 3. Pain and Misery 4. Shiny Moon 5. Reason Why 6. I Get Up 7. Louisa 8. Til the Sky Turns Black 9. Hard Feeling 10. Honeymoon Record label: Decca Release date: 26th October 2018 Buy Half Mile Harvest