Larry Jay Releases EP

Evolving from a gentle harmony that only gets stronger as we listen on, Larry Jay’s “Saving Lives” doesn’t immediately feel like a larger-than-life piece, but after its stirring intro, it quickly becomes obvious we’re not listening to a stock country song here. The ascending melodies pick up steam as the beat engages with Jay’s lead vocal, and before we know it, this cut from Written in Whiskey is steering us into a sunset-esque hook as potent as they come. All four of the tracks in this EP have an immersive edge, but this song might be the most melodically enduring work of the set.

In “Bad Ass Beautiful,” the groove plays a bigger role in the story than it does in “Saving Lives,” but the songs are equally buxom on the instrumental end, especially in comparison to what the establishment sound in Nashville is calling for these days.

The title track here is the most well-rounded artistically, but I think it’s important to note that these four songs are covering four different angles of the same artistry. Jay is anything but a one-note singer/songwriter, and it’s hard for anyone to argue against that when looking at what he does in this record.

Between the endless heart of a track like “Blood” and the unrelenting push of the beat in “Bad Ass Beautiful,” there isn’t much ground that Larry Jay doesn’t try to cover in this all-new extended play, and if extended across the length of a proper LP, I think this sound could get a lot of people into his music in no time. He’s definitely not going full blast in a lot of this material, but he doesn’t have to; what Jay teases us with in Written in Whiskey is strong enough to get anyone who loves country back for another round.

Rachel Townsend

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