The more personal songs, “Where You Are” and “White Horse” are solid songs, with specific imagery and catchy melodies. But the inner two tracks are what mark Townes as one to watch, either as a songwriter or an artist (or both.)
“Jersey on the Wall” tells the heartbreaking story of a boy who passed away before he had the chance to graduate high school, hence his jersey hanging on the wall of his high school. The song tells the story of the boy’s death in few details, but focuses on the why. Townes sings, “If I ever get to heaven / I’d have a long list of questions,” subsequently asking about how God makes snowflakes and how he keeps the world spinning. But the most baffling question of them all to Townes is “If you have your hands on everything that happens / Why couldn’t you keep that car from crashing?” Townes surprises the listener with that final, epic, vulnerable question. Songs addressed to God are often the most powerful, as they feel like a little prayer, a talk with God. In “Jersey on the Wall,” Townes asks God why He failed this boy when he needed Him the most.
“Somebody’s Daughter” does what many country songs don’t — it humanizes someone who we often look over. There’s a subtle social message behind this carefully crafted song about a homeless woman Townes saw on the street. Townes paints an all-too familiar image of a woman standing on the corner of the road. While many of us throw a little change in their cup or just walk past, Townes wonders the story of this woman: “Bet she was someone’s best friend, laughing / back when she was someone’s sister, counting change at the lemonade stand.” She imagines up the past life of this woman, ending with the heartbreaking: “I wonder if she got lost or they forgot her.”
In a time in country music where pop singer Bebe Rexha is proclaiming that she paved the way for artists to come into country music and songs on the radio have lyrics like “She got them sho nuffs coming in runner up / Panama city, wet T-shirt, Miss Banana / motor-boating / Man it's a handful juggling all these emotions,” this Canadian songwriter is a welcome change. She writes real stories about real people, the epitome of what country music is all about.
Best tracks: “Jersey on the Wall,” “Somebody’s Daughter”
Throwaway tracks: none
Overall rating: 5 crowns