Morgan Wade and the Stepbrothers are dropping their first album Puppets With My Heart this month and its pulling at all the heartstrings. The 11 track album plays out like a badass goodbye ballad to a love that hurt a little too good.
Morgan Wade’s harshly poetic voice brings the listener to the forefront of an emotional battle ground. The sound is what I can only hope to be the new wave of country rock n’ roll. Backed with a harder, edgier sound quality, the group brings an energy that can have listeners head banging one second only to be toe tapping and swaying the next.
Country music’s roots run deep. With that being said I think something that holds so much history can all too easily believe that it falls exception to the rule of change. Puppets With My Heart is proof that this is far from being the case. Its songs hold on to that old time country feel that is brought out by instruments like the mandolin and harmonica, with just the right added sprinkle to give it a modern twist.
Songs like “Mend” and “Songs I Won’t Remember” show a softer side to the singer. With this comes a subtler tone from the guitar and drums, finishing for Wade what she cannot say in words. The song “I Didn’t Mean To” is a lot heavier lyrically, bringing on more methodical chord progressions. Add the eerie whine of the harmonica in the background and your back in that whirlwind of emotion that can only truly be felt if you’ve been wronged by lover.
Growing up listening to female country groups like the Dixie Chicks and The Wreckers it’s exciting to hear those similar vocal qualities in Wade’s voice while not feeling as though its an attempt to revitalize something that has already been done. “I Didn’t Mean To” to me was a modern day “Goodbye Earl.”
While the album can be heavy it is also a lot of fun. The full band adds a certain quality to each song that allows the listener to crack a smile and a laugh throughout –showing that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Written by Katie Clayton