Every so often you listen to one of those albums that just stick with you forever. You always return to it because it is just that good, because the music speaks to you or because it represents a certain time in your life. A couple of years ago I listened to We’re From Here, the debut record from Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray, and it became one of those albums that has stuck. I listen to it frequently and enjoy it each and every time as the vast musical layers prevent it from getting old or boring. Skip ahead to now, and the newly married duo is on the verge of releasing their follow up album and once again they have captured lightning in a bottle. Over the last couple of years Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray have experienced their fair share of personal ups and downs, with the downs seeming to outnumber the ups. Their incredible resolve pushed them through the tough times with music helping to lead the way. Touring, fighting personal battles and writing a record would destroy a lesser man or woman, but fortunately for us they seem to have come out the other side with a batch of tunes that may be better than their predecessors.
With Lean Into The Wind Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray follow the same formula as their previous album, and that is to do whatever sounds good. Don’t get fooled by the down home folksy charm or the country twang of this record because when it comes time to crank up the volume it does not disappoint. At the heart of the record as great songwriting and impeccable musical arrangements, but what elevates the album to a higher plain is the pair’s vocals. While you would think the mesmerizing sound of Miss Shevaughn’s vocals would be in a constant battle with Yuma Wray’s gritty voice it just isn’t so. Complimenting each other they take the listener on an entertaining ride through their musical world. Much like the different vocal styles Lean Into The Wind follows the same path. The song “Oh Tornado” is about as beautiful as a song can get creating a sense of serenity while “Bleed Me” gets dirty as they delve into the blues filled underbelly of a sound that was once considered sinful. Listeners get the best of both worlds on “Election Year Blues” as the duo’s vocals playfully intermingle. Other songs highlighting the album are the jangly “Drifter’s Compass”, the churning “Destruction Story” and the sultry “Lone Star Souvenir”. In my opinion the best track on the record has to be “When The Pumps Run Dry”. With a western swagger this haunting tune chugs along before exploding into a mess of fuzzy noise. This is when you crank it up extra loud.
This record is one of my favorite releases of 2014. It is a wild ride that reflects the recent times Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray have been through. The songs are a mix of joy, anger, determination and fear that will have listeners feeling the same way. If you are looking for meaning music then this is where to find it, if not then do you searching elsewhere. Give Lean Into The Wind a listen and become a fan.