Overman

Overman

Listen to Overman

While multi-hyphenated mashup genres have become familiar to music fans, one combination I think we don't see nearly enough is psychedelic-country. There's no reason it can't work. After all, it was always David Gilmour's secret weapon, and one could argue that Journey of the Sorcerer is the best thing The Eagles ever recorded.

None the less, you don't see psych-country come along often. Thankfully, Overman appears to agree with me. They've fully embraced this sadly under-represented subgenre with their first full-length release, The Future Is Gonna Be Great .

Overman comes at their music from the western side of things – even their most spacey tunes are clearly rooted in classic country and bluegrass. The dreamy So Many Stars takes the traditional country three-part harmony and spreads it out, creating haunting vocals to accompany the narrator staring into the milky way.

The genius of Overman's songwriting is their ability to blend the psychedelic elements organically. Their songs focus on the human, telling clear stories. This is exemplified in Come Home Soon, a dialog between friends separated when one is shipped out to war in Iraq. Their storytelling keeps them grounded, even when they get experimental.

They know how to rock a piece of bluegrass, too, with some brilliant bits of finger-pickin' and other string work throughout. The rollicking Rambling Country Mama is a perfect example, a toe-tapper with only the slightest sprinkles of anything newer than 1950. Likewise, Holy Matrimony Blues pays tribute to the Stevie Ray school of rockabilly.

If there's any overreach here, it's in the penultimate track, You'll Feel Better (If You Sing). It's unabashedly trying to get the audience to sing along, but their attempt to mimic western kids' songs just becomes as cloying as their inspiration. Luckily. Dear Teresa then wraps up the album with some lovely string work backing Dylaneseque vocals.

Overman seem to be striving to be taken seriously both as a country act and as indie rock – and they pull it off. The Future Is Going To Be Great gleefully takes the best of the country-western tradition and spices it up using modernist touches, without ever losing track of itself.

There's talent to spare, from their lovely vocal harmonies to the moments of great guitar-picking. Overman says that the future is going to be great, and if this release is anything to go by, they're certainly on track for greatness.

 

Listen to The Future Is Gonna Be Great

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