Lynn Taylor and the Barflies
Sounds Like: Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Wayne Hancock honky-tonk fused with electrified Neil Young-meets-Deer Tick alt-folk
For Fans of: Gnarled lyrics born in a greasy barroom, occasionally interrupted by a stray tear and lump-in-the-throat honesty
Why You Should Pay Attention: A favorite of Nashville lifer Chuck Mead, Taylor has been sweating it out onstage for some time now, but his third album with the Barflies explores new, tragic territory: Taylor lost his wife Kim to cancer last year, writing the lyrics of the LP's title cut "Staggered" during her extended stay at an Orlando hospital. Set to an ungainly waltz tempo, crafted by collaborator Larry O'Brien, the song is the sonic and emotional centerpiece of an album that reflects life at its most brutally awkward and yet most restoratively elegant.
He Says: "Writing and recording Staggered was a necessity for me. Through the last couple of years of Kim's life and the year following her death, I'd been writing songs with my good friend Larry O'Brien. These songs chronicled the pain, loss, love and beauty of life. My hope is that all that comes through in the songs we chose for the record."
Hear for Yourself: A slinky bassline coupled with Taylor's delectably reedy rasp add maturity and layers of intrigue to the moving "Rock Paper Scissors (With My Love)." S.B.