New Music: Hard Earned Love by Strangetowne

Strangetowneby: Thomas D. Mooney

Last year, Amarillo’s Strangetowne released a four-track self-titled EP. It was around then when I wrote that it felt as though Strangetowne was on the cusp of a breakout. The short Strangetowne was for all intents and purposes a stopgap for the band. It was a necessary release for the four-piece band–regardless of any shortcomings the recordings had.

Fast forward a year and the Americana band is readying their first full-length album, Hard Earned Love, due out officially on Tuesday, Sept 01 and delivering on that hunch. It finds the band–Ben Cargo, Tyler Horning, Jordon “Stickbag” McClain, and Lincoln Youree–with one of the most consistent and strong albums to be released this year.

The 13-tracks rely heavily on the songwriting of Youree, but by no means is he the sole proprietor of the Strangetowne sound–something that jumps from open country-folk tunes to satisfying rock grooves to sad pleading ballads. It’s as sprawling as the canyons that surround the four-piece on the Hard Earned Love cover.

There’s a worn-in comfort with the album. These songs aren’t straight from the oven. They’ve had time to live, breathe, and exist prior to the confines of a recorded studio album. Strangetowne isn’t hastily throwing an album together. There’s a ruggedness to Hard Earned Love without being calloused, bulky, or jagged with irregularity. The rugged nature of Hard Earned Love comes from within Cargo, Horning, McClain, and Youree’s endurance as a band in search of a tight, rich sound.

Below, check out the exclusive premiere of the closing track for Hard Earned Love, “We’ll Get What We Want.” The Youree-led closer is a passionate piano driven ballad that gradually climbs into its’ crescendo with a backing choir consisting of fellow Amarillo musicians and friends that finds the band somewhere searching the territory of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” and honest likability of The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey.”

Hard Earned Love Tracklist

01. Hard Earned Love
02. Amarillo Girls
03. Your Company
04. Money
05. Country Song
06. You Don’t Belong to Him
07. When I Miss My Friends
08. Stuck In My Head
09. Talking
10. Crazy
11. Don’t Let Go of Me
12. One Million to One
13. We’ll Get What We Want


2 responses to “New Music: Hard Earned Love by Strangetowne

  1. Pingback: Mid-Year Record Report: Panhandle Music 2015 | New Slang·

  2. Pingback: Interviews: Tyler Horning of Strangetowne | New Slang·

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