Saddle of Southern Darkness are a four-piece “evil country” act based in Denver who are simply masters at what they do. I mean, they basically define the subgenre. The group consists of brothers Chase and Trent Williams, Mark Rossi and Robert Van Natta. Each of these members bring a unique aspect to the music which is most noticeable is the amazing vocals. After the release of their debut self-titled masterpiece back in 2015, they haven’t released much music, save for Misery’s Courthouse in 2018, the live album.
I first heard these boys at Fire in the Mountains 2018 in Jackson Hole and they stood out from all other country I’ve heard before. Their live performances are something to truly take in and experience. The thing that truly sets these boys apart from everyone is how strong they are in every aspect of their craftsmanship, from fast paced songs to slow paced songs, harsh vocals to clean and how magnificently consistent they are at songwriting.
A few weeks ago, they kindly sent me a promo of their new EP, The Feral Few (recorded by Pete Deboer), set for an August 2, 2019 release. After the first listen, I was in love. The EP kicks off with a fast paced jam, Killbilly, which offers some amazing riffs and harsh vocals that truly shake the soul. I have to be honest with you, when I first heard the third track, “Death of the Saddle,” I almost couldn’t believe how gorgeous, yet tragic this track is. This is definitely my favorite song on this release by miles and I’m even going to go so far as to say, in my opinion, it is one of the greatest ballads that has ever been written. I don’t want to give you too much information on the lyrics because it’s something you want to experience and interpret for yourself. What I can summarize for you is that the song deals with the themes of ignorance as a product of environment and does it ever hit the nail on the head.
The last three tracks are positioned absolutely perfect in the tracklist as they always give the listener a moment of quiet time and a chance to really focus in on the lyrics and the tunes. The final track perfectly ties up this EP with a sense of self-reflection which is something we as humans often find when it’s too late. If I would compare Saddle of Southern Darkness’ debut to this I would say that the debut definitely deals with these themes as well but The Feral Few is more subtle and subtlety is something that we don’t often receive in art these days. So far these guys are two for two and each record keeps getting better and better. I cannot recommend this EP enough and when it finally releases to the world, you guys better pick up ten copies each or I’m afraid the Killbilly might hunt you down.