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This debut full-length is a collection of fairly straightforward Americana songs — that is, if your idea of straightforward Americana songs involves running into the Devil on the roads of the high plains. "Ballad From Below" embodies the half-acoustic, half-electric sound most of these tunes use as they explore the themes of faith and supernatural peril as metaphors for existential uncertainty. Through spare melodies and Matt Hayman's quavering voice, the band evokes the psychic weight borne by the cosmically terrified who seek solace in the goodness of God against the temptations of Old Scratch. Sonically, there is some resemblance to Munly & the Lee Lewis Harlots, but without the spooky trappings. Ultimately, this is an album of cowboy songs to sing around a campfire while sharing cautionary tales of dark nights on the trail.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.