Audio Mixer: Kyle Spence.
Recording information: Ronniejonesound, Athens, Georgia.
A subtle yet quietly grandiose set of modern indie troubadour comfort food, the Nashville native's third studio long-player is both comforting and wistful, a warm summer's drive down a forgotten two-lane highway. His everyman voice and crisp, classic rock-informed melodies evoke Kurt Vile -- a fan and frequent collaborator -- by way of Bonnie "Prince" Billy, and his introspective lyrics, informed by an easy, casual Christianity and a deep sense of wanderlust that saw Roberts spending the last four years bouncing around New York, Cambodia, Thailand, and Kenya, feel inclusive rather than self-interested. The unfussy arrangements, which range from old-school singer/songwriter austerity to breezy, piano and drum-propelled Americana, go a long way in keeping things on the chill side -- there's a real American Beauty-era Grateful Dead vibe that runs throughout. As occasionally shambolic as Roberts' delivery can be, the songs themselves never feel anything but fully realized, with highlights arriving via the heartfelt and hopeful "American Music," the rolling, road trip-ready, Kurt Vile-assisted single "Silver Chain," and the vintage, pedal steel-laden "Virginia Girl." ~ James Christopher Monger