When Jeremy Pinnell released OH/KY in the summer of 2015 to stunned acclaim, it felt like an entire career compressed into one knock-out album. Hailed as a “ming-blowingly good” (Greg Vandy, KEXP) “tutorial on classic country music” (Popmatters), Pinnell’s debut immediately differentiated as authentic and unflinching. Dogged touring through Europe and the states and celebrated radio sessions followed, cementing Pinnell’s position as a no-fuss master of his craft. His 2017 album Ties of Blood and Affection presents a canny lateral move. Instead of doubling down on the stark themes and values of his debut, this sophomore album finds Pinnell finding comfort in his own skin and achieving the redemption only hinted at in his previous batch of haunted songs. Here Pinnell joyfully embraces the working life, family obligations, and faith. His new stories delve into acceptance and survival, all the while investigating his most challenging chapter yet: adulthood. While “If life don’t get any better / I’m alright with this” isn’t an out-right triumph, it’s an honest revelation.
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