Review Summary: The finer things in life are worn
I like Natalie Hemby’s way of thinking. On Puxico
, the singer-songwriter is focused primarily on two things: places and memories. With “Worn” we get a pretty good glimpse of what she thinks of fancy, new sh*t: I find the finer things worth keeping are worn/the lines on your mother’s face/the bible that your daddy saved
, she hums, with that heavenly voice of hers. Forget the shiny new car; Hemby seems more content within the motion of an aging Ferris wheel or the confines of her childhood home. These aren’t sappy recollections of the good old days, though. Instead, the musician has found pure contentment through simplicity. The album takes the less-is-more approach, painting colorful portraits from life’s most ordinary scenery. Being confined within a fairground on a summer day is nothing new to us, but her intricate lyrics resurrect the childlike innocence we once felt.
starts off with some solid, bright country-pop tunes, it’s a few tracks on, with “Cairo, IL” that the singer really starts to hit her stride. In fact, it ignites the start of the album’s strongest run – one that doesn’t break speed until the final notes of “Return.” The last handful of tracks are, hands down, the best representation of Hemby’s songwriting prowess. Good lord, can this lady write a hook. “This Town Still Talks About You” has a breezy, distinct chorus that won’t be leaving your head anytime soon. The same could be said about “I’ll Remember How You loved Me” and “Worn”: tracks that cut to the core with their potent lyricism. With an appetite for breezy melodies and vivid storytelling, it’s not too shocking Hemby helped write some material for Kacey Musgrave’s recent Golden Hour.
Fans of that album will notice some welcome similarities in the warm approach. If you’re looking for a strong batch of bright, vivid tunes for a spring or summer evening, Puxico
certainly fits the bill. Whether you’re a fan of country, pop, or just singer-songwriter in general, Hemby ticks all the right boxes on her overlooked debut.