I would guess, without actually doing any searching, that “crisp” and “bright” are not the two most used adjectives here on 9B but they are the first two that come to mind whenever I queue up Left Arm Tan’s Alticana. These Fort Worth boys have put together a very well rounded sophomore effort. While their first full length never made my radar Alticana has been in fairly constant rotation on the headphones here at work.

While not quite the usual Red Dirt fare Left Arm Tan managed to produce a polished album without making it glossy. Staying true to the usual alt.country/Americana themes Alticana manages to make it feel like there’s some hope even when things pretty much suck. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s real pain and very real emotion in the album, it’s just that the point of view is a little different than a lot of my usual mainstays and I have to admit it’s pretty refreshing. Toss that in with a band that works well together and some pretty cool harmonies and you’ve got a damn fine album.

Alticana has found place in my catalog for the foreseeable future and as such I have to declare that it’s Essential Listening. It might not be the whiskey soaked, drinking alone late at night music you’re used to me putting words on a screen to tell you about but it’s damn good anyway.

Left Arm Tan – Fading Away
Left Arm Tan – The Letter
Left Arm Tan – Alcohol

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