This year could have been a monumental year for Rascal Flatts, with a Farewell tour, new music and a reality show (for Jay DeMarcus) planned out for the long-lasting duo. However, like with so many artists, COVID threw a spanner in the works, meaning they had to pivot their huge touring plans. However, Rascal Flatts have kept their promise of new music. Last week, they released there newest EP, ‘How They Remember You’.
The band are back with a collection of seven great songs that will appeal to both new and existing fans, as they blend their signature harmonies with modern melodic elements of country music.
This mix of sounds is evident on track 3, ‘Quick, Fast, In a Hurry’, a collaboration with Rachel Wammack. The lyrics focus on two individuals who are rushing towards each other to reunite once more. The use of a strong drum line and guitar help create a real sense of urgency that matches the lyrics, but also makes you want to get up and dance. The song is incredibly groovy, with a catchy hook.
A real groove can be heard consistently on the EP, and there are many fun moments. ‘Sip Away’ focuses on the leisurely side of life and reminds the listener to enjoy themselves with a drink. These sorts of songs are nothing new to country music, but Rascal Flatts have put their own spin on it, and it still feels fresh.
“Cause the summer won’t last forever
So just sip, sip, sip away
Before it slips, slips, slips away, yeah”
This song features some strong word play, and this is also present on ‘Warmer’. On this track, a metaphor of someone getting warmer to something is used in order to create a picture of a person pinning after another. The delivery here is awesome, and a reminder of just how accomplished Gary LeVox is as a vocalist.
Another song that uses clever wording is ‘Feel It in the Morning’, which has the singer hoping that his lover will have feelings in the morning, after a night of heavy drinking. The instrumentation on this song is interesting, with both banjos and snap tracks being used; a catchy combination.
However, this EP has a real soft side to it, and is not lacking in emotion. ‘Looking Back’ is the tale of someone remembering a lost love, and the lyrics are truly beautiful.
“Gonna fill up that old jukebox with all our favorite songs
Order up a couple whiskeys, sit down in our corner booth
Lookin’ back is all that I look forward to”
Written by Rhett Atkins, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley and Thomas Rhett, the lyrics here are sublime and tell a relatable story. The harmonies add to a real sense of longing. Mandolins are not often heard nowadays in mainstream country music, but this song utilises them in the best way in order to compliment LeVox’s soulful voice. There’s great potential here for a radio single.
Unsurprisingly for a band that has been in the industry for twenty years, this EP is quite sentimental in nature. Lead single ‘How They Remember You’, written by Marc Beeson, Josh Osborne and Allen Shamblin focuses on the importance of how people are remembered at the end of their days. There is a true authenticity in this track, and each band member sings soulfully and whole-heartedly.
“It wasn’t till I saw my daddy’s name in stone I knew
It ain’t a question of if they will
It’s how they remember you”
Overall, this EP is a welcome return for Rascal Flatts, and showcases just how skilled they are at blending traditional and new country elements to create music that appeals to many. The production and song choices give the EP a real up-beat feel for the most part, however it doesn’t shy away from harder topics, and there is a real sentimental feeling throughout. Another great release in 2020.