Since their introduction to the world of country music in 2013, finishing 3rd on NBC’s The Voice, Zach and Colton Swon (known as The Swon Brothers) have made rather slow and steady progress, still waiting for that one big hit to take them up to the next level. Their self-titled album peaked at #6 on Billboard and produced the moderately successful single ‘Later On’, but it’s probably fair to say they haven’t set the world alight.
But, on Friday 29 January, The Swon Brothers surprised their fans with a brand new six-track EP named ‘Timeless’. Colton said “Fans deserve our best. People have supported us by buying records, showing up to shows, and they’re giving us their best, so they deserve our best in return. And I think our biggest thing on this record is, our sound is really developing.” Very true indeed. With this new release, it seems the brothers have pin-pointed a particular style that suits them down to a tee. Whether it will bring them mainstream success is another matter.
The clear stand-out on the EP is the opening track ‘Just Another Girl’, a pop-infused country tune which has the potential to be their real breakthrough single. Think Blake Shelton’s ‘Gonna’…very similar. Incredibly catchy, and by far the most ‘country’ on an EP which, to be brutally honest, isn’t ‘country’ by any stretch of the imagination. But let’s not start that debate again! I really hope country radio give this track a shot.
We then have ‘Nobody’ which has a very smooth, soulful melody which wouldn’t be out of place on an R&B record. But hey, who am I to say it isn’t country? It hasn’t stopped Sam Hunt dominating the charts. It hasn’t stopped Thomas Rhett being nominated for Album of the Year with ‘Tangled Up’. ‘Nobody’ is actually a very well produced track with rather haunting instrumentation. It’ll grow on you. The soul influence continues with ‘Throwback’, another pleasant, catchy tune which could easily be chosen for release as their their next single.
Towards the end of the EP, we have ‘Killing Me’ and ‘You Got Somebody’, two tracks that are tailor-made for their live show. Both feature rather heavy back beats with anthemic choruses, and I suspect both will be very popular with fans.
Throughout the album, the intention is very clear; it is crying out for a spin on country radio. It is extremely mainstream-orientated, and much more dynamic than their previous release. As someone who fell in love with their performances of country classics on The Voice, it is difficult to adapt to their “developing” sound. Give me their rendition of ‘Okie from Muskogee’ over this any day! Nevertheless, it certainly has potential.
The Swon Brothers are currently on the road in the US, opening for Carrie Underwood on her ‘Storyteller’ tour.
Twitter – @LifeInASong_UK @Flatthead_Dan