Lots of albums have some intensely personal story behind them. I’ve always liked the term “album” for that reason, because it suggests a collection of memories. The title “Traces and Trails” has those same connotations, a bundle of memories paged though over and over again.
Merging autumnal Americana with expansive rock, “Trace and Trails” is a tribute to Furr’s late wife Christina. Intimate but never hushed, the album moves through 10 tracks with extraordinary grace. There’s a lot of sorrow in these songs, but a lot of hope, too.
I’m struck hardest by the opening verse of “Blake’s Song”- Early in the morning/before your eyes are open/she’s unlocking the golden gates/and she steps so softly down the path she’s been walking/to wake up another day– it says so much about being around someone who knows they won’t be around much longer. There’s joy and trepidation in those lines, and it’s those two moods that intertwine throughout the album.
Furr isn’t all fingerpicking and strums though. There’s the angular guitars that well up like a stampede in “Falling Stars” or the ragged Band-esque riff on album opener “Branches.” The way the album marries more rockin’ sounds with the folky instrumentation is something I really enjoy. Like the rest of the album, it’s a study in balance. It creates a sense of space thats hard to describe. Something about it captures the distances and expanse of the desert. This album sounds, to me, the way West Texas looks.
Summer’s almost over, and fall is going to be here soon enough. For me, it’s the strangest, most beautiful transition of the year. One minute, everything is in full bloom, the next, it’s all fading out. Musically, it’s weird time too, as all the bangers and summer jams start to sound a little silly in the cooling temperatures. This a good audio companion for enjoying those last long sweet days of summer and for tiding you over into the longer, colder nights of fall.
(“Traces and Trails” drops September 16th. You can find it here.)