Brought together by family ties and a shared appreciation for folk, rock, and roots music, The Currys are an Americana trio featuring brothers Jimmy and Tommy and cousin Galen Curry. Like many family groups, their songs are anchored by the sort of elastic, entwined harmonies that only seem to exist among kin. On their second record, West of Here, their songwriting chops match those interlocking voices, with all three members contributing songs to an album that deals with the constant search for home.
It’s an album that was born on the road. Following the release of the band’s official debut, Follow, The Currys packed up their van and spent nearly two years on tour, playing everywhere from Los Angeles to New York to a string of oyster bars in the Florida panhandle. Performing and traveling together on a daily basis tightened the trio’s melody-driven sound — a sound captured by producers Chris Keup and Stewart Myers (Lifehouse, Jason Mraz) on West of Here ‘s 13 tracks — but it also left them feeling adrift. Tommy and Jimmy had grown up in the Sunshine State, Galen in upstate New York, and after college they all relocated to Charlottesville, Virginia, to record and release Follow. Now the trio found themselves hopping between the basement couches of friends and relatives as they drove around the country for months at a time, trying to figure out where they might like to plant their own roots.
West of Here doesn’t offer clear answers, but it does deliver a roster of warm, wistful songs whose influences are as wide-ranging as The Currys’ travels. Album opener “Hold Me Here” wraps a simple request in gentle guitar swells and acoustic fingerpicking. “Restless” marries a big country-rock riff to a young man’s lyrical angst: “Everywhere I go / the air that I breathe there tastes like home.” Like fellow folk troubadours The Avett Brothers, The Currys know when to crank up their rootsy stomp — as on lead single “If I Find It” — but the trio have stopped trying to artificially define their sound by genre. Instead, West of Here pays homage to the classic sound of The Band, the acoustic storytelling of Josh Ritter, the rhythmic soul of Al Green. Even a hint of Coldplay shines through in the sweeping arpeggios of “All It Takes,” compliments of pianist Daniel Clarke (KD Lang, Ryan Adams). Throughout West of Here, The Currys weave these disparate strands together, creating a mosaic that is by turns pop and folk, epic and intimate.
It’s been years since The Currys played their first songs together as teenage boys, swapping tunes during family reunions in the Florida panhandle. West of Here pays tribute to that history while simultaneously pushing the band forward, with one foot in the folksy sound of The Currys’ early writing and the other pointing toward something new. Like its title suggests, West of Here is the sound of a band on the move.