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Mississippi’s Andrew Bryant: A Stunning New Album

In 2015, The Bitter Southerner’s staff fell collectively in love with “This Is the Life,” an album by Mississippi’s Andrew Bryant. We put that record at No. 3 on our list of the Best Southern Albums of 2015.

A week from today, Bryant will release his latest outing, “Ain’t It Like the Cosmos,” and the BS is happy to bring you this First Listen. We expect it will send you out to buy your own copy next week.

The album asks questions we all face: What does it mean to be a parent? How do we find freedom in our work and in the people we love? Perhaps above all else, Bryant brilliantly anchors “Cosmos” in questions about what it means to be Southern, to be a man of Mississippi. Every song on the album seems rooted in Bryant’s deep, complex sense of our deep, complex region.

We could go on, album-review style, about Bryant’s explorations of the Southern life, but it’s best to just let you listen for yourself — so you can marvel in his airy, beautiful music and sharp lyrics, like the one from which the album draws its title: “Lord, ain’t it bittersweet this place we call our home / Ain’t it like the cosmos to light up the magnolias at dawn.”

— Chuck Reece