Violet Delancey’s “Columbia Road”
Violet Delancey is, by her own description, a California girl who became “obsessed with Dolly Parton.”
That obsession uprooted her to Nashville, where she pursued the country-music dream. Her first album, 2016's "When the Clock Strikes Midnight," and it was a worthy homage to her musical inspirations. But her second, "Columbia Road," which will be released in one week on May 25, is another matter entirely.
The pairing of Delancey with veteran producer Andy LeMaster, a co-founder of the longstanding Chase Park Transduction studio in Athens, Georgia, has resulted in a record that seems doubtful to get airplay on straight country radio, but dang sure should capture the attention of anyone who values sonic exploration. With LeMaster at the helm, Delancey has created a record on which the country is clear in her voice, but the lyrics conjure fairy tales in a sonic context that sounds more Kate Bush than Florida-Georgia Line. It even, at its best moments, recalls Emmylou Harris' groundbreaking "Wrecking Ball" album.
The Bitter Southerner enjoys turning y'all on to new sounds in Southern music. And whether you like "Columbia Road" or not, you can't argue that it brings us new sounds.