August 3, 2017

LP: Ratboys - GN

Ratboys returns with a beautiful, country-infused second LP.

Chicago-based duo Ratboys' newest album, GN, is finally out in the world and is a stellar follow up to their 2015 debut. It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for this record to come out, and it was totally worth the wait. I got my first chance to listen to GN in its entirety on a little road trip from Tallahassee to Tampa, FL, and it was the perfect contemplative soundtrack to accompany the dense forests and melancholy abandoned motels that I passed on the drive.

GN features a lot of spacey, dreamy tunes, as well as some brilliant traditional country and folk influences. Most of the album shows off their tasty lap steel and twangy, deep guitar riffs reminiscent of classic, wistful country tunes, while the reverb-filled guitars align with more current alt-rock. I grew up listening to country music with my parents, so there's an extra sense of nostalgia for me and anyone else with a similar experience. Vocalist Julia Steiner has a calming, gentle voice, and her lyrics are a perfect blend of poetry and cleverness. She approaches common ideas and personalizes them; "Elvis is in the Freezer", for instance, initially appears to be a story about Steiner’s dead cat that they had to put in the fridge until they could give him a proper burial, but after that initial listen, a deeper message about the fleetingness of life begins to surface. "Peter the Wild Boy" is also unique addition, as it’s a gorgeous piece with clean guitar and humming string instruments while Steiner lightly sings a story of a child growing up in the wilderness, with brilliant and beautiful descriptions of nature. Throw GN on next time you find yourself winding through roads across America.


Listen to Ratboys on bandcamp

Brianna Peterson plays awkward pop punk country in a band called Cooper!, loves everything outdoors and Twin Peaks, and is painfully torn between being a dog or a cat person.