It may open with a false-start, but there’s absolutely no disqualifying The Teskey Brothers from this race.
“Go again,” says one of the four band members, before launching (for real this time) into the first buttery track of Run Home Slow: the follow-up to 2018’s era-defying debut, Half Mile Harvest.
The melting pot of blues, soul, southern rock and gospel that the Warrandyte locals have stirred over the last few years is pushed, stretched and poured out in completely new ways on this release. Yet the familiar taste of everything The Teskey Brothers have given us before still lingers long after.
Horns, strings, organ, banjo, and extra percussion create layers of character underneath the defined, crooning vocals of Josh Teskey. His brother, Sam Teskey, handles most of the guitar work, while Brendon Love rides it out on bass and Liam Gough sits at the drums. The connection they share runs deep like blood (literally), and is so evident through the music they produce, managing to pull audiences together in ways that not many modern bands can.
The ever-building blues-rock of “Paint My Heart”, the psychedelic ooze of “Sun Come Ease Me In”, the raw gospel of “Hold Me” with it’s A Cappella harmonies and the dixieland jazz that drives “Sunshine Baby” each feed into waves of nostalgia, while simultaneously staying unique and unheard of. The stand-out singles – “Man of The Universe”, “Let Me Let You Down” and “So Caught Up” – sound even better when placed in the context and theatre of Run Home Slow as a whole. Thematically, the album dives into relationships, distance and the balance of life: work, rest, friendships, love… Each of the singles contributes to the narrative in their specific, and sometimes quite a direct way. Nothing The Teskey Brothers explore is particularly new or ground-breaking, but it’s presented in a manner that is incredibly rare in today’s musical landscape. This is a record that longtime fans of traditional southern tunes will adore; at the same time opening a new generation’s ears and hearts to the beauty of these iconic styles and stories.
It’s not uncommon for artists to struggle with the “sophomore curse” – the pressure of backing up a stellar debut with an album just as good, if not better. It’s safe to say The Teskey Brothers have undeniably broken the curse for themselves, convincing listeners worldwide that they – similar to the musical genres they represent – can actually get better with time.
Run Home Slow is a beautiful, well-crafted record full of character, space, simplicity, heart, and soul; The Teskey Brothers once again blurring the boundaries of time and genre in the clearest, most enjoyable way possible.
Ivy League Records
Reviewed by Zach Edwards