I’ve been a big fan of North Carolina-based indie folk sextet Delta Rae ever since they exploded onto the scene with their flat-out fantastic 2012 full-length debut “Carry the Fire.” That near-perfect mix of folk/pop, rock, gospel and blues is a record I still revisit regularly and you can imagine how thrilled I was long-awaited follow-up “After It All” came across my desk a few weeks back.
Anchored by siblings Ian, Eric and Brittany Holljes, Delta Rae raise the bar even higher on this 15-track platter. All the elements that made the first record so good remain in place, but the band has fine-tuned their sound to terrific effect.
“We kept coming back to ourselves as we were writing,” Brittany Holljes explains. “These songs were integral to our own stories in our own lives. It had to be an honest reflection of what we were feeling instead of being projected onto characters we created.”
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a misfire on “After It All,” but pay extra attention to keepers “Anthem,” “Run,” “Scared,” “Chasing Twisters,” “You’re the One for Me,” “The Meaning of It All” and bonus tracks “Dead End Road” and “Any Better Than This.” It’s high time you — and everyone else — got to know this remarkable young band. (Jeffrey Sisk)