Angie and the Deserters – 17 Days
Angie and the Deserters are an unlikely alliance, but it works better than any novice can imagine. Angie Bruyere’s journey from Potsdam, New York to a musical and modeling career in Southern California is the lynchpin for this unlikely chemistry and it makes them an especially exciting, combustible unit. The latest single from her album You, a song entitled “17 Days”, upturns some of the genre’s songwriting conventions on its head. It has a relatively laid back pace, especially when compared to some of Bruyere’s other songs, but it still bristles with the same uncompromising attitude fueling some of the other cuts from the album. “17 Days” makes no apologies for what it is or about. Instead, it pushes gently against the listener from the outset without ever getting strident and makes sure to give its listeners a first class exhibition on what it means to be an entertaining musician. The arrangement crackles and pops.
This is thanks, in large part, to the guitar performance. It darts, cuts across the beat, and pushes things along with great melodic qualities while still working in brightly burning flameouts filling the spaces and sparring with the drums. The rhythm section work is particularly outstanding at both giving a foundation to the top line melodic instruments while still keeping the track locked into a groove that keeps things light-footed and lively throughout. It helps a lot that the songwriting takes a straight line from beginning to end and, thus, the track never runs a single second longer than what it needs to. Angie has a great band playing along with her capable of hitting all the right points with the sense of urgency the song requires and not a dollop more of power.
Angie’s vocal, naturally, fits nicely with the arrangement and gives it a lot of added oomph. She modulates her voice in a really compelling way here that makes much more of her good lyrics than they’d otherwise be able to convey. She also knows how to make each line mean something by mixing up her phrasing in such a way that, for instance, she never attacks the refrain in the same way twice. This gives the song a more “lived in” feel than it might otherwise have, an impression of Bruyere reacting some to the sound of her own voice and the feelings in her heart. The lyrics have just the right balance between general details and specific images but, more than anything else, “17 Days” rings true with the sound of human voice, in turns defiant and anguished. This single from You shows a distinct turn from the sound of the first “Country Radio” and this sort of diversity is part of the reason Angie and the Deserters are continuing to rise in exposure and esteem within the music community. This release has the required quality to push the album a little further into the spotlight and shows off all of Bruyere’s best qualities.