Blake Berglund Harnesses a Psychedelic Country Feeling

Sometimes, when I'm asked how to describe an artist, it's as simple as "oh, they are definitely [artist] meets [artist]." They are an already set genre used by many and there isn't much originality, not that there's anything wrong with that. Traditional music is amazing and to have ability to use influence from others to create something new is an honorable artistry.

On my first listen through Realms, I was confused. At one point, I thought I was listening to Pink Floyd's The Wall. I also got a hint of Metamodern Sounds in Country Music by Sturgill Simpson. I heard classic country and 90s country all on one album.

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This isn't me saying that it's disjointed at all. It's a solid album that works as a cohesive project. Like The Wall, some tracks begin where the previous ends. The album flows from the first track, titled Realms, all the way through the final track, also titled Realms. An interesting choice, but it is a clever trick treating one song as the first and last track. If you are listening to the album on loop, the album seamlessly transitions from the final track into the first track. The album is a continuous loop that had me unknowingly starting the album over and over again. I genuinely don't know how many times I listened through it because of that.

The flow of the album and the reminiscent qualities aren't the only things that catch my ear. The lyrics, the truth, of the songs also strikes me. Crooked Old Earth, for example, is a sad song about how the world has gone to shit and he wouldn't wish the fate of the planet on even his worst enemy. It doesn't have to get political to tell a story about how we're ruining the planet and doing next to nothing to preventing its untimely demise.

Alcohol and broken homes
The illusions of what we own
We used up all the dinosaur bones
In cars that we can't fix
At the alter of the TV stand
The puppets live in government
Well country sucks and Buddy Holly's dead
May the Starman cross quick

If you want a new and original sound, feeling, and sub-genre of country music, Blake Berglund's Realms is perfect for you. 2017 has been a powerhouse year for independent artists and the race for album of the year is a tight one. The originality of how the album is built, the psychedelic/traditional country sound, and the ten quality Berglund-penned tracks throw this one in the loop as a contender. 


Realms comes out September 1.