Since their inception in 2010, A Thousand Horses have grown in popularity, due in no small part to their undeniably impressive blend of country and rock. Southernality mimics the styling of bands such as Lynard Skynard and The Rolling Stones and produces a sound that modernizes American country with simple yet catchy tunes.
Although A Thousand Horses are large – the band comprises of nine members – the production of this album is far from overly cluttered with instrumentation and there’s no question as to the band’s style. Each track has its own personality, from the country heartbreak of Tennessee Whiskey to power ballad Sunday Morning which throws some contextually appropriate gospel into the country-rock mix.
The country chart number one single Smoke approaches the classic love song with a smart new metaphor but disappointingly plays it safe where it could have pushed some boundaries. The album’s title track encompasses everything associated with America’s South and country music; the gritty vocals provided by lead singer Michael Hobby make it really hard not to fall in love with his nonchalant vocal delivery.
There’s something about A Thousand Horses that makes them standout from other Tennessee country groups; the stereotypical subject matter of love and heartbreak, making best friends with a bottle of whiskey and sticking it to the man are there and yet somehow this feels so much different.
A Thousand Horses haven’t over embellished their portrayal of being Southern, nor have they done anything to be different in the presentation of both themselves and their music. It’s a clever album and though it’s heavy on cliches it will appeal to a mainstream audience and will likely make country music more approachable, especially as there’s not a single track on this album that won’t get stuck in your head!