Live Through This: Andrew Leahey Triumphs Over Tragedy
Nashvillian Andrew Leahey makes earnestly poppy roots-rock driven by ragged-edged, garagey guitar which, combined with the nasal twang of his vocals, earns plenty of comparisons to Tom Petty. The band’s latest, Skyline in Central Time, delivers more of the same, but with a heavier undercurrent, if you listen for it: the 11-track album, produced by Wilco cofounder Ken Coomer, was written while Leahey was recovering from emergency surgery to remove a massive brain tumor.
A lot of what comes through on Skyline is relief and joy at being alive – in the face of such a threat, or in general – told in the language of hard-driving rock. What stands out even more, though, are the songs that also don’t flinch at darker things, like the tough minor-key ballad “When The Hinges Give” or the closer, “Who Wants An Easy Love?” The latter, a vintage-styled slow-dance pop tune that begins its seven-minute run with a run of echoey, sepia-toned piano like something from out of a time machine, sticks its chin out with conviction: “Please, won’t you let it hurt?”