Kill County – The Year of Getting By
Kill County’s second album, The Year of Getting By, is as sparse and expansive as the Western plains from which it came. Recorded in two weeks time at a friend’s house in Nebraska, The Year of Getting By is a selection of austere alt-country songs.
An intimate collection of modest, melancholic tracks that are sung either in a brooding baritone or a sorrowful tenor and features straightforward stringwork on the mandolin, dobro, upright bass, acoustic guitar, banjo and sometimes piano. Mostly slow-tempo sad songs, themes of nomadic rambling, struggle and isolation prevail throughout the record starting with opener “Time Passing” which incorporates all the themes and sets the tone. And, again in “The Train, The Drink, and The Dawn,” the themes are present in its dismal and tragic tale unraveling the narrators’ heartbreaking circumstances. The stark arrangement and sorrowful vocals in “Western Town” is beautifully dreary while the up-tempo banjo and soaring vocals on “Left My Home” is hopeful.
Nothing I could say could do The Year of Getting By justice or adequately describe my admiration for the album and Kill County. All I can say is, there’s no bones about it, the bare-bone arrangements and desolate stories make an amazing alt-country album.
— April Wolfe @ Common Folk Music