Lance Whalen: Sweet Sugar Pie
For Americana/folk artists, there is a fine line between raw-and-unadulterated and recorded-in-my-friend’s-cousin’s-basement. To fall on the positive side of that line is every musician’s goal. And to find the sweet spot right on that border, where natural acoustics put you in the room with the artist. and honesty comes across with every phrase… Well, that’s a place many musicians only dream of.
But, Lance Whalen has made his home there.
His new 4-song EP, Sweet Sugar Pie, showcases his gravelly, sorrowful voice backed by organic Southern roots instrumentals. His sound has been described as Americana Noir, and it’s perfectly suited for accompanying a symphony of bullfrogs on a foggy Tennessee night.
The title track will break your heart in the very best way. (I’ll admit, I shed a tear the first time I heard it.) Whalen’s voice is so haunting, and his lyrics come across like old yellowed letters to lost lovers. “The Way You Love Me” features spine-shivering electric guitar riffs, and the layered vocals in “Best I Can” add a growly, swampy feel. “What the Hell Was I Thinking” is a bit more up-tempo. Whalen’s howls and lyrics about a wayward woman with a “greasy heart” partnered with piano melody straight out of a smoky saloon will have you stomping your feet.
Not only is his music perfectly bluesy and gritty, but his Johnny Cash/rockabilly style shows a cool confidence.
Needless to say, I’m a fan and I can’t wait for his full album.