Release Date: 
Label/Vertrieb: Medium Expectations- Thirty Tigers / Bertus – Membran

Foto Credit: Shervin Lainez


Emotional and self-reflective, ‘Is It You, Is It Me’ tackles uneasy topics, often where the political feels personal such as in the defiant ‘Get Rid of You’, which was inspired by the student activists who emerged from the Parkland High School shooting in Florida. The ominous driving brass groove of first single ‘Enemy’, powerfully sung by Beebe, hones in on a painful generational split between a daughter and her parents, who may have voted in a tyrant and have become strangers to her after struggling to find common ground. Elsewhere, there is the New Orleans second line feel of ‘Nobody Knows (Is It You)’, about a character who runs for president and accidentally wins, then gives it up on a whim when he discovers a greater good; the catchy pop bounce of ‘Ghost’, about a mysterious lover who disappears without a trace; heart-on-sleeve love songs like ‘I Wake Up’, and the first-kiss electric guitar and percussion nostalgia of ‘Penelope’, which harks back to huge band influences like early Paul Simon and Van Morrison.


The group’s co-lead vocalists star on the album opener ‘Dreaming’, which tackles the deep vulnerability of revealing your soul every night in front of an audience, while the band chart a new course on lushly cinematic, orchestrated set pieces like ‘Mirror’, ‘Runaway’ and most notably current fan favourite and live showstopper ‘Sonic Boom’, which is about the struggle to reveal who you really are in the rose-tinted world of social media. There is a widescreen expansiveness to these songs that would not seem out of place in a packed arena. However, perhaps the number that best encapsulates the group’s raison d’etre is ‘Just One Song’, an emotional, acoustic track that probably would not have made it to the album without the encouragement of producer Kassirer. It is about a performer realising that, despite the doubt and struggle all around us, the music itself is always the most important thing. “Maybe we don’t know where this journey will take us or how long it will last,” acknowledges Lupetin. “That’s my take on the importance of what we try to do. Music elevates us, lifts us up, makes us change our minds, takes us out of our comfort zones. If just one person can be moved by just one song, that’s enough.”


Dustbowl Revival has taken the past and present and made it their own by turning it into something new. ‘Is It You, Is It Me’ represents another massive leap forward for the group and follows their acclaimed self-titled 2017 album which took them from a “roots dance party band” that thrived on the festival circuit to a more nuanced group embracing darker, more soulful territory. It hit the top spot on Amazon’s Americana chart and contained the introspective folk number ‘Got Over’, which has racked up almost 7 million Spotify spins. That album can now be seen as a direct bridge to their newest work.



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