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Welcome dearest readers and music lovers. Today we focus our attention on the amazing work of the Nashville-based duo Wishpenny. Husband and wife creative duo Brian and Regina Russell make up Wishpenny and have been producing music together for thirty years. Brian is an accomplished guitarist and sound producer. Regina plays the drum kit, sings, and strums an acoustic guitar. Brian composes the riffs, and Regina writes the words. Together, they hammer out arrangements, melodies, and chord progressions. Talented guest artists add to their unique, independent music, which is also influenced by Music City, the US’s vibrant creative scene.

At the University of Arkansas, Regina met Brian while he was overdubbing with a four-track recorder and skipping classes. This whole thing started when he asked her to sing and it was the start of something beautiful. Previous self-released albums by Wishpenny include Bound To (2010, Tennessee) and Shine Like New (2004, Georgia), however their latest album which was released on 25th December is called “Day after Dark”. This 8 song masterpiece is a layered combination of musical instruments and a unique musical style told through excellent lyrics and storytelling. Let’s talk about the album in depth.

The album begins with the vibrant “Day After Dark”. The song begins with this energetic electric guitar and then we get some lovely trombone sounds and then Regina tells a beautiful story about how her partner keeps her heart starting the day after dark. It is a nice foot-tapping love song with flamboyant musical instruments that will pique your interest in what is ahead in the listening experience, an exciting way to start the album!

“Glide and cover” Follows suit and ushers you in with an incredible and exciting bass ( well done Dan Seymour!). The steady drum beat compliments the bass and other instruments and creates this amazing vibe through the music you wouldn’t want to stop listening to!

“Better than We Found” is a welcome change of pace in the album. This song is a somber piece that follows, with Regina front and center on the drum kit as she sings of our shared “hopes of leaving something better than we found.” The song, lyrics, and vocal performance are very emotional and tear-jerking and create a form of bond between you and Wishpenny, a rare occurrence in music.

Next is “Close.” Mario Davidson’s inventive trombone improvisations, set against a straightforward melody and flowing guitar and bass lines, serve as the centerpiece of this particular song. Regina’s mouth percussions also really shine through in this song as she urges her lover to come closer to her. The instruments on this song are insanely wild and remarkable and will give you an out-of-body experience.

“Not About Love” is the fifth track on the Album, Regina sings, “I hear them saying that I oughtta go but I think I’m gonna stay,” as she plays an acoustic guitar and a stomp board. She goes through a list of various emotions as she bares her soul on this dark song. She invites listeners into her headspace and world through this piece of stunning music.

Next is “ Escape Velocity “, a country-infused song that details the lives of an adventurer’s wife. The vocal performance is so flawless and crisp and gives the listener a mental picture of what Regina is singing about.
“Step into the sun” is the next song which features some of Brian’s most skillful and impressive guitar skills and tells the sad tale of an adventurer’s illness. It is a callback to the previous track that focuses on how the adventurer’s wife is feeling and her current state of mind.

Ultimately, “believe,” a simple tale of desperation, encourages the listener to “believe there is more than you can see, there is more than you can know, there is more than you can say.” It brings the album to a close in such an outstanding way and on a high and hopeful note.

To conclude “Day After Dark” by Wishpenny is an excellent album. The songs are deep with significance, distinctive vocals, layered guitars, and inventive instrumentation. The day-after-dark initiative takes on new significance in light of the global coronavirus outbreak that disrupted the recording process. This is a collection of music that they took a long time choosing. Their intention was to go across the tracks and have a poetic and auditory dialogue. I think people will recognize themselves in our rhythms because they are really happy about what they did together on this record!

Stream the “day after dark” album on Spotify

Follow Wishpenny on here and her YouTube

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