Music is a crucial element to surviving the ups and downs of growing up and getting through the college years. It is an important part of today’s culture and society; our generation revolves around the development and technological advancements in the world that impact the kind of music we listen to in this day and age. Growing up as a young adult, music is often introduced to us at a young age. It is seen as a positive and uplifting piece of American culture and tradition. One specific genre, modern country music, is usually a hit or a miss, either loved or hated. Located in a rural northern part of the United States, Orono is a small town where country music is largely underappreciated.
On March 23, 2018, the Canadian group High Valley unleashed a raw, emotionally-charged sixth album to the public titled “Farmhouse Sessions.” The album includes acoustic versions of many songs which were included in their previous album released in 2016 titled “Dear Life.” Country lovers in the area have been replaying High Valley’s songs around campus in hopes of spreading the word and getting the album heard by more students.
Known as a popular country and bluegrass duo, brothers Brad and Curtis Rempel started their path to fame in the province of Alberta, Canada, having never even thought of bringing their music to America.The brothers signed with a United States record company, Atlantic Records Nashville, in 2015 and soon after became one of the leading country music groups in the country.
Two of the album’s most popular songs on iTunes, “She’s With Me” and “The Only,” introduced pop music fans to this country group’s unique sound. “She’s With Me” is a catchy, upbeat tune with a head-bobbing beat that incorporates a pop-like spin on traditional bluegrass and country music. By reaching out to fans of other music genres with this spin on country music, High Valley was able to become one of the top selling country duos on iTunes and other music apps.
The first two songs on the album, “I Be U Be” and “Make You Mine,” are emotional love songs with their own unique flavor and sound. The brothers incorporate both banjos and maracas on these tracks in order to make the music come alive and accompany the smooth and rugged acoustics of the Rempel brothers.
Each song on the album deals with the themes of love and heartbreak, and the short album includes seven tracks in total, most ranging around three minutes. Other tracks in the lineup include “Make You Mine,” “Memory Makin’,” “Roads We’ve Never Taken” and “Dear Life.” “Dear Life” completes the album, ending the collection with a high-energy, fast-paced ballad celebrating life and the fun of falling in love and meeting great friends.
Each song has its own sound, making it new and surprising. Whether it is a new instrument introduced, a high-energy guitar solo, or even a high note to end the chorus, there are twists and turns around every corner of this small album, and it packs a lot of punch.
The brothers are currently on their first headlining tour around parts of Europe and the United States. High Valley’s sixth album, “Farmhouse Sessions,” can be ordered on iTunes.