Recording information: The Bomb Shelter; The Tigermen Den.
On Hurry Home, the 2017 sequel to their eponymous 2015 debut, the Deslondes take things easy, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're lazy. Part of the charm of the New Orleans quintet is their light touch, how they blend country, blues, folk, and noir-ish rock without ever seeming like they're conscious of their fusion. It helps that the Deslondes not only poach from several different Americana styles, they help muddy up eras, splicing AM pop to a backwoods skip on "(This Ain't A) Sad Song" -- a move they mirror on "Every Well," where a Tex-Mex two-step gets drowned out by swaths of organ -- and indulging in dreamy waltzes ("Just in Love with You," "She Better Be Lonely") that can evoke the Everly Brothers as easily as they conjure memories of the time-bending music of Twin Peaks. The Deslondes can kick up some dust, too -- "Hurricane Shakedown" is a barnburner of a blues, one that benefits from producer Andrija Tokic's smeary production -- and if the group can sound like Tom Waits as a babe in the woods whenever the tempo slows, that's endearing too. The Deslondes don't seem encumbered by either the expectations of genre or the weight of the past. Instead, they spend their time on Hurry Home cherry-picking what's good, assembling an album that feels familiar yet idiosyncratic. The coziness makes the first spin of Hurry Home go down easy, but it's those quirks that pay off dividends on repeated plays. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine