In the new single “Fire on the Mountain,” the strings on a rustic acoustic guitar engage in a simplistic dance with Bill Crews’ vocal rather plainly, but the harmony that they conjure up together is anything but forgettable. There’s a kinship between the instrumentation and the verses in this track that isn’t wholly created by the structure of the rhythm; in fact, I would even suggest that there’s something rather spiritual transpiring in “Fire on the Mountain,” which is easily one of the more boldly evocative songs you’re going to find when browsing through the music this artist and his band have released so far.
In this piece, this singer/songwriter is putting tonality before everything else, bucking minimalist trends but refuting the very notion of overindulging in his brightest sonic attributes; in a nutshell, Bill Crews is distinguishing himself as a go-to country troubadour in this latest release, and proving to the world that although he’s only several songs deep into his career, he isn’t about to start slowing down for anything. On the contrary, it looks like we’re going to be hearing some of his best work to date in 2022.
Everything from the cadence of the verses to the construction of the main hook in this song is built upon the foundation of the strings, and I think this was quite a wise decision to make on Crews’ part. There has been a highly noticeable spike in vocal-driven Americana music over the last couple of years, particularly in the alternative community, but “Fire on the Mountain” isn’t relying on powerful poetry alone in its mission to win our hearts and, ultimately, introduce a new generation of fans to the magic that is the Bill Crews discography.
The master mix is sporting a fantastic attention to detail, allowing for all of the individual elements in the track to share a bit of the spotlight – if only for a fleeting moment – and by the time that the music ceases to play, we don’t feel as though we’ve just experienced a one-sided compositional effort by any means. There’s a lot that could be done with this song in a live setting, which is definitely where artists like Crews and his well-chosen cast of contemporaries tend to have the biggest impact.
Whether you’ve been listening to his music for a while now or are just now getting into his sound for the very first time via this new single, Bill Crews’ “Fire on the Mountain” is a track that you just can’t go wrong with if you love country/folk crossovers with a slight bend towards Americana. This is one singer/songwriter who has never backed down from a challenge in or out of the studio, and in 2022, he’s making it abundantly clear to all who are listening that his music is going to remain relevant into the next chapter in his storied genre’s history. I’ll be staying tuned for more, and I think you would be wise to do the same.
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