Stream The Lone Bellow's New Album, 'Walk Into A Storm' Walk Into A Storm ably captures the group's earnest, ingratiating charm, dispensed via charisma-drenched songs that amble and soar.


Review: The Lone Bellow, 'Walk Into A Storm'

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

The Lone Bellow, Walk Into A Storm. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

If there's a secret to the warm, wide-open sound of The Lone Bellow, it lies in absolute sincerity and commitment: As playful as their live shows can be, Zach Williams, Kanene Donehey Pipkin and Brian Elmquist perform with openhearted, vein-bursting conviction. All three of the band's albums — including the new Walk Into A Storm — ably capture the group's earnest, agreeable charm, dispensed via songs that amble and soar.

Between 2015's Then Came The Morning and Walk Into A Storm, The Lone Bellow relocated from Brooklyn to Nashville — a move reflected by the presence of producer Dave Cobb, who's overseen star-making albums for the likes of Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson. Cobb gives Walk Into A Storm a bright, crisp, sunny sound that perfectly matches The Lone Bellow's penchant for warmly rousing, gospel-inflected Americana.

The record comes stacked with charisma-drenched ringers, from the crowd-pleasing single "Time's Always Leaving" to the roiling opener "Deeper In The Water" — which, in turn, gives way to "Is It Ever Gonna Be Easy," a slow-burner that channels both Van Morrison and his spiritual descendant, Glen Hansard. Elsewhere, Williams and Pipkin duet in the string-swept ballad "Come Break My Heart Again," Pipkin takes the lead in the countrified barnstormer "Feather," and Williams conjures up the chiming charm of late-'80s college radio in "Can't Be Happy For Long." All the way through, each song is calibrated for maximum ingratiation — a goal it hits with clockwork precision.

Correction Sept. 7, 2017

A previous version of this story misspelled Kanene Donehey Pipkin's middle name as Doheney.