Richard Buckner has been off the radar for a while. You could look up all the reasons for his album being delayed, or you can put on Our Blood and appreciate that he’s found his voice again. Buckner’s first record in years finds him casting warmth over darkness. It’s like a waiting fire after a long autumn walk– a bit of refreshing simplicity.
Buckner’s voice is pleasingly gravelly, like a restrained Eddie Vedder, making the lyrical content of Our Blood appealing to listen to even when the words are more serious than they sound. The record is the soundtrack of someone on the run, a journey that doesn’t have an end. Acoustic guitars, keys, and steel guitar make for landscape that only has a hint of loneliness.
To call Buckner a singer/songwriter is to discount the intricate work that is his music. His voice is the main instrument, but it’s part of a compelling, delicate, Americana whole. No matter the challenges that appear in Buckner’s songs, there’s always a hope and a need to carry on minute after minute. Perhaps that’s the lesser element to take away from the long wait between his releases. Or you could just enjoy yourself.