Album Review: Delta Rae’s After It All

Delta Rae are a six-piece folk rock band consisting of siblings Ian, Eric and Brittany Hölljes, as well as Elizabeth Hopkins, Mike McKee and Grant Emerson. The bands’ sophomore record After It All was released this week and if you haven’t already got your hands on it, you truly are missing out.

We’re saying it now, the world hasn’t seen a band contend with the musical and vocal talents of Fleetwood Mac since ever, that was until Delta Rae burst onto the scene back in 2010 with their self titled and self released EP.
2012 saw the band release their debut record Carry The Fire, and their unique mix of bluesy, upbeat and aggressive sounds slowly made their way into the hearts of many across the globe. Three years later and the six-piece band have now released their sophomore album After It All and it’s going straight to the top of the list for album of the year.

Having just played Bluesfest this past weekend and winning over a legion of new fans, Delta Rae are a band whose music demands your attention. Like their previous releases, After It All is a record that can only be enjoyed to its fullest when you turn up the volume and just let the music take hold; you’ll be left dancing long after the record has come to an end, then feeling somewhat accomplished once the shared vocals of the Hölljes siblings and Hopkins have shaken your core and re-awoken your love of music.

Driven by raw emotion and sentimental lyrics, After It All is filled with tracks sure to play on every feeling you can think of. From opening track ‘Anthem’ you’re given a basic taste of what’s to come. It’s like the beginning of a journey, and once the first note of the riveting strings on ‘Run’ make their way into your head, there’s no going back. The record explodes into a work of art that is so masterfully pieced together.

What makes After It All a record worth your time is the beauty of hearing the vocals of four individual people, making it a showcase for each of their range and talents. Lead singles ‘Scared’ and ‘Outlaws’ boast the talents of Eric and Ian Hölljes, with their relaxed and warming vocals and ability to show even guys can hold the high notes. It’s a rousing experience– sorry bout it, Mariah.

Next we have ‘Chasing Twisters’, an upbeat track treating us to the country rock vocals of Elizabeth Hopkins. This girl can hold her own, with wild and raspy vocals that give her an old soul feel. Then there’s Brittany Hölljes, the youngest of the siblings with her haunting, brassy tones that breathe life into majority of the record. But if it weren’t for the collective of all four vocalists, the entire album would be lacking the powerhouse feel the band has worked so hard on creating.

As we mentioned earlier, the world hasn’t seen a band contend with the musical and vocal talents of Fleetwood Mac for what seems like forever so it’s no surprise Lindsey Buckingham laid down the music for one of the bands biggest hits, ‘If I Loved You’. The band re-recorded it after hearing Buckingham’s take and the original that was just backed by a banjo became one of the most powerful songs – lyrically and musically – the band has produced.

Delta Rae are a band unlike any other. They have taken the folk genre and made it their own, their collective sound is masterfully crafted. After It All is not only 16 tracks laid down on a record, it’s an emotional journey filled with ups and downs that upon hearing the first and final chords, it’s a record that will last with you.

After It All is available now through Delta Rae’s website and iTunes.

Alex Parker


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