Embers & Ashes is a 13-track body of work that collates songs that Burn County has worked with over the years. The compilation fuses different musical styles ranging from country/folk, and pop with an edgy hip-hop aesthetic.
The project opens up with the anthemic “Stand Up” featuring Hard Target, Jake Lacoste and T-Spade. As the title suggests, it aims to get the crowd jumping with aspirational and bravado raps all tied together by a triumphant chorus. The verses are primed by country guitar plucks and rich electric guitar riffs and punchy drums as well.
This is followed by the dark vibes of “Looney” which brings together Big Smo and Krizz Kaliko. The track is as cinematic as they come with its rich layered pads, rousing guitars and vibrant drum grooves. The result is a blend of vivid verses that take listeners deep into the boons and a scenic melodic chorus delivered by Kaliko to complete the job.
“Country Tough” is a heartfelt track that talks about resilience and the journey from nothing to something. The track is led by a soothing melodic chorus that sets the tone and we get to hear Big Smo and Wade B share their individual tales and the many events that shaped them into the men that they are today. Lines like “Its a rough road with no seat belts, we do it all we don’t need help/So I’m all in with the winning hand cos I’m playing cards that we dealt”, help sum it all up nicely and remind listeners that hard times don’t last but rather tough people do.
Watch the ” Stand Up” video below.
“The Ledge” dive deep into Dusty Leigh’s personal journey through the ups and downs of life and how he battles his inner demons while “Small Things” is an emotional tune about appreciating the small mercies granted to us. The track brings together Apalachee Don, Brian Todd and T-Spade who share their respective tales of gratitude and they implore us to focus on things like family, friends and love rather than material things. “Fade Away” sees Demun Jones in a retrospective mood as he runs down the names of the people who stood by him through tough times. Over the sombre guitar-driven backdrop, he pours adulations on these friends who held down the fort. “Hitching Post” switches up the energy on the compilation with an anthemic drum groove and rousing guitar riff that rises as the song progresses. The track is helmed by Long Cut who delivers a vivid tale of the young Southern Belle whose beauty makes men rubber neck and lose their minds.
Watch the music video for “The Ledge” below.
The fun continues with tracks like “The Sticks” featuring Jake Lacoste, Kelsoh and “Perfect” with Domangue. The former has a mellow groove and ominous guitar riff and dark pads all underpinned by graphic lyrical display from the emcees who bring us closer to life in the sticks. The latter is a thumping tune that is ripe with a rich guitar arrangement and punchy groove that fits Domangue’s laidback flow and introspective lyrics about his own flaws. On “Trapper”, T-Spade pours his heart on wax and shows his vulnerability as a young man trying to find his footing in this dangerous world. “Better Man” pairs Brad Cox and Mindi Abair for a brilliant country jam that talks about the virtues of being true to oneself and having integrity. The vocal runs are engaging and the melodies capture the true essence of the Country genre with its distinct inflection and engaging storytelling that is both relatable and unapologetic. The icing on the cake is the chorus which culminates in an aspirational and uplifting performance.
Watch the video for “Small Things” below.
The project closes out with “Undefeated (Brad Cox Remix)” and “Railroad” which features Dusty Leigh, Hubb Walla, DurtE. These two tracks help cement the project with their dynamic production value and top-notch songwriting. “Undefeated (Brad Cox Remix)” is an anthemic track featuring Outlaw and Brad Cox and they deliver the perfect theme that aims to get listeners to go out and achieve their goals. “Railroad” tones it down with a sombre and melancholic track ripe with rich melodic runs and songwriting that details the daily struggles of the everyday man working to make end things.
Stream Embers & Ashes on all DSPs here.