Written by Lauren Rosier
One is a famed hip-hop artist and the other is an American singer/songwriter and majorly sought-out producer in the industry. It’s not likely to have such different artists collaborate together; however, stranger things have happened, and now we’ve been graciously introduced to one of the best collaborations of the year.
Sometimes Y, the project’s stage name, delivers a 10-song album that features various genres including rock ‘n roll, folk, and Americana. The album was recorded at the famous Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles in the summer of 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The album is produced by two-time GRAMMY-winning producer, Shooter Jennings, was mixed by GRAMMY-winning engineer, David Spreng (Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Dylan), and mastered by GRAMMY-nominated engineer, Pete Lyman (Chris Stapleton, Weezer).
Jennings appears on synthesizer, piano, and acoustic guitar with Yelawolf as the invigorating front man. The band is rounded out by Jamie Douglass (drums), Ted Russell Kamp (bass, banjo, acoustic guitar), and John Schreffler (guitar, pedal steel).
The record opens with a self-titled track that knows how to rock. The track opens with the use of synths, which creates a space-like effect as they count down from 10 to 1. Yelawolf immediately starts singing, “I gave everything up when I came to that corporate room/But giving up my last okay wasn’t good enough for you…”
The project’s second single, “Rock & Roll Baby,” is dark, haunting, and brooding, as Yelawolf sings about the emotional consequences of growing up too fast. The guitar work by Schreffler is fantastic, in addition to the entire band delivering quite an exceptional performance. They understand how to deliver a story and how the music and lyrics must flow together to create a well-written song.
Perhaps, you’ve heard the project’s infectious debut single, “Make Me A Believer,” in which the band channels artists from Bruce Springsteen to The Killers. Listen to the track here and watch the video below. “Make Me A Believer” is a solid rock song that channels other artists but also allows Sometimes Y to create their own sound, and it makes for a solid radio-friendly, rock ‘n roll hit.
Following “Make Me A Believer,” they break into the track, “Radio,” which is a complete 180. “Radio” is your ultimate 80s song: dark, brooding guitars, synths, and lots of synths. The track takes us back in time to the 1980s and I can’t help but love it more.
The next track, “Jump Out The Window,” is an infectious, radio-friendly song that consists of terrific instrumentation from the band and excellent vocals from Yelawolf. I can hear this song being a movie of some sort. This track also has a little bit of an 80s feel to it as well.
Jennings and Yelawolf show off their versatility with the next track, “Catch You On The Other Side.” The soft ballad is a beautiful example of their ability to create literally anything from a rock ‘n roll song to a soft rock ballad.
The guys take an entirely different turn on the next track, “Fucked Up Day,” which to me, doesn’t even sound like Yelawolf. I think this track has a completely different vibe than the rest of the album; it features a psychedelic guitar solo around 3:30 into the song.
When I first heard their debut single, “Make Me A Believer,” I felt that this project was definitely one to watch, and after listening to the full album, I definitely think they deserve recognition for a surprise collaboration that not many people would’ve anticipated the partnership to be as successful as it has been. I commend Jennings and Yelawolf for delivering such a versatile project filled with powerful, quality songs.
Connect with Yelawolf
Connect with Shooter Jennings