As we look forward to the new music coming in 2016, we bid adieu to 2015 by spotlighting albums that were released late in the year, we overlooked or simply didn’t have time to cover. Beginning with the September release of Not Here, the sophomore album from Alabama’s The Pollies, those familiar with the band’s 2012’s debut, Where the Lies Begin, Not Here sounds reminiscent yet fresh.
In the three years since the Muscle Shoals band debuted with Where the Lies Begin, members have come and gone: original members Jay Burgess (vocals/guitar) and Reed Watson (drums) are now joined by Spencer Duncan (bass) and Danny Hurley (keys/guitar), helping to refine the band’s sound on Not Here. Again working with Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes), Burgess’s vocals are brought to the forefront of these new songs, his subterranean Mason-Dixon drawl almost cleansed. Adding strings to the mix on the aching “She” and organic “My Darling,” The Pollies put their stamp on garage rock with “You Are” and “Losers,” while gliding along on “Games” and replacing pedal steel with twirling guitars and radio-ready harmonies on the resolute first single, “Lost.”
With a revamped sound that remains rooted in the South while drawing influence from California (The Byrds, Tom Petty), Not Here, overshadowed by releases from fellow Alabama artists Jason Isbell and the aforementioned Alabama Shakes, didn’t receive the proper attention it warranted in 2015.
Stream “Lost” below and purchase Not Here on vinyl and CD via Single Lock Records.