There’s always something about Nebraska that makes me think of sleepy one-diner towns where everybody knows each other’s business and it’s always cold yet heartwarming. I dunno, maybe it’s Springsteen’s album, or countless TV shows on Netflix and the like, but it always feels like it’s somewhere special, somewhere I’d belong.
Salt Creek are a 5-piece outfit hailing from Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska. By the looks of it Lincoln is a bustling city but this band somehow paint a picture closer to that of my imagination. Despite only a couple of years together, Salt Creek deliver a masterclass in emotion and maturity in Where Strangers Go, their new self released EP, their second following a 2-track demo earlier last year.
Falling somewhere between American Football and Wilco, the five songs on Where Strangers Go are individually designed to capture each band member’s history and experience. That each piece falls into place so cohesively is a joy.
The most striking thing here is the melancholic warmth, evoking memories of a childhood you didn’t even have, its pull is that strong. Vocalist Chase Thompson belies his relative youth with a confidently delivered performance throughout, never quite letting go but revealing enough character to colour songs such as EP highlight “Taste the Floor” and “Window Shade”.
Guitarists Cam Penner and Nathan Richardson play beautifully off each other, their rich tones often mingle but by and large respect each other’s space. “Weathervane” represents the pair at their best – the understated reverb heavy rhythm compliments the lilting lead part perfectly. Drummer Nate Skinner and bass man Zach Chrastil keep everything in its place, never letting the tempo escape them, lazily tight and adding just enough weight when needed.
It may be a little early to throw accolades around, but to these ears this is the most satisfying release of 2017 so far. Here’s hoping the boys get to cross the Atlantic and bring a little Nebraska to our doorsteps.
Header image by Randy Edwards Photos, LLC
Where Strangers Go is out now