Therapy sounds like a drag. Tequila therapy, though? Sounds like a good time. With eight number one hits, Old Dominion has given real good times to all of Nashville and country music. But after months of not touring, the band returned to their native roots of North Carolina to start fresh. Their return to Nashville marked one of the biggest releases of the year with Time, Tequila & Therapy. The band’s fourth outing under RCA is a soulful surprise that overcomes the hardest of feelings on life. Not much needs to be said about this past year that hasn’t already been written about before. So, let’s instead push it away and let the positive outlooks commence with Old Dominion starting it off.
Let’s just say that there’s “No Hard Feelings” when it comes to moving on from the past and moving forward. While the track speaks specifically on someone’s love life, Old Dominion displays an ability to pertain their songs to any situation. But love is something they know best. Whether it’s just the love of getting out and enjoying life with the one’s you’re close with. Take “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With Love” for instance. It’s short. It’s sweet. It’s kinda like most love encounters these days. There’s just something about the swing riffs and hard beat of the drumstick that makes Old Dominion sound raw. But the production is clever with establishing a credible band with a garage sound making the theme of quick love relishing.
But what happens when you start adding other places that you love to go to? According to rhythm guitarist Trevor Rosen and lead singer Matthew Ramsey, that’s easy to talk about. Rosen explains, “I was just sitting on the couch and Matt goes, ‘We should go to Hawaii, we should pack all this and go to Hawaii.’ And we’re like ‘Yeah, that would be fun.’ He had a ukulele in his hand, and we just started goofing around and doing Hawaiian stuff, and we were like, ‘What if we just wrote a whole song that was Hawaii-themed?’” The tropical vibes from “Hawaii” can make any Tennessean yearning for the beach and warm weather again. Besides a luxurious, eye candy of a lyric video, Old Dominion paints vivid imagery and salty breezes with their voices. The ukulele-driven ditty is as a soft pivot from regards on a distressful affair in “Why Are You Still Here”. With the weather starting to get colder in Nashville, any warm feeling is appreciated when you consider the latter track concerning a past ex-girlfriend. But we’ll leave you to dive more into that at another time. For the sandy beaches of Hawaii await below.
One thing that this band has shown, if they haven’t already, is that they’re not afraid to show diversity in their sound. With a little bit more soul for a change. No one has, arguably, more soul than Gladys Knight. The “Empress of Soul” lends her voice in a feature that welcomes the artist to country music in the duet “Lonely Side of Town.” The smoothness of both lead singers’ voices adds the velvety groove that comforts any partner. As Rosen states on her inclusion to the track, “It was just a miracle. It seemed surreal. It didn’t seem possible, but it was just amazing that it fell together the way it did.” The miracles come together here as the Motown/country fusion works so well together that it cuts like butter.
Love is just one of the many “strong flavors” and “snapshots” of the album, as the band puts it. Time, Tequila & Therapy is an abundant record that conveys the strongest moments during a short time of writing. But as the band does what they love to do, they send off a special message through their Instagram, “Here’s to hoping that one day you too will not only live your purpose, but also have the gift of knowing, in that moment, you are doing what you were put on this earth to do. Enjoy a little Time, Tequila, & Therapy.”
Written by Trenton Luber