Fans of accessible, engaging Americana music will find a lot to like in Addison Agen’s album When the Morning Comes. It’s a sound that some might even call country music from a classic definition of the genre. Agen’s vocal is sweetly rewarding on each song, with a through-line of relatable lyricism that makes for a wonderful album listening experience.
The opening track “My kitchen floor” was my introduction to Agen’s sound and exactly why I wanted to feature this album. Although there are some electric guitars that make the song feel more “modern,” the core of the track’s message is about work, love, and real “salt of the earth” sentiments. It reminds me a bit of Dawes’ “Little bit of everything” with its accessible, common folks’ sensibility toward daily life in a common place.
“Still Yours” and “Floating” both bring a kind of pop country flavor to the record, allowing Agen’s vocal to shine through. The lyrics on both tracks presenting relatable, human experiences. The jazzy energy on “Floating” really shows a unique sound to Agen’s voice that fits in the Americana realm. The production decisions on “Floating” really feel like the golden age of pop country music and more of the “Nashville sound” than we tend to get on most Americana charts these days. It’s a gem.
“Lion” has a theatrical quality to it. The strings in the background create a real sense of depth to the composition. Agen’s vocal emerges with power and authority, all while expressing a lyric about a “tenderhearted lion.” The juxtaposition works beautifully. “Darlin'” introduces keen-earned listeners to the connection between jazz and honky tonk country music. It’s a mashup that I’d love to hear more often, to be honest. The rhythm will get even the hardiest wallflower to take a turn on the dancefloor. Agen’s fun-loving energy comes through on this one. It’s a love song, obviously, but it’s also one of those songs that is sure to put a smile on your face whether you have a darlin in your life or not.
“Over you” is a softer style of love song, allowing the acoustic guitar and sincere lyrics to define the track. I’ve always been a big fan of “a girl and her guitar” style music, so the opening of this one is a favorite section on the entire album. The plaintive and approachable piano work on “I promise” shows, again, that Agen’s concern is not genre convention. This is a heartache song, a breakup song, and a relationship opened for listeners to feel. The amount of emotion coming from this track is absolutely magical.
The title track “When the morning comes” has a gospel flavor to it, which works really well. I love the bluesy acoustic guitar work and Agen’s expressive vocal on this one. It’s a gorgeous bit of songwriting and performance. The easy going two step rhythm and gospel chording feels like a true down home anthem. I’m not sure if Agen has a background of singing in church, but I would certainly guess so after hearing this beautiful song. It’s the class of the album for me and I hope I get to hear it live some day.
To keep the review brief, I had to skip a few tracks, but let me assure you that there are no “skip” tracks on this beautifully written and performed album. Agen introduces a variegated style, not beholden to genre or trendy styles. Each song has a message with a relatable, personable, and expressive sincerity. If you are a fan of the catchall category of Americana music and support a brilliant emerging vocalist, definitely give this album your time. You’ll be blessed for the experience, that’s for certain.