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Dane Joneshill nails it on the first try

Dane Joneshill‘s voice is impressive. It’s a strong, clear, and confident tenor, soaring in the right places; it’s the kind of voice people work a very long time to gain control over. Joneshill, by contrast, has it nailed on his debut album.

The vocal performances aren’t the only thing that Joneshill delivers with excellence. His arrangements, whether piano-based or guitar-based, frame Joneshill’s voice perfectly. Everything about Everything That Rises Must Converge feels very established and mature—there aren’t any notes out of place or elements of the arrangement that detract from the songs.

Joneshill’s milieu is a gravitas-laden mix of contemporary folk, Southern rock, and singer/songwriter work; fans of Jason Isbell, Needtobreathe, Josh Ritter, and more will find themselves grabbed by this work. “First Communion” is a powerful example of his sound—start here if you’re going to start anywhere. The melodies are indelible, the arrangement pounds, and the overall product mines a deep vein of emotion.

“Live a Little” has a more southern rock vibe, a la Needtobreathe. “If I Could” features more excellent vocals from Joneshill; the vocal melodies are particularly great in the bridge. “Billy” is a great piano-led folk tune—there aren’t a lot of those, so this is high praise. This one is an elegy for a dying person, which makes it hit pretty hard. Fans of a more singer/songwriter-oriented Jason Isbell will feel this one real hard.

Speaking of hitting hard, “We Lie Together” is a devastatingly sad tune about a crumbling marriage. It might be a bit too close to home for some people, but then again, it might be encouraging in some way to those going through it.

“The Long Way Around” wraps up the record excellently, bringing all of the elements of his sound together in one strong tune. He throws in some gospel for good measure, making this one of the most fun songs in addition to being one of the most interesting. If you’re looking for some Southern music that’s full of emotion and depth, Everything That Rises Must Converge should be on your must-hear list.