Through the three tracks on his EP The Nashville Sessions, Blake Dagley is reflecting on the last few years and the emotions we have all felt. Bringing emotional and social struggles to sonic glory, he sprinkles a touch of anxiety into his folk-rock sound. Using extremely relatable stories, he combines them with catchy melodies that make this short EP a pleasure to listen to.
The heartstring-tugging tracks of the EP came together from a somewhat random Instagram message from producer Dean Miller to Dagley. When Dagley realised who had reached out to him, they quickly started making plans to get him to Nashville to record. The vision he had for these tracks was picked up by the production team who turned them into something spectacular.
The EP opens with ‘Ain’t Going Down Like This’ which brings the creeping itch of anxiety and insecurities. The picked tones of the guitar sets the mood for the track and has a feeling that tension could creep into your shoulders at any time. As the music leads you into the pushing chorus, the vocals attack anxiety and insecurity head-on. The lyrics are almost conversational as they speak to anxiety and let it know the feelings it invokes. There is a push against the drag of anxiety on the chorus that fills you with strength and the empowerment needed to overcome insecurities. This is a really motivational song that flows through your senses with a delicate touch that turns into a delightful Americana folk-rock push.
‘Paradox’ has more twang to the opening as it fills you with a rather stripped-back sound. The guitar shines through the opening with a delicate beauty as the vocals tells the story of choices. Dagley’s vocals are powerful in their emotive flow as he paints a rather cinematic picture of a crossroad and the choices you need to make. The uncertainty of the choice is woven into his performance as is the knowledge that you are going to be letting someone down regardless of which path you choose. There is a sad feeling to this track that really reaches into your chest and tugs at your emotions. The empowerment of the opening track gives way to a sombre contemplation that is just as powerful.
The EP closes with ‘Milly’ which tells the story of a small-town girl who moves to the city and the boy in her hometown who wants her to come back. There is a nostalgic feeling to the single that is enhanced by the delicate piano line. The guitar line gently dances like twinkling stars as the vocals bring the hopes of the boy to life. There is a gentle yearning for Milly but this has been tempered with the knowledge that she made a choice that he can’t change. The lyrics bring both sides of the story but primarily focus on the boy’s thoughts, particularly in the chorus. The storytelling flow of the track is fantastic as you can easily see the story play out across your eyes.
Blake Dagley tugs at your heartstring with the three tracks of The Nashville Sessions as he empowers, reflects and fills you with sadness. Each track touches on a different story and topic while reflecting on emotions we have all felt in the last few years. Combined with fantastic storytelling lyrics and emotive vocals, the tender music sweeps you into his sonic world.