Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine what’s new and old in entertainment.
The band Judah & The Lion hit the mainstream in 2016 with the single “Take It All Back,” from their album Folk Hop N’ Roll. The track hit number one on Billboard’s alternative songs chart on its way to a gold certification by the RIAA.
Now, the band is back with a new album called Pep Talks that is truly worth a listen. The album continues the band’s exploration of electronic sounds meshed with a more traditional instrumentation that includes a banjo and mandolin. And sonically, the band has come to embody a sort of hybrid of Mumford & Sons and twenty one pilots. If you’re looking for a representation of that hybrid, look no further than the album’s guest artists. One song called “Pictures” features the Grammy’s Best Album winner and country music star Kacey Musgraves while another called “Passion Fashion”, features Jon Bellion, a rapper/singer and electronic artist.
Lyrically, Pep Talks deals with heavy topics like overbearing anxiety and the end of a relationship, before ending with some light-hearted fare, like trying to impress a girl in gym class. Even on the heavier lyrical entries, the album’s sound never bores and always offers something worth dancing to… if dancing away your anxiety is your kind of thing. Some of the album’s standout tracks include “Over My Head”, which contemplates the stress of trying to enter adulthood and live a purposeful life, and “Don’t Mess With My Mama”, an electro-inspired single angrily defending a mother’s honor.
For fans of alternative rock, Judah & The Lion’s album Pep Talks offers new additions to the library of heavy-rotation songs. For everyone else, the album still provides a fresh enough approach to some universal topics that make the album worth a listen.
Judah & The Lion’s album, Pep Talks, is available now for purchase and to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.
I’m Evan Rook.