Austin Lucas – Stay Reckless



Stay Reckless


New West Records




For Fans Of

Cory Branan - Tim Barry - Ben Nichols


A captivating fifth record from the Bloomington songwriter.


70 / 100

Stay Reckless‘ is a pretty deceptive little album. The latest record from alt-country songwriter Austin Lucas opens with ‘Let Me In’, a relatively energetic number backed by boisterous electric guitars and brimming with punk rock charisma. There’s some hints of longing scattered throughout the lyrics but on the whole it sounds fairly hopeful and upbeat – it belies the emotional wallop that Lucas packs into LP #5.

Written during Lucas‘ divorce, the Indiana troubadour pens some of his most poignant, heartfelt lyrics throughout the 11 songs on ‘Stay Reckless‘. Tracks like ‘Rings’ – inspired after Lucas‘ wedding band began to quite literally slip off a few weeks into his marriage – as well as powerfully introspective closer ‘Splinters’ demonstrate the kind of honest songwriting Lucas is capable of – the combination of heart-on-sleeve openness, with southern storytelling that country music is heartily known for makes for the kind of music that demands an emotional response.

In saying that, however, it’s far from being a collection of morose heart breakers, and there’s a hopefulness and indeed, a defiance to tracks like, ‘So Much More Than Lonely’ – “I am so much more than lonely / more than broken songs.” What’s more, unlike previous album ‘Somebody Loves You‘, a fairly sparse record instrumentally, Lucas enlisted Tennessee outfit Glossary to perform backing band duties on ‘Stay Reckless‘ and it adds a welcome layer of warmth to the overall atmosphere of the album. Take early track “Alone in Memphis” – originally written as a quite morose “sad bastard” song, it becomes a lively number that still holds onto its sincerity.


Ultimately, on ‘Stay Reckless’ Austin Lucas’ versatility and sheer songwriting talent are put on full display and the end result is a personal, wonderfully earnest bunch of songs that masterfully draw in elements of folk, punk, country and bluegrass. Authentic and evocative, you’d be a fool not to pick this up if Chuck Ragan, Tim Barry et al. are your jam.


1. Let Me In
2. Alone In Memphis
3. Four Wheels
4. Small Town Heart
5. Rings
6. Save It For Yourself
7. Different Shade Of Red
8. Stay Reckless
9. So Much More Than Lonely
10. Gift And A Gamble
11. Splinters

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