Noelle & The Deserters ramble through nostalgic country landscapes on new High Desert Daydream album

Noelle Fiore gives honkey tonk a southwestern touch on High Desert Daydream. Photo: Shaun Astor

Outside the front doors may be a swirl of gridlocked traffic swirling down grimy interstate freeways and a sea of noise, impatient interactions between strangers and the heavy and anxious breath of a post-COVID world, while inside is a country band meandering through roots and honkey tonk tinged songs fronted by a woman in an impeccably shiny outfit far flashier than the nostalgic sound which their set transports those in the room far away from the outside world. Or so it’s easy to imagine such a scenario when listening to High Desert Daydream, the first album by Noelle & The Deserters.

Noelle Fiore and her band are as pure a trip back to an era of music where emotion rings through the sound of a pedal steel guitar and a soft strum of a guitar, all while Fiories vocals possess a honey coated delivery.

Sacramento based by way of Taos, New Mexico, Fiore flavors her lyrics of highway nights and scenic imagery with a southwestern touch. In fact these landscapes paint a constant presence throughout High Desert Daydream‘s songs. In “Our Loves Got a Cold” the group’s infatuation with Emmylou Harris is on high display, while “Now I’ve Got You” travels to sparse and eerie corners giving nod to Neko Case’s early albums. The galloping storytelling style of Marty Robbins shines through in the song “Taos”, all before the album concludes with the euphorically building “Wonder Why I Wander” where the instruments as well as Fiore’s bouncing register reach a fever swirl of almost cinematic beauty.

High Desert Daydream meanders across a variety of landscapes, both sonically and geographically. Noelle and her band are able to capture a feeling simultaneously nostalgic for a past era when country music told a story through vibrant imagery and honkey tonk twang that simply knows how to hit, while doing so with a contemporary smoky rhinestone polish.

More information and tour dates at noelleandthedeserters.com

Physical albums available from Speakyeasy Studios SF

ABOUT Shaun Astor

Picture of Shaun Astor
Shaun Astor cites pop music singers and social deviants as being among his strongest influences. His vices include vegan baking, riding a bicycle unreasonable distances and fixating on places and ideas that make up the subject of the sentence, "But that’s impossible…" He splits his time between Reno and a hammock perched from ghost town building foundations. Check out his work at www.raisethestakeseditions.com

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