by Jonathan Keefe Music Rooted & Restless

Gone West | Tide

March 3, 2019

Now that country radio programmers have realized that the women of Little Big Town are pushing 50, and have soured on Lady Antebellum’s brand of aural Lunesta, there’s an opening for a new co-ed act. But rather than biting with any of the superlative singles by Delta Rae in the last few years, it looks as if programmers might instead embrace Gone West. The quartet consists of just awful erstwhile pop star Colbie Caillat; her fiancé, Justin Young; “Bubbly” co-writer Jason Reeves; and Nelly Joy, who was last seen and heard from as one of the appalling JaneDear Girls.

The Tide EP’s lead single, “Gone West” — because why the hell wouldn’t that also be the title of the group’s first single? — and the simpering “This Time” both aim for the rootsy-pop of the Lumineers or the Lone Bellow but, instead, recall “Simple,” the single that found Florida Georgia Line playing Mumford & Sons dress-up. The songwriting on is on par with Caillat’s pop hits, which is to say it parlays vapid lines like, “I’ve gone west to bring the best back with me” and “When you left, I was so damn ready / No tears fell, just confetti” into ostensible hooks. To their credit, Gone West sell all of this with enthusiasm, though that enthusiasm far outstrips any actual skill that they display on these four tracks.

Published as part of Rooted & Restless  | Issue 1