Life is a road trip on Divining Rod’s stellar new country EP Santa Monica & Other Golden Classics.
Divining Rod have released their new EP Santa Monica & Other Golden Classics. A six-track collection of country, blues and rock and roll gems, the project marks the Brooklyn band’s first longer-form release since 2019, and begins with the nostalgic twang of country guitars on EP opener Another Endless Night.
Blissfully paced and almost destined to become a foot-tapper, the track is anchored by the infectious drawl of Divining Rod vocalist Miyuki Furtado, who also provides a striking electric strings alongside bandmate Patrick Harmon.
In between rapid-fire cadences and backing percussion courtesy of John Malone, Furtado sings of “just try’na last another day,” before questioning “what it is we’re living for.” While the lyrics read somewhat melancholic, Another Endless Night breezes by on an otherwise-upbeat tempo, with Furtado later conceding while “the thunder has no end in sight,” he can still acknowledge that it “[hasn’t] been the worst.”
Slowing down the proceedings on second track Hands Off The Wheel, Divining Rod retain the summery guitar strings for a more reflective take on life’s many winding roads. Perhaps the track’s major drawcard is Matt Svigals’ melodic bass, which affords it an introspective feel as Furtado muses on “feeling like a hundred thousands miles away from you.”
Hands Off The Wheel remains steady through its lyrical journeys by way of Malone’s punchy and consistent drumwork, with a final electric guitar sequence adding a sense of finality to the song’s story of life as a road trip. Elsewhere, on EP single GOAT, Divining Rod pay homage to a muse who’s the “greatest of all time.” Marking the project’s most rock-leaning entry, GOAT glistens with shiny guitars and a clap-along rhythm, as punctuated by Furtado’s animated vocal adlibs.
Sparse on lyrics, the single allows space for stretches of uninterrupted instrumentation, spotlighting the magic created when Divining Rod combine their talents. “They’ll name a playground after you,” Furtado sings, and with such a consistent tracklist so far, you could argue he’s applauding Divining Rod itself. There’s an intoxicating quality to Furtado’s rich and textured vocals, which are perhaps best showcased on Mason County Line.
Raspy and warm in equal measure, the frontman’s performance gels seamlessly amongst the production, with Mason County Line all-but confirmed to comprise your next road trip playlist. So vivid is the aesthetic that you can almost picture the song’s mentions of far-flung horizons and stormy nights.
Divining Rod try their hand at country balladry on Pull Me To The Light, a slow-going penultimate track peppered with shimmering guitars and the kind of listless rhythm that’s purpose-built for down tempo groove. The band’s efforts culminate on EP closer Santa Monica, which veers into pop-punk territory of catchy guitar melodies.
There’s an undeniable nostalgia to Santa Monica, which incorporates subtle backing melodies and reflects lovingly on its titular city. “It’s gonna be” Furtado croons “like the city lights of Santa Monica.” It’s a fittingly heartening ending to a triumphant collection of country bangers, with Divining Rod adding a worthy entry to their catalogue.
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Santa Monica & Other Golden Classics serves as the follow up to Divining Rod’s debut album Return to Crystal Cove, which arrived in 2019. Elsewhere, the band are set to perform at this year’s American Roots Music Festival in Caramoor, New York, where they’ll take to the stage alongside the likes of Brandy Clark, Sunny War and Miko Marks.
Listen to Divining Rod’s new EP Santa Monica & Other Golden Classics below.