Delta Rae – The Light

Delta Rae - The Light



4.5/5 Pros

  • Wide range of songs
  • Amazing vocals
  • Very straight and honest, good storytelling.

After Delta Rae has been quite successful in the beginning of the 2010’s, the band has not been too present in the previous years. The more, their 2019 announcement surprised that the band left their record company and started a Kickstarter campaign for a double album. The band raised 15 times their initial goal of 30,000. The Light, the third studio album by the band, is the first part of this fifth biggest music Kickstarter campaign of all times.

Delta Rae – About The Artists

Folk rock, country rock, blues – it is hard to define the exact style of Delta Rae. On their homepage, they simply call themselves “The Great American-Southern-Gothic-Male-Female-Soul-Folk-Pop-Country-Family Band”. Easy, ain’t it?

Their origin is Durham, North Carolina, where their had their debut acts in October 2009. The original band setup contained three siblings, Eric, Ian and Bittany Hölljes as well as Elizabeth Hopkins. However, in 2010 they added Mike McKee and Grant Emerson. Their first recording was a self-released and self-titled EP in 2010, which just had limited success. Their 2012 debut album Carry The Fire, which has been produced by Sire Records, already had notable placements in the US Heat and US Folk charts. Another EP, the 2013 Chasing Twisters went Top 10 in the US Heat Charts. Delta Rae’s last studio album, After It All, has been released in 2015 and also had quite reasonable success. Apart from two EPs in 2017, there have been no additional recordings. Delta Rae’s most commercial success on the singles side was the 2013 If I loved you, which has been recorded with Lindsay Buckingham.


Delta Rae – The Light – Track by Track

The twelve tracks of The Light last 40 minutes.

1. Burning In Carolina

The album starts with a very special song. Starting very slow and silent, even having a touch of a Christmas song to me in some passages, it deals with the beginning of the band and their childhood in Carolina. Nice track.

2. Take Me There

Take Me There is massive to. Especially the chorus reminds me of the strong vocal performances by bands like Lady Antebellum – though Delta Rae has a very special style. From the very first time I listened to this song, I felt I have to enjoy this song live on stage – bad luck that there is just a US tour so far.

3. Any Better Than This

The much slower and also “leaner” Any Better Than This creates a very different atmosphere than Take Me There. Still, there is that happy rhythm, which feels to urge you to move and dance. Nice one!

4. Stronger Than A Lion

You may think I’m weak, that my heart beats faint
But you shouldn’t judge an engine by the car’s chipped paint
Baby, I’m a fighter in the robes of a saint
Pull me through your fire, but I feel no pain
I’ll be a survivor when I rise from the flames

The arrangement of that track fully focussed on the lyrics and by that has a touch of a gospel song to me, before this gets interrupted by piano and drums in the middle of the song, which introduce a much wider production. A bit experimental, but a nice track indeed.

5. No One Will Miss Me

The huge variety of songs and arrangements, which is possible within the Delta Rae band, is just amazing. No One WIll Miss Me is a rather fast song performed by Eric Hölljes. A bit of a depressive song.

6. Back To The Garden

I gotta get back to the garden
Got to get back to my own dreams
I gotta get back to the garden
Take care of the world that’s taking care of me

One strong lead vocal, a great set of backing vocals with a very down-to-Earth arrangement of instruments – Delta Rae also make nice tunes out of this home-sweet-home topic, inspired by one band member’s engagement. Nice.

7. Only In America

Delta Rae becomes very politic in this protest song – in their comments about the songs, they compare Only In America with Sweet Home Alabama. Like that song, definitely!

On the banks of the Mississippi
They build ships too big to fail
In the banks in New York City
They invent new ways to steal your money and run
Set the poor against the poor
Send healthy young men to war and never look back

8. From One Woman To Another (feat. the McCrary Sisters)

I love the dramatic plot and arrangement of this song dealing with sisterhood and the warning So from one woman to another, let him go. Again, I am impressed by the range of songs in this album. Powerful track!

9. If I’d Known I Loved Her

Just due to all the power in this song and the great vocals, this is one of my very favorite tracks of The Light. Wow!

10. Danced Right Out Of My Arms

If I’d try to describe Danced Right Out of My Arms as brief as possible, I would say it is a great Motown-style song – with the typical Delta Rae strong vocal elemsnts. Even in this genre of music, Delta Rae are able to produce fantastic tracks – great!

11. Soft Place To Land

Soft Place to Land starts as a very soft and gentle song – but even though it keeps its arrangement, it is growing over its 3:39 minutes play time (the second longest track on the album, by the way) and has some very intense and powerful moment.

12. The Wrong Ocean

With The Wrong Ocean, the album closes with a quite classic Delta Rae sound. Country, folk, home made sounds – no motown, no pop – just the sound as we are used to listen to them. After this travel to so many genres of music in forty minutes, it feels a bit like a homecoming.


Delta Rae – The Light – Spotify

Here is the The Light Spotify widget.


Delta Rae – The Light – My View

The album got it all: great music quality, lovely vocals, a wide range of stories and musical influences. It’s country, folk, it’s even soul and Motown – overall, it is just a great listen and lovely forty minutes of musical entertainment. I definitely suggest a listen into this Top Pick!


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