Deer Tick – Emotional Contracts

Deer Tick - Emotional Contracts



4.5/5 Pros

  • Wide range of songs
  • Very enjoyable listen

Deer Tick from New England is having a very characteristic blend of genres. The US-Americans haven’t released some new album for quite a while. However, on 16th June 2023, they shared Emotional Contracts with the listeners. I share my thoughts with you.


Deer Tick – About The Artists

Deer Tick are an alternative rock band from Providence, who add Americana and folk elements to their music. They are active since 2004 when the band initially started as a duo named My Other Face, Currently, the band is a quartet consisting of singer-songwriter John J. McCauley, Ian O’Neil (guitar), Christopher Ryan (bass) and Dennis Ryan (drums). The band is also doing entire cover sets of Nirvana songs and then act as Deervana. The weird band name is based on the result of a hike, when McCauley found that kind of animal on his skin. He is also the only founding member still active. Emotional Contracts is the first long-play of the band since 2019, when they release the album Mayonnaise.


Deer Tick – Emotional Contracts – Track by Track

The ten track album lasts 40 minutes.

1. If I Try to Leave

This song has in fact been the last single release before the album has been published. You feel the Southern rock in the opener – but I especially love the hard touch, which adds some outlaw flavor. Nice keyboard lines.

2. Forgiving Ties

From the very beginning, the second track feels to have a very different touch. The first instruments which are present is the groovy bass and percussion elements. Overall, the characteristic voice of McCauley is taking over the lead of the four minute song.

3. Grey Matter

This three minute song is the first one on the album which has not been published yet. Very cool uptempo country rock with a nice indie touch. Love it!

You won’t regret it, the places you’ll go
Never forget it, it’s a hell of a show
Turn around, click your heels if you wanna go home
Some come to the light, some run for the door

4. If She Could Only See Me Now

If She Could Only See Me Now is a lovely blending of elements which define this album. First of all, there is a lot of groove – but on top of that, you just cannot deny the country vibes. The guitar lines also add some nice alternative rock and indie rock elments, which overall lead to a fresh and modern listen.

5. Running From Love

Running From Love is the first ballad on Emotional Contracts. The song is rather saddening in its story, but it is a lovely arrangement by the band and a beautiful performance on the microphone.

Dead of winter, in the deepest snow
My soul is trudging down the side of the road
My head and heart can tend to push and shove
I’m always running, running from love

6. Once in a Lifetime

Deer Tick is welcoming the listener with a stomping rhythm and a nice main bass theme at the beginning of the song. Step by step, this previous single release is adding a layer until it becomes an enjoyable, energetic song with a very uplifting character. Now is the right time – definely would agree that it is at least a good opportunity to listen to this one.

7. Disgrace

After listening to the last single release of the album, I expected to have a short break and relax with the next song. However, Disgrace suprised me and is in fact a happy party track with accordion sounds and a touch of rock’n’roll. One of my favorite listens in here.

8. My Ship

After this song with a dance attitude, Deer Tick just go for the acoustic guitar in the opener and do a rather quiet (and also short) song. Very melodic song, which rather feels like a folk pop song.

9. A Light Can Go Out in the Heart

The album stays on the slower side and goes for an emotional ballad. Another real beauty, which is definitely touching.

I’m left with my last drop
I know I’ll leave you with scars
In the face of even cancer
Sometimes a light can go out in the heart

10. The Real Thing

And then, there is the closing track. The Real Thing almost lasts nine minutes is thus just misses being twice as long as the second logest listen on the album. The track is a melancholic rock song. Some garage sounds here and there. Despite the duration, the song does not feel to be lengthy.


Deer Tick – Emotional Contracts – Spotify

Here is Emotional Contracts on Spotify:


Deer Tick – Emotional Contracts – My View

I really enjoyed listening to the his album. Deer Tick did ten really versatile songs, good listens. There are party tracks as well as quiet and thoughtful moments. Very well done!


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