Tear Your Heart Out by villagerrr album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions. The group's new LP is now out via Darling Records


Tear Your Heart Out


“Looking out beyond all the things we doubt / And all the things we need,” Ohio’s Mark Allen Scott, aka vilagerrr, sings to end his eleven track, forty five minute album, Tear Your Heart Out, out via Darling Records this Friday. It’s understated music, decidedly midwestern, with striking similarities to one of my favorite bands, Hovvdy, from Austin, Texas. From first track to last, it is chill, countrified indie rock, that bares all, with a particular emphasis on his small town relationships and often country feelings.

“I’m only being honest,” Scott sings towards the end of an album, set in corner liquor stores and by running rivers. “I don’t know where the time went / I thought it stretched / Ten miles long.” There is the measurement of time, the measurement of love and friendship, the measurement of his own broken heart. He hits on feelings that you feel in a small town: “It’s not fair / Stranded here

Away / Away.” He talks about the necessity of friendship’s you can rely on: “I hope you don’t leave me on my own.” He talks about the watching that you do in life: “Taking turns / Watching people burn.”

The thrill of the record, is that all of these honest and artful observations are couched in indie music that is supremely listenable and pleasant, like Hovvdy has created before. Like in Scott’s band name, there is a penchant for the “rrr” in titles like “Neverrr Everrr,” and “Barn Burnerrr,” a little bit like a country exclamation mark. There’s not much variation, from start to finish, but the songs are all definitely unique and speak their own message, which adds to the cohesive whole.

It is an interesting album title, Tear Your Heart Out, for such a soft spoken style of music, but gets at the angst behind his daily experience. “I pick up my guitar / And loosen strings… / So maybe then my feelings / Will slip out,” he sings in the song, “Cry On,” which ends with the phrase, “Another shoulder beside you / to cry on.” He is providing a soundtrack to sad and sunny days, alike.

I enjoyed the poetry, but perhaps there could be more word play on an album that is so laid back and lyric-intensive. Like he does successfully with the song “Car Heart,” which is a play on Carhart pants. But overall, it is an impressive showing of a talented songwriter and song composer, that hopefully will win him more fans, after a prolific output of four albums (including this one) since 2022. He is showing his staying power on this great record, and if you like your indie rock with country elements, definitely check this album out.

Order Tear Your Heart Out by villagers HERE

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