DL Rossi Tackles Difficult Emotions with Melancholic Folk Songwriting on ‘Lonesome Kind’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

It’s taken a handful of records and a seemingly lifetime of heartache and personal misfortunes crammed into a few short years for DL Rossi to evolve into a remarkable singer/songwriter inspired by, but finally untethered to his influences.

On Lonesome Kind, Rossi’s latest, he still carries the scars of his divorce, brushes with cancer (his own and his uncle’s) and being turned away by the church community where he served as a worship leader due to their reaction to his music; but he has found his voice as both a songwriter and a singer. There will still be comparisons to contemporaries like Jason Isbell and John Moreland, and many will still be looking for connections to his musical influences (Petty and Springsteen), but it’s on Lonesome Kind where Rossi asserts himself as a songwriter.

The album opener, “True Blue,” is a melancholy, deeply personal exercise in facing hard truths and sets the tone beautifully for what follows. Across 10 tracks, Rossi tackles difficult but relatable emotions of loss, growing up and moving on – themes that eventually catch up to everyone. And all are delivered via a soulful, subtle classic ‘70s sound.        

On “Tumbling,” one of the stand-out tracks here, Rossi covers the experiences of dating in your 30’s. Elsewhere, “Whiskey” is a soft folk pop song about reflecting a cynical view on love and relationships, followed by “Great Lake State Line,” about going back to his native Michigan and reflecting on his family, two songs touching on wildly different emotions, but delivered with just as much sincerity.  

While there is an overall melancholic vibe to this record, it manages to avoid coming across as wallowing, rather it captures real emotions of a person working through the realities of adult life. At just 10 tracks, Lonesome Kind is over quickly but has a strong draw that begs for repeated listens. There are plenty of feel-good records out there, but the world still needs more albums like The River and Blue.  

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