Lovers and Leavers
Like fellow Texans Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt, folk singer Hayes Carll has a knack for making even the bleakest scenes sound like fodder for redemption. His subdued fifth album is filled with wise, weatherworn songs whose truths aren’t always easy to hear. “Baby it’s a hard way/It’s an eternity/We got the life that we wanted/Not the love that we need,” he sings on “The Love We Need,” transforming a line about giving up into one about moving on. Even on comparatively upbeat tracks, like the highlight “Love Is So Easy,” Carll sings less like he’s living in the present than recalling a rose-colored past.