Just Came Around

Gayle Lynn & the Hired Hands

There are plenty of good-natured country vibes on Lynn’s latest, but the songstress is at her best when tackling darker issues. Alcohol is a recurring character on the record, not the happy-hour type but the type that gives you the blues at 4 a.m., and the rest of your life thereafter.

Lynn’s lyrics are observant, soulful and staggeringly sad. “Feeling This Way” paints a character self-medicating at a bar, desperately avoiding the empty house she’ll find at the end of the night. “Let Myself Be” shudders with disappointment, lamenting a wasted life (The dreams still in this heart of mine, I can’t find the time).

Don’t worry. Hopeful moments (“Live Oak Lane”) show the lead character unloading her problems, if only for a bit. Lynn’s tender, soulful voice might depress you, but it’s still mesmerizing.