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Dragging Behind by Liam Bauman

Ah, the opening track—always a gateway into an artist’s world, a window into the emotive and thematic landscape they’ve carved out. “Dragging Behind” by Liam Bauman isn’t just an opening number; it’s an invitation. It’s like stepping through a door into a room filled with amber light, worn-out armchairs, and the lingering scent of nostalgia. Bauman beckons you to sit, to listen, to feel. And honestly, you’d be doing yourself a disservice to decline.

Liam Bauman, based in the music mecca of Nashville, is no newcomer to the scene. His previous works, like the 2019 EP “Passing Through,” showcased his dexterity as both a performer and producer. But “Dragging Behind,” the lead-off to his 2023 EP “Big Hand,” feels like the work of an artist who has not just matured, but evolved.

Musically, the song is a marriage of indie folk’s heart with the raw edges of alt-rock. It immediately brings to mind the wistful songcraft of Ruston Kelly and the emotional poignancy of Phoebe Bridgers. However, it’s not just a blend of influences; it’s a character all its own. The guitar work is exemplary, threading the line between technical prowess and emotive expression—qualities that should surprise no one who’s been following Bauman’s trajectory. His fingerwork on the guitar doesn’t just keep pace with the lyrics; it dialogues with them, enriching the story told by the song.

Now, let’s talk vocals. Bauman’s voice is a textured instrument, one that can transmit a range of sentiments with nuanced simplicity. It’s both a nod to his own inspirations—Tom Petty’s unpretentiousness, Bruce Springsteen’s raw storytelling—and a testament to his unique style. He’s at home with the likes of Ben Howard and James Bay but distinguishes himself with a sort of emotional vulnerability that is irresistibly engaging.

Lyrically, “Dragging Behind” has that timeless quality; it speaks to the universal yet personal feelings that make us human. It’s almost like a cautionary tale wrapped in a lullaby, a song that could serve as the soundtrack to your deepest reflections or your most heartfelt conversations. The metaphors are mature, the wordplay delightful, and the delivery sincere. Bauman captures a snapshot of life’s complexities and paints it in strokes of melody and verse.

It’s evident that Bauman is on the cusp of something truly significant. The “Anyways + I’ve Been Hiding” EP speaks volumes of his prowess as a songwriter and producer, but “Dragging Behind” feels like the moment before a crescendo, a tantalizing taste of the heights he’s about to reach. It’s a splendid blend of everything he’s absorbed from a rich palette of influences, and yet it’s distinctly, mesmerizingly his own.