Butch Walker’s newest release, Peachtree Battle, is an intense rush of emotion packed into a 5 song EP. Walker wrote these songs while coming to terms with his father’s failing health and the depth of his feelings for his family and hometown are evident through all of the songs. Opening with the crowd singalong of “I’ve Been Waiting For This” Walker so perfectly balances pop hooks with beautiful imagery of growing up and coming to terms with adulthood and the disappointments that life can bring. “How in the hell do you know what love is, when you’re divorced at 22″ perfectly encapsulates the feelings of doubt and growth that come with making important decisions throughout life.
The title track for the EP is an ode to the places that Butch and Big Butch shared. “It gets hard to see the same streets I shared with you…” croons over a plaintive lap steel, giving the listener an insight into the pain of not finding comfort in places, but more so in memories. “Favorite Son” continues Butch’s talent for blending an upbeat melody with a heavy topic. It’s a perfect driving track. Definitely listen to this one during those times when you want to put on a song to singalong with and think about things in the car by yourself. “Coming Home” is classic Butch Walker lyrical imagery. Setting up introspective scenes of life, love and loss set against a hopeful melody that will get stuck in your ears for days. The subtle strings are almost lost beneath the driving piano and drums, but it’s haunting in it’s simplicity.
The EP closes with “Let It Go Where It’s Supposed To”, already a crowd favorite, that is a true tribute to his dad. It’s about the lessons that your parents can teach you that you’ll never forget. It’s a reminder to all of us to not let life get the best of us. “Let it go where it’s supposed to, let your life hang out the window to dry/and if it catches the wind, and you never see it again/then I guess it was probably time” is a lesson that we can all learn from “Big” Butch. Even if you never met Butch’s dad, by listening to this record, you can get a beautiful picture of a man that had a huge impact on those around him. Butch’s record is a beautiful tribute to his father and is a joy to listen too. It may be a heavier subject matter than most of his records, but it’s a lovely collection of songs that also gives the listener a little bit of hope.
RIP “Big Butch” Walker, this collection of songs is a beautiful tribute to you and your family.