John Moreland (from the album Big Bad Luv)

John Moreland shows Big Bad Luv on his latest release for the hard times. His words take the isolation out of heartbreak by showing it as a common thread that holds together human life. Big Bad Luv hears ‘the devil laughing from the ambulance passing’ in “No Glory in Regret” as it encourages the anger that rises as the siren fades to be expressed. John Moreland offers ‘good luck finding your peace of mind being born into these brutal times’, admitting that the scars showing on his skin are not from the cutting words of others in “Lies I Chose to Believe”. What allows the songs of John Moreland to break through from good to great is his ability to look directly into the face of pain, to spit back at suffering with his words, and to stare down sorrow in his stories. Big Bad Luv is a bright light into dark shadows. The album drags the stormy weather that rolls through our lives back out into the sunshine by fully embracing the adage of ‘no pain, no gain’ as it celebrates the sound of breaking hearts.

A rumble of rhythm courses under “Ain’t We Gold” as John Moreland gives it up for good love and how two together can survive in a world that steps all over their toes. Quiet strums and a honky tonk piano look for truth to trust in “Love is Not an Answer” as Big Bad Luv puts a relationship on trial over sparkling picking and weaving lead guitar riffs on “Every Kind of Wrong”. The album exorcises the feelings of youth under a ‘screaming sky’ with “Latchkey Kid”, and inspires to forge forward and not fall prey to the past in “Amen, So Be It”. John Moreland is an A-list songwriter, dealing a deck full of winners on Big Bad Luv as he asks for a little help to ‘wash these years off my face’ with “It Don’t Suit Me (Like Before)” and closes “Old Wounds” by turning the blood flow from the violence of love into a song while he heads back onto the touring highway with “Sallisaw Blue”.

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