On Oct. 27, Flatland Cavalry, the Texas-native folk-rock group, released their fourth album “Wandering Star.” A band that had just gained some traction recently with the help of Luke Combs’ world tour now has many listeners eager to hear what Flatland Cavalry has been up to.
In 2012, Vocalist Cleto Cordero started the band in college with the drummer, Jason Albers, and they formed the full band by 2014. Dropping their first EP, “Come May,” in 2015, the newly found group was freshly created and in full swing. Within a year, Flatland Cavalry released their first album, “Humble Folks.” This release holds their most popular song, “A Life Where We Work Out” which features Cordero’s wife, Kaitlin Butts.
“Wandering Star” continues Flatland Cavalry’s rise to fame. The Texas group’s new album contains 13 tracks with three singles that were dropped before the album’s full release. “Last American Summer” and “Oughta See you (The Way I Do)” were released throughout the summer, while the release of “Mornings With You,” which features Butts, came out in late September along with the announcement of the album. This marks their first release with their new record label, Interscope.
As this album was their most anticipated to date, it does not have any standout songs like “A Life Where We Work Out” or another popular song of theirs, “Sleeping Alone.” Hoping that the release of “Mornings With You” would give off the same vibes as “A Life Where We Work Out,” it just feels a little slow and doesn’t give off the aching love story feeling that made “A Life Where We Work Out” so popular.
“Mornings With You” is a love song, where the singer is longing and enjoying the sweet little moments with their loved one. While “A Life Where We Work Out” is a wanted relationship that will never happen, or “work out.” The band manages to keep the same feel of every album previously to “Wandering Star,” while also adding subtle changes here and there that gives it a fresh feel. The first track, “The Provider” starts off with an electric guitar, joined by a heavy drum and gives off an old school honky-tonk feel. While songs “Only Thing At All” and “Let It Roll” have inklings of blues and soul sprinkled throughout.
The seventh track on the album is exceptionally special as it acts as the title track. There is no song called “Wandering Star” on the record, but the song “Spinnin’” acts as the main star of the album and does have the lyrics “wandering star” set in the second verse. “Spinnin’” has a groovy electric guitar sound, which seems like a common theme for the folk-rock group, especially in this record. This song travels into the singer’s tendencies to ruin things for themselves and put them back into situations they know do not end well for them. The first verse talks about how the artist should have known to leave before the band came on and “shoulda known when to walk away from a game I ain’t winnin’.”
This implies that the singer has a lack of self-control and does not consider the consequences that arise after making these decisions. The chorus brings the theme of the whole song, explaining that the singer spins around a dance hall, hoping not to fall—meaning that they get caught up in these situations frequently and continue to get stuck in a cycle. The lyrics “feeling six foot small” infer that, with the decisions the singers keep making, he is destroying his self-esteem. The second verse then introduces another character, who most likely is a love interest. Referring to them as a “wandering star,” the song explains how lost the other person looks when it says, “Darlin’ you look lost and I feel found. Guess the universe is on your side when luck and loneliness collide. So, hand in hand, merry, we go ‘round.”
These lyrics suggest that both individuals are seeking some sort of companionship at their lowest points. The singer hopes for some connection to be formed, but every night ends the same way, no matter how hopeful the artist may be. Everyone can relate and understand the feeling this song gives and the meaning behind it. Many Flatland songs have the same gut wrenching, aching heart, love story theme to them that their listeners certainly enjoy.
Flatland Cavalry’s fourth album, though some say is overproduced or lacks a star song, still has the Flatland Cavalry charm and continues to leak their motto of “Easy on the Ears, Heavy on the Heart” throughout every song. It has been over two years since a full-length album was released by the folk-rock group, and “Wandering Star” was worth the wait. If you are not a fan, or have never heard of Flatland Cavalry before, give their newest album, “Wandering Star” a listen. You will not be disappointed.