Nancy Wenstrom looks back on her life with warm Americana sentimentality on album, Inside Story.
Nancy Wenstrom really knows how to give you those warm, fuzzy feels. Her new album Inside Story (named because of being shutdown during the pandemic), is a warm slice of nostalgia that shows the love of her country and the life she’s lived. With heartache, loss, strength and overcoming, it really is an emotional rollercoaster set against an Americana-fuelled background.
California Love is the perfect start to the record, touching on Wenstrom’s early years travelling as a child as the track builds up a warm and country-tinged sound with drums keeping a slow and steady beat. With beautifully layered vocals in the chorus, it shows of a real sense of nostalgia and longing for travelling around the state she loves.
Followed by Alabama Song allows a dreamy blues vibe to enter the fray as Wenstrom builds the atmosphere to include another state she loves, singing, “I miss Alabama in the beautiful spring, the azaleas all dressed in full bloom”. Once again, the slow and delightful pace allows the words to really hit home and relax the listener as sliding guitars and strong vocals can almost make you feel the heat and see the flowers.
As the album builds, so does the skill and dexterity in which Wenstrom treats her music, with each song seemingly inspired by emotion. Previous single Vintage Tears is a more dark and somber tone with an intense and emotional chorus that shows another side from the bright and breezy beginnings. Mr Remedy hits us with a little more energy and fuzzy, blues guitar helps bring out the more rough and ready attitude that Wenstrom seems to delight in. In The Blues Kitchen tries to continue this vibe but perhaps needs a little more energy and pace to really bring it all together.
As the record draws to a close, the emotional intensity and fun doesn’t slow down, finishing on two contrasting tracks that show Wenstorms dexterity. Arms to Hold You is a beautifully paced and imagery-laden track of love and helping those around you when needed. Mercedes Ladies recounts the tale of a road trip down the California coast, ending the record as it started with a love letter to the place she belongs.
Inside Story by Nancy Wenstrom is the sound of a musician content with her life and able to revel in telling stories from her past and present. It’s refreshing in this time of hardship to have an album that is warm yet honest and brings a dose of sunshine to those that might need it.