Kristian, Brandon Bush Sail Into Dark Water

Sugarland-related news continues rolling in well after the album cycle for 2018’s Bigger reached its conclusion. Jennifer Nettles grabbed recent headlines with her fashion-forward protest statement on the CMA Awards’ red carpet (not to mention her stellar performance alongside fellow Georgia-raised talent Walton Goggins on The Righteous Gemstones). Kristian Bush keeps busy, as well, with such side projects as his new band Dark Water.

Dark Water’s self-titled debut teams Bush with his brother Brandon (a former member of Train) and Blackberry Smoke collaborator Benji Shanks. Together, they make rock music akin to the Grateful Dead’s twangier material, as heard on advanced single “Paint It Blue.”

Other highlights include the funky “Different Way to Get There” and its tight harmonies, multi-part jam band opera “Carry You Away,” country-rock slow-burner “Goliath” and acoustic campfire singalong “Here and Gone.”

It’s different but not too out there. For example, “One of a Kind” resembles some of the better material on country radio, even if it’s smarter than so-called “boyfriend country,” while the Americana crowd should claim the aforementioned “Goliath” as its own.

In all, Dark Water delivers with more than just leftovers that don’t suit Sugarland’s sound.

Photo by Ben Rollins.