“Big Skies” is the pangs of nostalgia for the wild cowboy days, boiled down to their most poetic, country essence. The record from R.W. Roldan is permeated by a palpable, yet not overwhelming or heartbreaking melancholy; the kind of melancholy whose bitter-sweetness seamlessly envelops your mind and body and makes bourbon taste even better.
It certainly has a common feel to it, as with pretty much all songs epitomizing country’s best practices – unadulterated, laid-back, but emotional singing that sounds like a calm reminiscence of a different time that is slipping away, accompanied by some melodic acoustic guitars and slide guitars that gently waft in the background like warm memories, and poetic lyrics that feel like a mature cowboy’s inner monologues.
But while “Big Skies” certainly has an overall vibe and style to it that is classically country, the record isn’t repetitive or formulaic. The songs have different feels to them, with some being more lighthearted and even playful, the kind you’d sway to as they turn your pain into something “you’d look back at and laugh about,” whereas others don’t dress nostalgia up in anything else besides poignant melodies and vocals that brim and almost overflow with yearning.
“Big Skies” is an instant classic that country lovers and old-school cowboys will probably relate to on many different levels.