Triston Marez is going full-throttle on his self-titled debut album.
After a slew of EP’s and singles over the past few years, he finally released his first full-length studio project.
The up-and-comer from Texas’ new project sounds just like traditional country music, but he manages to keep the subject matter and storytelling current and fresh. A fine line to toe, no doubt, but he absolutely knocked it out of the park on this one.
The Houston native lists Chris LeDoux, Aaron Watson and Cody Johnson as some of his biggest musical influences, and recently, he’s opened for the likes of fellow Texans Randall King and Parker McCollum.
He put out a handful of tracks in the lead up to the release of the full album, “Where the Neon Lies”with Ronnie Dunn, “Hits A Little Different,” “Two Beers On The Bar” and “Cold Cold Night.” Somehow, those just scratch the surface of all the good music on this album. He’s also listed as a co-writer on 9 out of the 12 songs on the track list.
He says he focused on his songwriting the most on this project and it shows.
“Writing for this album was an experience in itself and really a first to me. I finally had the chance to become fully a songwriter with no distractions. I woke up every day with the efforts of writing the best song I can possibly write.
Every song off this record has a story or a piece of my life written into it. It’s from the heart and nowhere else. I hope these songs impact you in a way that music should, the way they hit me.”
What hit me more than anything when I listened to this album the first time around was the production quality. Every single song just sounds so good, and you can tell a lot of effort went into making that way, which I really appreciate. That element alone can make or break an album, and it’s a huge compliment to every well-written song on this project.
It opens with “Whole Lotta You,” a sweet, mid-tempo love song that perfectly introduces you to the Texas country sound that carries throughout. The next track, “Day Drinking,” is a stand out to me. And that’s no surprise, considering it was co-written by Chris Stapleton alongside Lee Miller. I love the chorus on this song:
“Now day drinking leads to happy hour, And happy hour to tequila nights, And tequila nights lead to bloody mary mornings, And that gets me thinkin’ about, Day drinking Day drinking”
Another one that stood out was “Texas Swing” with the Squeezebox Bandits & Jessica Roadcap, which was co-written by Triston along with another incredible artist, Gabe Lee, and features some of my favorite production on the whole album.
The last trio of songs closes out the album with a bang.
“When She Calls Me Cowboy” is exactly what you’d imagine it to be with a title like that in the best way… it’s quintessential Texas country.
It gripped me the first time I heard it, and I can see it having great potential as a single when the time comes to pick another.
“She’s Had Enough of Texas” is another great one and it might just be my favorite. Triston finds himself lamenting a newly-ended relationship and running through some of the memories he can’t get out of his mind, feeling “Lone Star lonely”.
Featuring incredible writing (some of the best on the whole album, in my opinion), it’s one of those songs you put on when you just want to drink a beer and be sad for no reason… also known as the best kind of country song.
Lastly, it closes with “Drink About Me.” Again, that one features clever, well thought out lyrics as Triston points out that, while an ex-girlfriend no longer thinks about him, all of her actions point to the fact that she still drinks about him. There’s not a bad song on the whole damn thing.
The album was produced by David Dorn and Alex Torrez, and it’s a hell of a debut. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say this is probably one of the best collections of songs we’re going to hear in 2021. An early contender to make all of those end-of-year lists, without question.
I can’t think of a recent debut album that was this good. Do yourself a huge favor and go check it out… You can thank me later.
And, he recently hopped on the Whiskey Riff Raff podcast for an awesome conversation with Wes and Steve you can watch here: