• Rating: 5.5 / 6

New Model Army vocalist and songwriter Justin Sullivan recently released his second solo album titled "Surrounded", which consist of sixteen tracks that were conceived and written in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020, and I think we should take a closer look at what it has to offer. 

"Surrounded" is a warm, soothing, and utterly compelling record that is as intimate as it is darkly beautiful. This one speaks to the soul and is so emotionally charged and moving that is it actually something akin to a musical revelation to these ears. In other words, this is a true gem. Sullivan and his friends effortlessly weave elements of Americana, folk, indie rock, and singer/songwriter together to great effect, and although it may appear sparse or even minimalistic at times, there are in fact heaps of layers and plenty of depth to the LP. Listening to these brilliantly evocative compositions is an immersive experience and their brittle soundscapes conjure images of endless horizons, bleak skies, dusty backroads, wide open spaces, deserted villages, and desolate landscapes. The way in which various instruments such as piano, cello, flute, harp, violin, percussion, and bass accompany and complement Justin’s unique voice is a thing of rare beauty. The lyrics are superb and range from morose to uplifting and covers just about everything in between the two, which basically applies to the music too.

"Surrounded is an accomplished set of original tunes and a damn fine example of how to tell captivating stories through song. Delicate, elegant, and absolutely stunning.