The band opted to move from the major label mainstream back to their grass-roots fan base with this indie release. "Chasing Daylight" shows Sister Hazel's growth with everything from rock mantras to moving ballads. Most notable is the lead single, "Your Mistake", with its poignant lyrics, elaborate instrumentation, and memorable melody.
Gainesville, Florida's Sister Hazel would have you believe that resuming indie status has given the band renewed vitality, and judging by the sheer force of Chasing Daylight
, you'd probably be inclined to agree. Opening with a trio of songs that are shamelessly buoyant, the band makes clear its determination to craft anthems, and they're not about to let lost love stand in the way of a hooky chorus, as songs like opening track "Your Mistake" make clear. The relatively somber ballad "Best I'll Ever Be" divides the disc between its utterly accessible first half and slightly more adventurous last half, but generally speaking, the quintet stays on point, delivering smooth, sing-songy country-dusted roots-rock full of wide-open spaces and palpable longing. Skynyrd
is subtly noted in the dirty guitar graffitied across the opening of "Swan Dive," though their Florida brethren never had the vocal harmonies mustered by Sister Hazel at full tilt. And while a full string section adds shadow and nuance to these compositions, Chasing Daylight
is straight-up, radio-friendly, and as comfortable as worn denim. --Kim Hughes