The Americans Show No Sign of Slowing Down on “Strays”

Hailing from Los Angeles, and releasing an ambitious enterprising album, The Americans are proud to reveal their new EP Strays.

It’s clear from the first listen that these are more than randomly selected songs. Across its five tracks singer-guitarist Patrick Ferris displays a breadth of imagination and a willingness to experiment. His cocal delivery that is as soulful as it is heartfelt as he brings the lyrics alive on standout pieces such as “When You Get Back,” and “William (for Ledbelly).” The tales on Strays are honest, well-crafted, with each song proudly holding its own.

“We write our songs inside-out,” says Patrick. “We grab hold of something minuscule and primitive—a simple turn of phrase or an unusual beat—and try to build a song around it. It’s inefficient, but when it works, it works.”

The guitars bristle on “Kingdom,” and the steadiness of the tight music is played with skill. The Americans know their subject. The ornamentation is hard luck, struggles, and hope, all while often being showcased with a bright arrangement…and there’s a perfection to the form. 

The Americans’ last two releases, Stand True (2022) and I’ll Be Yours (2017), helped catapult the band into the spotlight. Revered producer T Bone Burnett called them “genius twenty-first century musicians that are reinventing American heritage music for this century. And it sounds even better this century.”

They’ve backed Nick Cave, Lucinda Williams, Ashley Monroe, and Devendra Banhart, and joined Ryan Bingham on four national tours. They worked closely with Jack White and T Bone Burnett, joining Nas, Elton John, and Alabama Shakes in the PBS/BBC primetime series American Epic. They have appeared on The Late Show(CBS), and their music was featured in the filmsTexas Killing Fields, A Country Called Home, Little Glory, and the TV seriesNo Tomorrow.

The Americans’ Strays may well be the most penetrating, yet compact album I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing this year. Through the diverse instrumentation and emotional rollercoaster, the band not only captures the spirit of an entire genre, but also intimately bares their souls. As their most fulfilled release to date, it lays the foundation for the future of The Americans, whose dynamic approach ensures they exist as one of the most exhilarating bands.