A.T. Branch’s ‘Road to Renegade’ Reaches the Finish Line
We’ve been following the journey of A.T. Branch this fall, as the Nashville-based artist released single after single in anticipation of his debut EP, Renegade.
Now, Renegade has arrived. And, as a complete work, it’s as strong and daring an introduction as we’ve come to expect.
“I very much believe in Matt Bellamy’s (of Muse) philosophy of concept albums. Otherwise, you just have a collection of songs. Every song, in one way or another, had to have a way to evoke the “renegade” idea,” Branch said. “Whether by telling things I don’t feel the average male would tell, or whether it just comes in with a punch. If it didn’t meet that criteria, I couldn’t put it on the EP. That’s me sticking to my guns.”
Renegade certainly comes in with a punch from the opening bell: the hard-hitting, previously unreleased “Put in Work” lets us know that Branch has every intention of pushing his dreams as far as they will go. Title track “Renegade,” which comes next, carries a heavy weight in its swirling chorus; one felt by an individual who presses onward on the road less traveled, through the good, bad, and ugly of it all.
The other previously-unreleased song — “What You Came For” — certainly fits the theme of Renegade by touching on a topic rarely covered by a male artist: dealing with the physical and psychological aftermath of someone’s unwanted advances. “What You Came For” is also a sonic left turn from the rest of the EP. It’s a risk that pays off, as the poignance of Branch’s haunting falsetto over a dark, synth pop-meets-trap soundscape is one of the record’s standout moments.