Canyons by Gone West

By: Marti Mendoza

Gone West, composed of Grammy Award winner Colbie Caillat, multi-platinum singer-songwriter Jason Reeves, Hawaiian Music Awards winner Justin Kawika Young and ACM and CMT nominee Nelly Joy, just released their debut album, Canyons. A beautiful record that takes the listeners through the journey of life filled with heartache, inspiration and optimism.

Opening the 13-track record with a title track of their own band name, “Gone West,” this song introduces the background of each member as they’re all from different parts of the country. Caillat comes from California, Young from Hawaii, Reeves from Iowa and Joy from Texas. With an upbeat introduction that will draw you in with their vocals and harmonies, this song was perfect to start the album.

Before going into a big theme of the record, which is heartbreak, the second track, “Slow Down,” is a feel good song about being with the one you love and taking in each moment you have together. Next is the band’s breakout single, “What Could’ve Been,” which made its way through the charts and got the attention of country radio. It starts with Caillat’s recognizable vocals and later mixed in with beautiful harmonies. It features Gone West’s sound found in all their songs, which is a folky, pop inspired and contemporary country sound. Followed by a sad heartbreak song with relatable lyrics, “When To Say Goodbye” showcases more of the band’s impeccable harmonies.

The next couple songs, “Knew You” and “Confetti,” are upbeat and pick the mood back up. Even though the lyrics are still talking about a breakup, it’s with a more positive and feeling good approach. Both have a folky sound and with lyrics like “But lookin’ back I understand that I didn’t lose you, ‘Cause I never knew you” and “No tears fell, just confetti.”

Just when you thought heartbreaks and breakups are all fun and games, Gone West comes back down to show the reality of it all with a slow piano track, “I’m Never Getting Over You.” Young and Caillat’s vocals blend beautifully as you can feel the hurt in their voices and their great songwriting. This is definitely a stand out track in the album.

Taking us through the journey of life, “Gamblin’ Town” is a song about trying to make it in the industry. The competition is so high, but you have to take your chance in order to eventually reach success. There’s no guarantees with anything, but you have to play the game and live on faith. The album continues with a couple more heartbreak songs, “Talkin’ Bout You” and “Home Is Where The Heartbreak Is.” Then, it finishes on a high and cheerful note. “R&R” is a great summer jam that’s full of good vibes and will be a must play on your road trip this summer.

The last two songs to close off the record will have the listeners feeling grateful and inspired. “This Time” is a heartfelt song about living each day to the fullest, appreciating what’s in front of you and knowing to not take anything for granted. It’s a captivating song that’s one of the best in the record and filled with more amazing harmonies. Lastly, Canyons closes with a positive, optimistic song about flowing through all the tough times life may face you with, “We’re just waves rolling with the tides.” This is a great way to end the album and leaves the listeners on a hopeful note.

Gone West’s debut album most definitely did not disappoint. It’s great to see these four amazing artists come together and create this beautiful album. Their vocals sound magical together, and they will no doubt see more success in the coming years. Check them out and take a listen to their album below!