‘Fighting For’ – Evan Honer – New Album Review
UPDATED: June 13, 2024
UPDATED: June 13, 2024
Evan Honer - Fighting For

Evan Honer returns with his latest album, Fighting For, released on June 7, 2024. The new project showcases his growth as a songwriter and artist, featuring heartfelt lyrics and a blend of traditional instruments and modern sounds, proving he is a standout in the roots music genre while challenging the mainstream country norms.

Honer is a true RootsnRevelry favorite, not just because he’s a singer/songwriter, but because there’s a uniqueness to him that can’t be artificially cultivated. Although he has emerged from a roots-heavy background, the 23-year-old has that “It” factor. His voice, while spreading the folk music gospel, is laced with enough angst and cursive singing to easily masquerade as the frontman of an emo punk band…..This is meant as a compliment. His vocal solidifies his authenticity. Honer has a genuine knack for exuding vulnerability, making you believe every word. You feel, and his voice is the vessel.

Honer is currently on his Nowhere Fast Tour promoting the new album, check out our coverage HERE.

Highlights

The album opens with Nowhere Fast, a standout track that establishes its brilliance from the start. Essentially an autobiography of the struggling musician, it explores his perception of himself and others, and his journey to overcome perceived shortcomings. The song is brilliantly arranged with simple acoustic instruments, ebbing and flowing in and out of the chorus, emphasizing the weight and irony of “I’m going Nowhere Fast.”

Mr. Meyers is another powerful acoustic guitar ballad, depicting an old man’s struggle with the loss of his wife late in life. The tune is somber and sad, filled with beautiful fingerpicking and bass walkdowns that vividly describe Mr. Meyers’ loneliness. His daily tasks have become insurmountable mountains to climb as he waits and hopes for his own exit. The song is poetically painful, with no resolution, mirroring life’s sometimes harsh reality.

Take Me As I Come features fellow RootsnRevelry favorite, Wyatt Flores. Co-written by Flores and previously released as a single, the tune is already hailed with critical acclaim. The track creates the perfect ambiance of a flawed man’s plea, laying it bare, apologizing for the way things are but remaining unapologetically himself, singing, “Take me as I come or don’t take me at all.” The pair create powerful peaks and valleys between the bright melody and raspy harmonies.

More Standout Tracks

Every track on this record is remarkable. Evan Honer’s ability as a songwriter to evoke emotion, be deep and poignant, yet ambiguous all at the same time, is truly impressive. Brother is another gut-wrenchingly beautiful song, touching on the damage and despair caused by mental health issues or possibly addiction, and the longing to take away your loved one’s pain and suffering.

idk shit about cars was my first introduction to Honer, and it made a lasting impression. The song is clever, humorous, and self-deprecating—hallmarks of a true country song. It’s more produced than most of the album but still channels the perfect mixture of country and western fiddle and standup bass, adding to its playful nature.

With all that said, let’s talk about the title track, Fighting For. I listened once, then again, then I watched the video. Goddamn, what a song. Fighting For is truly a work of art and arguably Honer’s best work. Instrumentally, Honer sticks to what he does best: less is more, deliberate and precise, bringing power to the words. Lyrically, this track is an absolute beast. Perfectly written with an ambiguity that depicts two emotionally damaged people trying to figure out where they stand with one another, unable to open up due to their emotionally or possibly physically abusive past.

Or maybe… it could also be describing two star-crossed lovers whose emotions get the better of them, with him being “that last guy” to hold her. She forgives him and laughs it off, only to restart the cycle. Maybe? Maybe not? Regardless, it’s painful yet beautifully written with intricately deep layers—a true accolade of a song. This is the gold that make songwriters envious.

Tracklist

1. Nowhere Fast
2. Brother
3. I Figured We’d Go Dancin’
4. Mr. Meyers
5. Take Me As I Come (feat. Wyatt Flores)
6. I Hope That’s All You Need
7. Empty On The Inside
8. Wake Up, Come Down
9. Greetings from Tulsa Oklahoma
10. Losing Faith
11. A Thousand Times
12. Easier
13. Someone You Don’t Know (feat. Julia DiGrazia)
14. idk shit about cars
15. Fighting For
16. Take the Sunrise

Final Thoughts

Evan Honer may not know shit about cars, but he sure know how to make a damn good album.

I know, I know… This review has been more ass-kissy than critical. But sometimes, you just have to give credit where it’s due. At only 23, Evan Honer’s lyrical insight showcased throughout this album is a true accomplishment. We are in the presence of greatness here, folks.

The production of this album is smart and right in the wheelhouse of what I love, so I may be slightly biased, but It’s damn hard to beat acoustic singer-songwriter music. That’s what makes the production so special—everything is shaped around what Honer has to say, with the music serving as an accompaniment to his poetry. Even when the production gets fuller, it still relies on traditional roots instruments like banjo and fiddles, never taking away from what truly shines.

Overall, this album easily ranks among the best of 2024. Just like his buddy Wyatt Flores, Honer will have a choice to make very soon. As I mentioned earlier, his voice is just too damn pretty for ruffian folk music. Honer could easily slip into the Avett Brother Barnes and Noble playlist, or find himself amongst Top 40 pop idols in the near future. But for now, the Roots Community welcomes Evan with open arms.

Evan Honer continues to climb the ladder of success and accolades, blazing his own path to the top. Fighting For is no exception and is truly a masterclass in songwriting.

Album Release: June 07, 2024

Favorite Tracks: Nowhere Fast, Fighting For

RootsnRevelry Grade:                           

B-

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