Jim van der Zee – “I do believe it’s time”
-About once per week I find a track that makes me grin from ear to ear, throw down my headphones, and say, “hot damn.” Then I put my headphones back on and start it all over from the beginning, listening more closely the second time through. This one, an “Americana” song from the Dutch singer songwriter Jim van der Zee is excellent. The baritone vocals resonate perfectly. The up tempo country vibe is unlike anything we’ve heard in country music in probably 30 years, but we absolutely need it back. I’ll be keeping this one on repeat for my personal playlist for a long, long time.
Hill Country Devil – “Glory”
-This song is remarkable. I can’t believe it took me until now to hear it. There’s a rawness to it that reminds me of Water Liars. I should note that there is a new studio version of the song coming soon, but is not available for streaming at present. No matter, this live version preserves a pretty remarkable sentiment that exudes real emotion. This guy can sing his heart out, that’s for sure. I am really excited to follow his budding Nashville-based Americana career.
GoldenOak – “The Poet and the Painter”
-I won’t fight you on whether this is Americana or folk music, but one thing I’ll say is that the male-female duo of GoldenOak is worth your time. I even love the artful title of the song and the imagery that it evokes. Far too often in music now you’ll find that people overproduce songs, but this stripped down track accomplishes so much in a beautiful composition. It’s one that will get your toes tapping and your face smiling.
Jared Salte – “Hand in Hand”
-This song has some indie folk hand clappy goodness in it, so maybe you don’t think of it as being a typical country song. That’s okay, though, because I think it structurely fits perfect with the genre. This is more along the Jenny and Tyler vein of indie pop flavor in the country scene, but still is enjoyable. The easy going vibe of the song makes me feel good. Like… that’s enough, isn’t it? The message is about making time to be together. If you’re married or seriously dating in this busy life of 21st century people, these lyrics will resonate perfectly. I adore when the big piano break comes in (maybe that’s considered a bridge), pulling together the disparate elements of the two vocalists. This is a wonderful feel-good song about prioritizing your relationship and doing better moving forward.
The Graylings – “In the Night”
-The first time I ran across this track from the Graylings I was pleasantly surprised by the… pleasantness of it. There’s a real sweetness to the electric guitar work here. It reminds me of a few Rayland Baxter tracks I enjoy. The overall mood of the track is relaxed, focused on doing life together and enduring the difficulties of the day to day. It’s sure to find fans among fans of 90s country.
Photo Credit: GoldenOak IG account.