We Are All Fossils – “Merry Go Round”
-If you’re feeling the chill of the season, grab a warm drink and listen to this delightful folk tune. The strings in the opening instantly make me feel better. As I listen to the lyrics, I can’t help but think about the combination of wanting to escape but wanting to be home all at once. I like the emotional core of the lyrics.
Lindsey Hunt – “Rabbit Hole”
-This is an earthy, raw track from Lindsey Hunt. I appreciate how the rabbit hole image makes me think of Alice in Wonderland. I don’t know the intent of the song, but I think the combination of psychedelic sounds in the background with the lyrical imagery might mean Hunt has something in common with Lewis Carroll. It’s a cool track.
Riley Catherall – “Pray that I won’t be long”
-From the opening riff of this song, I fell for it. I can’t quite explain what I love about the track, but the space created between the guitar and that opening line from Catherall is magic. It’s everything I enjoy about country and folk all wrapped into one moment. Something about the highlighting electric guitar reminds me of guys like Rayland Baxter and Andrew Combs. It’s a really good song that I’ll have on rotation in my personal collection for a long time.
Late Night Thoughts – “Post Card Park”
-Something about this song puts me in mind of the emotional bands of the early 2000s. It’s got this ethos to it that I don’t hear in a lot of new releases. The lead vocal has just the right amount of subtlety combined with precision pronunciation. The balance is a sound that pulls the listener in to hear what’s next all while feeling soothed into relaxation. It’s definitely worth a spin for its unique style.
Teddy Chipouras – “Build an empire”
-So this song is not what you expect. I’m inclined to type “just shut up and listen.” Honestly the lyrics are clever on the level of Jeremy Messersmith. The counter cultural message here is captivating and important. The song does a wonderful job of critiquing society and the music industry all at once. Chipouras has a clear, powerful vocal that cuts through the noise of the singer songwriter scene. I can’t wait to hear what’s next from this talented up and coming songwriter.
Jeff Crosby – “Laramie”
-Crosby is a fantastic songwriter with a great voice. We’re trying not to make this about his beard, but he kind of reminds us of Chris Stapleton (okay, a little bit because of the beard). Crosby’s songwriting has that perfect balance of folk/rock/country that feels like it defies genre in all the right ways. If you’re a fan of the Stapleton/Isbell movement in Americana and alt country music, Crosby is definitely worth your time.
Kelsey Hunter – “I got you”
-This is the grittiest love song you’ve heard in a long time. Trust me. But what I adore about Kelsey Hunter is that her depth comes through with both the expressive melody line and the intonations in her voice. The full sound feels weathered in the way you might hear with someone like Merle Haggard. It dances on the border of depression, but finds hope in the search for someone special. It’s raw yet inspiring in all the right ways.
Madeleine Kelson – “Farther than heaven”
-Well ain’t she sweet? This is one of those country pop songs that just fills you with positive vibes. I like the line “slow down small town country boy.” It’s got this confidence from the female lead character that works really well. It’s befitting of our current music scene (and cultural moment) with acts like the Highway Women releasing major tracks. Kelson is a part of that movement with this “put him in his place” track that is brightly executed in the pop country style.
Tall Heights – “Keeps me light”
-We’ve been following (and featuring) Tall Heights for a while now. They do not disappoint with this unique folk composition. Setting aside their brilliant vocals in the opening, the song feels a bit more avant garde than some of their other work. Yet the quality vocal and experimental string work certainly put Tall Heights in a new, more progressive category of folk music. We’re inclined to put them in the company of Darlingside with this type of sound. Will we hear more like this or will they shift to a more traditional sound? We’re eager to hear more.
Ron Pope – “Wait and See”
-We don’t throw around comparisons to Jason Isbell flippantly, but Ron Pope has managed to write a song with that level of excellence. The clever, well-delivered lyrical work here is quite impressive. When I got to the end of the first verse I almost stopped the track… because it certainly stopped me in my tracks. This song is genuinely more country than anything on the charts right now. I’d love to see this one rise up the Americana charts… like yesterday.