An Americana playlist for this chilly spring

Shayler and Brooke – “At sea”
-If duo Americana music is of interest to you, slow your scroll and click play on this tune. Shayler and Brooke come together for a timeless banjo and guitar song that will draw your interest. But it’s the vocal harmonies that really steal the show for me. Both vocalists are talented, but the blending here is really outstanding. It’s definitely in the classic Americana tradition.

Beta Radio – “Destined to pretend”
-Beta Radio have been a favorite of ours for many years. They would probably class themselves more of progressive folk than Americana, but I think they can still fit here. They have this glorious composition style that seems to defy genre. I appreciate how they always have captivating, philosophical lyrics. You can let them be in the background our you can really sink your teeth into the energy of the piece. I am a fan of doing a little of both and after about 100 plays I feel like I get a sense of what it means.

Audrey and Hugh – “Young loved and free”
-Here’s a folk duo that captures the magic of Americana music really well. The harmonies between the male-female duo are absolutely glorious. The lyrics are about the journey of trying to make it. But that youthful exuberance is certainly something worth celebrating. I like the production quality on this track as it does a good job of keeping the two leads in focus, with the vocals taking center stage and the string work in the background creating depth like the old days of the Nashville sound. It’s good.

Harmaleighs – “Girls just want to have fun (cover)”
-The first time I heard the Harmaleighs, I thought I might pass out. There’s some sort of magic in their harmonies that makes me melt. When I saw they were covering a classic pop rock tune, I was a bit skeptical. But from the moment I pressed play, I enjoyed the magic of these vocal harmonies. It’s like the Dodie/Tessa style applied to an existing folk group. It’s equal parts charming and musically magical.

Gina Larner – “Something good”
-A strumming acoustic guitar and a sincere vocal — well, that’s Americana. I definitely appreciate the subtle sincerity in Larner’s style. What I mean is that you can tell that each line was carefully placed in this song. The way the “something” is spaced out before the short, but meaningful “good” is the mark of an expressive songwriter. I love that this could have been a very straightforward song, but Larner brings in dynamics and expressiveness. By the third time we hear the chorus Larner almost seems to move closer to the mic… she’s in your ear now, focused on doing what she wants to do despite what others might say about her. This song is certainly something good.

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