Brit Taylor – “Waking up ain’t easy”
-Mark my words – Brit Taylor is the next big thing in Americana music. I don’t care who you are, Taylor is an emerging talent. Listen to this song! First of all, it starts with a fundamental, relatable truth. Second, the vocal is about as beautiful as you’re going to hear in any genre right now. That authenticity with a dash of “classic production,” including an incisive yet charming steel guitar, makes for a sound that is equal parts late 60s as it is idiosyncratically modern. This piece is a gem and Taylor seems to be here to stay on the Americana scene.
Five Islands – “These roots”
-The acoustic guitar work here is mesmerizing. The vocals, though, steal the show for me with Five Islands. They’ve been one of my favorite finds in 2020 and “These roots” is definitely another song in that same vein. The earthy, rooted lyrics don’t detract from the polished style of the performance. In fact, something about it reminds me of what we all loved in the Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack years ago. It’s “old timey” music but with a certain modern energy that connects with our contemporary ears. I really like this one.
Sarah Gross – “For now”
-When you first click play on this song, you might think it sounds like acoustic singer songwriter that’s been buzzy since the early 90s. But now we’re calling a composition like this Americana because… well… it’s an acoustic singer songwriter. Gross’s composition style is really delightful, giving an accessible style that pulls the listener in immediately. It’s about being content in a moment, even if you have thoughts about what might come in the future. I found it to be infinitely relatable and appropriately soothing for the unsettled mood of my spirit right now.