Ansley Rushing – “Clementine”
-To be fair, we received this track right before we left for our December break but it is a 2021 song. It works really well for setting the tone for a calm and peaceful mindset in 2022. There’s a nice mix of the nostalgia of the classic western song “Clementine” mixed with a lullaby style. The mood of the track is mournfully sweet. Rushing’s vocal is excellent, combining a warmth with an easy to follow annunciation. I look forward to hearing more in this vein in the future. What a beautifully gentle way to open up our coverage for 2022.
Alvaro V – “In the sky high”
-When I found this track, I thought it was a cover of Woody Guthrie. I was surprised that it’s original. I have heard a few artists who can capture this sentiment, but few do it as well as Alvaro V. There’s an approachable sensibility to the acoustic work here. The lyrical sentiment is relatable in a Guthrie-esque way as well. If you’re a fan of true throwback folk songwriting, give Alvaro V a shot.
Pasadena – “Sawdust”
-I appreciate the energy of this track; it’s a nice mix of country and Americana for something that feels modern with shades of the past intertwined. The lead vocal carries an expressive style that drives the song nicely. What I find particularly interesting is that the song combines the narrative form of traditional country nicely while also having a modern production polish to it. This is the kind of song that would fit right in on a country music station but also holds true to the authenticity that makes Americana so good. Give this one a spin and let your local country station know you’d like to hear it.