Melanie MacLaren – “Deep dark sleep”
-I liked this song the moment I clicked play for the first time. The atmospheric elements are not what I typically feature with folk, but the vocal from MacLaren is outstanding. Once the vocal harmonies enter the track, it becomes absolutely divine. This is a remarkable piece of harmonic writing that balances exceptionally well with the rest of the track. Even the fiddle interlude fits the song beautifully. There’s something cathartic about the way the soothing vocal work connects with the 6/8 rhythm. It’s a gem.
David Quinn – “Down home”
-The easy comp for this sound is, of course, Sturgill Simpson. The easy comp for Sturgill, of course, is outlaw country. David Quinn captures the spirit of that original style really well. When I first clicked play on this track, I was hooked by the expressive electric guitar and up tempo style. Quinn’s vocal ended up really surprising. The lyric work does a nice job of updating some of those classic outlaw styles with some contemporary vibes; the urge to leave the city and work hard for your own place in the world is definitely a major 21st century theme. Now… who do we need to call to get this kind of thing on actual country music radio!?!?!
Brian Mackey – “My only friend”
-If storytelling makes Americana what it is, Mackey’s got a real nice contribution here. There’s an approachable easy going style here that I really appreciate. The vocal harmony helps to give the song a comfortable sentiment. The lyrics do a nice job of explaining someone that just makes you feel a whole lot better around them. I appreciate that it’s a love song without a sense of cheesy romance. As much as I like the vocals and harmonies, I think the fiddle highlights set the track aside on this one. It’s a treat.