Erika Lewis – “A thousand miles”
-If you’re looking for an old time country sound, look no further than Erika Lewis. The slowed down song feels like it was ready made to sway with a dear one. Lewis sings with a tone that reminds me a bit of classic country artists like Kitty Wells. Yet at the same time there’s a fresh brightness to the composition that doesn’t feel like a cover of an old song; it feels like a new expression of a timeless sentiment. This is what roots country is all about right here.
Wyatt Coulson and the Reserved Company – “Send the rain”
-There’s a simplicity to this composition that I really like. The acoustic balances well with the lead vocal, creating a throwback Americana energy. The overall composition feels like an old fashioned narrative that’s sure to capture the attention of our readers. The delicate highlights from the mandolin help to accentuate the lyrical message — a cry for relief — asking God to send rain to break the weather and create new life. It’s thoughtful, poetic, and spiritual. This is a gem.
Justin Larkin – “Name upon a wall”
-This is a heavy political song that focuses on the legacy of the Vietnam War in US history. In the vein of John Prine’s “Sam Stone,” the track weighs the cost of war for Americans. The rumbling energy of the song feels like a Johnny Cash style narrative country song that calls into question societal preconceived notions. It’s a bold song. Fair warning — around the 2:20 mark there’s a fantastic almost-theatrical element of the track that breaks the genre style to make the death feel more visceral. It’s such a brilliant piece of songwriting. Whether or not you have a political affinity or affliction toward the song’s message, it’s a track that’s worth serious artistic consideration.
Image courtesy: Erika Lewis IG