The Immaculate Crows never fail to strike all the right chords with their sympathetic sensitivity and superfluous arrangements; their single, Dolly, was no exception to the rule. With a Southern country folk twist to psychedelic new wave indie, they orchestrated the ultimate soundscape for profound reflection.
A tale of torment-driven suicide and domestic violence could have easily sat heavily on the soul, but with the rich tapestry of psych, folk, indie, pop and country rock, The Immaculate Crows efficaciously advocate for a reality that gravitates around compassion and kindness.
The sonic olive branch may be small, but sometimes, all it can take is one push in a more positive direction to create a ripple effect of change, and therein lies the beauty of The Immaculate Crows’ discography. It holds a mirror to human-derived harrow before melodiously illustrating the capacity for tenderness, which lies in us all.
After a stint of silence, the Lancashire country-folk singer-songwriter, Oliver Hulme, has followed on from his relatable deadpan debut single, I Hate the Bus, with the just as resonant stripped-back lo-fi hit, The Paper.
With instrumentals that find the triadic middle ground between Tom Waits, Gogol Bordello and Neutral Milk Hotel, Oliver Hulme effortlessly made the twangy staccato rhythms and folky baroque vocal timbre his own.
The Paper brashly drags you in even deeper with the balladic lyricism that will be an instant hit with fans of Nick Cave. It’s only a matter of time before Hulme is more than just regionally renowned. He undoubtedly deserves more legacy than a hotpot.
Chris Landry is a well-known name in the Ottawa music scene; the singer-songwriter and musician has been writing, recording, and touring since the turn of the century. At the start of his accoladed journey, he livened the punk and rock scenes. Now releasing music as a solo artist using his own name as a moniker, he’s delivering roots music entwined with a sense of soul that brings to life his observationally arresting lyricism.
His debut album, Marylou, was officially released on November 8th. The title single is a compellingly contemporary reiteration of country that proves his maturity as a songwriter. After the desert-y bass rumbles in the prelude, on top of the foot-stompin’ percussion, his vocal melodies soar above the pedal steel and organ wails, giving that iconic country sound a new lease of life with the same zeal of Kurt Vile.
Chris Landry’s debut album is now available to stream on Spotify.
Blending folk styles from America, Ireland and Europe, the Athens-Greece hailing folk artist Grey River & the Smoky Mountain is set to break hearts as they broke borders with their latest single, Unlovable.
The sheer dedication to candour is striking; the way the lyrics run through in the same way as a depressive episode does is quite another. Admirably, there’s no twist to the melancholy after the hauntingly pitch-perfect admission that they’re not good enough to love. It is left to the banjo and the steel guitar to bring the upbeat energy while the vocalist and mandolinist, Rena Papageorgiou, ironically becomes infinitely loveable.
The official music video for Unlovable is now available to stream via YouTube.
Following their 2021 debut album, which was recorded at Abbey Road and sold 100,000 digital copies, the UK-residing Americana duo, The County Affair, unveiled their latest single, Beach (Summer Mix).
In their own words, Beach is about love and a car crash, some may say they’re two of the same, but there is nothing quite like the old-school crooning country melodies entwining with the lyrical fatalism in the subversively blissful single.
With the bends of the bluesy guitar notes carrying as much poise as Swan Lake, the sepia-tinged single went beyond paying ode to the roots of Americana. The duo created a romantic reminiscence of nostalgia before driving it through their cinematically choral sonic signature. It leaves no room to wonder why The County Affair has been lauded on both sides of the pond.
Beach will officially release on June 17th via X&Y Records. Hear it for yourselves here.
The country and roots collective, Few Miles South, may have been dubbed the ‘Country Pretenders’, but their latest single and music video, Doggone, set them apart as distinguished escapist originators.
I haven’t been as endeared by Bluegrass Americana since wandering into a festival tent and discovering Hayseed Dixie in a cider-addled haze. Yet, despite the pickup truckload of heckin’ wholesome, Doggone was never in any danger of registering as a novelty.
There’s some serious gravitas in this ode to one of the best fuzzy 4-legged aspects of our existence. Toni’s timelessly arrestive vocals against the punchy rhythms, blazing acoustic guitar solos, and the striking fiddle are an alchemic mix.
Doggone will officially release on May 13th; you can check out the official music video by heading over to YouTube.
With his trusty Dobro resonator, narratively unshackling lyrics, bluegrass to the bone vocals and folky strings cutting across the accordance, Dan Littlefield’s latest single, Set You Free, will do exactly that for the 4-minute duration and far beyond if you decide to adopt the lyrical liberation.
In any other set of hands, Littlefield’s axe of choice would be in danger of resonating (pun slightly intended) as archaic; with the signature funky twang in his signature style, there was little chance of Set You Free falling into pedestrianism.
We may be living in a post-truth world in 2022, but Littlefield knows how to all too effacaciously entwine the nostalgia for simplicity with neo-blues alchemy for ultimate aural pleasure.
Set You Free is now available to stream on Spotify.
The country singer-songwriter Casey Freedom soothingly proved that pace is the trick with his latest single, On My Own Time, which kicks back the tempo and allows you to lull yourself into the breezy Americana cool and collected atmosphere.
After graduating as a music student from the University of Oregon, Casey returned to his hometown to replant his roots enamour crowds at open mic shows. Over lockdown, he started writing his own material, which is becoming increasingly defined by the evocative themes, narrative lyricism and glistening country charm.
His songwriting style already carries decades of maturity and nuance, even after such an inexplicably short span of time; this may seem hyperbolic, but the proof lies in the slice of Americana. Take a bite.
(Better Off) I Remember Those Times is the latest single from the nostalgically inclined singer-songwriter Buddy Greenbloom. His vocal timbre resounds with the same magnetic pull as the likes of Dylan and Cohen, but there’s plenty of extra twang from the notorious singing cowboy who made a name for himself in 2003 with his alt country covers of infamous punk rock tracks.
With reminiscing on how it felt to smoke in bars, drink in cars and be carefree in hedonism, it is so easy to find yourself at the centre of this western Americana trip into the past before mediocrity and polarised arguments surrounded us.
With his debut studio LP currently in the works, the Houston-born, LA-based artist is definitively worth a spot on your radar.
I Remember Those Times is now available to stream on Spotify.
The Canadian country singer-songwriter, cowboy cody arms, paid tribute to Smoky Martin’s timelessly haunting style in his recently released single, Waltz of the Bride.
The crops of country music may have been sullied by the likes of the Lumineers and Mumford & Sons. But the Southern Ontario, Canada-hailing artist keeps it anachronistically classic in the stripped-back production that features yodelled and evocatively mournful vibrato country vocals atop of the rugged twang of the acoustic guitar.
It may not be everyone in the 21st century’s cup of tea, but there’s definitely a time and a quintessential place for such roots-deep talent. Not all artists make a positive contribution to the world with their music, but cowboy cody arms discernibly does. Never let it be said again that artists don’t make hits like they used to.
Waltz of the Bride is now available to stream on SoundCloud.