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Unshackle Yourselves from Gender Stereotypes with Stacy Gabel’s latest Country Pop Single

Stacy Gabel

Femininity is hard. I’m still not entirely sure how to do it properly. But I do know that there’s plenty of resonance to be found in Stacy Gabel’s empowering upcoming single “High Heeled Shoes”. Especially for anyone who doesn’t particularly feel like bowing to gender normativity.

With Abba-style chorus vocals and Stacy Gabel’s accessible personality injected into the conversational verses, High Heeled Shoes is a work of unforgettable Indie Pop musical theatre. The instrumental arrangement is equally as eccentric with strings and the mandolin alongside the acoustic guitar in the Cabaret-Esque soundscape.

High Heeled Shoes basically offers the same mood-boost as watching your favourite musical – just without the time commitment. Make it a playlist essential.

You’ll be able to check out Stacy Gabel’s single High Heeled Shoes from February 21st, 2020. In the meantime, you can get a taste of her uplifting approach to Country Pop by heading over to Soundcloud and checking out her earlier releases.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Grant Nesmith – Every Night: Celestial Shoegaze-Infused Alt Country

If you’re always craving potent hits of archaic aural bliss, you’ll be able to scratch the itch by pressing play on Grant Nesmith’s single “Every Night” from their debut solo album “Between Tides”.

With inspiration from Neil Young, Gram Parsons and Shoegaze pioneers, Grant Nesmith was able to pull quintessential elements from a myriad of genres and tie them together to create a feat of uplifting alchemy.

Every Night filled me with the same fuzzy euphoric feeling as I get when I delve into one of Cheap Trick’s indulgently sentimental, nostalgically blissful singles. But as the track progressed, the instrumentals became transcendentally celestial. Allowing Every Night to become an intensely emotional experience comprised of sonic layers of hypnotic choral sound.

You can check out Every Night along with the rest of the debut album for yourselves by heading over to Bandcamp now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Tyler Meacham – ‘Denver’

Tyler Meacham’s ‘Denver’ is country alt-pop at its best. Hailing from Richmond, VA, Meacham creates folk-infused music that transports you to another time that’s drenched in sepia.

‘Denver’ begins with a delicate chord progression that immediately begins to paint the backdrop for the tender subject matter: a story of lost love. As the wistful lyrics come to play, we realise that Meacham is singing about a past relationship and the “what ifs” that permeate her wandering mind. Following Meacham’s regretful tone within the vocal is a collection of country-style keys. A flowing, smooth slide guitar then soars in to join the aforementioned sounds; it’s these aural components working together seamlessly that conjure the nostalgic atmosphere of the song most powerfully.

The soft sounds ebb into the first chorus. But suddenly, the drums pound in – courtesy of Dusty Ray – taking the song to the next level. This expansive sound kicks the second verse up a notch as the full band come to the fore. Meacham’s voice becomes more potent in the next chorus. The band take a step back and her voice hits those expressive notes that reflect the emotive nature of the song. Then, we’re treated to a holistic, engaging instrumental where the lead guitar takes centre stage.

The final chorus takes us back to the calm, serene vocal as ‘Denver’ draws to a close. But that’s not before we crash back into one last, loud section before the quiet, peaceful acoustic guitar returns, coming full circle as Meacham’s impassioned vocal rings out true.

Review by Alicia Carpenter


Death Knell – Boom, Click: Dark Country Folk for Dark Times.

As their band name not so subtly indicates, Death Knell definitely aren’t your average Country band.

Any fans of Amigo the Devil’s Murder Folkstyle are sure to appreciate the angsty lyrical ingenuity found in their single “Boom, Click”. Especially anyone who is sharing contempt for the 1% whose odious nature is leaving us non-billionaire folk rightfully enraged.

Lyrics such as “And they don’t realize they’re doomed, with their bleached white teeth, fake tits, and exceptional veneers. Their thousand dollar suits will be nothing but ash when I’m through”. Imaginatively narrate the injustice we’re all subjected to so the upper-classes can have their Eyes Wide Shut style soirées.

Death Knell are an essential band to have around right now. Their satrical approach to Country is sorely needed on both sides of the pond. I for one am extremely grateful for their resonantly cathartic yet riotously energised track which immediately found a home on my playlist.

You can consider Boom, Click to be an invitation to fuck the establishment while simultaneously being treated to some intricately mesmerising frenzied instrumental alchemy.

You can check out their single Boom, Click for yourselves by heading over to Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Jessta James has dropped his sultriest single yet with “Inferno”

Jessta James’ latest single “Inferno” merges the rhythmic immersivity of Country with infectious melodic Pop hooks creating one of the sultriest tracks we’ve heard this year.

If the winding Bluesy guitars or the vibrantly tribal percussion doesn’t do it for you, the velvety vocal notes from Jessta James definitely will.

With each new release, the US-based breaking artist has a new brand of aural alchemy to offer. But it’s safe to say that with Inferno they’ve found a sound which comes with a massive amount of commercial appeal which the mainstream will find hard to ignore. Everything about the single is tantalisingly sweet while being simultaneously salacious.

You can check out the official music video to Jessta James’ single Inferno which premiered on November 5th for yourselves via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Markus Ernehed & Fredrik Björns tackles the issue of domestic abuse in “A Song for Jimmy”

Swedish Duo Markus Ernehed & Fredrik Björns released their latest single “A Song for Jimmy” on November 14th. After hearing the first few pensive notes of the Country track, there was little doubt that the soundscape would leave me sharing the same melancholy which the tonality offered.

Nothing could quite prepare me for how morose A Song for Jimmy would be. Markus Ernehed & Fredrik Björns tackled the raw issue of domestic abuse and narratively explored the deep wounding impact of domestic abuse on both women and children.

A Song for Jimmy deserves to go viral. Partly due to the stunning feel of the delicate single. But mainly because millions of women who have experienced domestic abuse will find plenty of comfort in this deeply empathetic single which feels like an ode to the strength of femininity.

You can check out the official video to Markus Ernehed & Fredrik Björns’ latest single A Song for Jimmy via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Joe Buchanan – Lighthouses: Blissfully Serene, Pensively Ethereal Country

If you’ve never listened to Judaism-inspired Country music (don’t worry, we hadn’t either!), prepare to delve into the blissfully serene rhythmic tones found in Joe Buchanan’s latest album “Back from Babylon”.

While each of the singles is as evocatively captivating as the last, the best introduction to Joe Buchanan’s stunning beyond all definition style is the single “Lighthouses”.

I can quite honestly say that no track has hit me as hard from the first time of listening since I first discovered Cat Stevens’ “Wild World”. There’s overwhelming energy behind Lighthouses which won’t fail to leave you transfixed in the dreamy, hazy soundscape. Lighthouse may come with lashings of melancholy, but simultaneously it’s the perfect potently cathartic soundscape to surrender your consciousness to.

You can check out Joe Buchanan’s single Lighthouses for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Michael Brinkworth – One More Time: A Playlist-Worthy Americana Blues Folk Revival

Any fans of Kurt Vile are going to want to check out up and coming Americana Folk artist Michael Brinkworth’s latest single “One More Time (Just for Fun)”.

The soundscape is soaked in a nostalgic tobacco haze which gives the track instantaneous accessibility, but Michael Brinkworth didn’t fail to bring their own distinction with One More Time. While the vocals may share reminiscences with Bob Dylan, there’s plenty of sleek modern alchemy weaved in which mainly comes as a courtesy of the arrestive electric guitar riffs which should appease any fans of Brian Setzer.

One More Time is one of those tracks which immediately offers you rewarding catharsis as soon as you hit play. It’s not all too often you’ll get to hear that from a breaking artist.

You can check out Michael Brinkworth’s latest single One More Time for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Heather Meuleman featuring The Pan Handles – To the Sea

For her debut album “Ditch the Map” Country singer-songwriter Heather Meuleman teamed up with the Pan Handles to bring roots-deep blues-soaked Country Folk which offers accessible archaic tones.

The standout single “To the Sea” starts off with sombrely arrestive prelude before progressing into a restoratively rhythmic offering of swampy Blues complete with striking finger-picked guitar notes.

Heather Meuleman didn’t set out to revolutionise the rhythms and introspective-deep style of Country with To the Sea, instead, she revived the genre with her uniquely nuanced vocals which don’t fail to bring plenty of resonant emotion to the soundscape.

You can check out To the Sea along with the rest of Heather Meuleman featuring The Pan Handles’ album for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Campbell Station – Pray for Rain: Cinematically Soulful Semi-Orchestral Country Pop

Campbell Station’s latest single “Pray for Rain” was cinematic enough to feature in the original motion picture soundtrack for “Five Women in the End”. It is also cinematic enough to make the perfect addition to your playlists if you’re always on the lookout for deeply evocative semi-orchestral Country ballads.

While Pray for Rain may be as quintessential as Pop Country ballads get, there’s also striking modernity to Campbell Station’s sound which suggests they are a powerhouse well worth putting on your radar.

The vocals didn’t just hit the dynamic notes in an aurally pleasing manner, they poured potent amounts of soul into the succinctly concordant mix which exuded plenty of emotion itself through the lamentable pulls of the violin strings and the relentlessly pensive finger-picked guitar notes.

You can check out Campbell Station’s single Pray for Rain for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast