Whether it’s coming out of Nashville, New York, L.A., or points in between, there’s no shortage of fresh tunes, especially from artists who have yet to become household names. Rolling Stone Country selects some of the best new music releases from country and Americana artists.
Dave Hause featuring Amythyst Kiah & Kam Franklin, “Your Ghost”
“Am I just another white guy singing about someone else’s experience? Yes, I am,” Philly songwriter Dave Hause admits in an essay accompanying his new song “Your Ghost,” inspired by the killing of George Floyd. But Hause, a former punk-band singer, did his homework for this ominous track about privilege and police brutality, reaching out to black artists like Amythyst Kiah and Kam Franklin of the Suffers for feedback. They gave it to him — and also contributed banjo and vocals. The result is haunting and stark. Hause has pledged all profits to the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund.
Tennessee Jet, “Stray Dogs”
Ramblin’ Man Tennessee Jet celebrates that nomadic experience in his new song “Stray Dogs.” A track off his upcoming album The Country, it’s a rollicking number with flitting banjo, background vocals from Elizabeth Cook, and lyrics about “searching for answers and someone else to be.” The tune arrives with a travelogue video documenting Jet and his wife’s own cross-country travels. This guy lives what he sings about.
Koe Wetzel, “Sundy or Mundy”
East Texan Koe Wetzel disposes of a body in the WTF video for his brooding new song “Sundy or Mundy,” a hard-rocking stomper that owes more to grunge and fellow Texans the Toadies than any of Wetzel’s Red Dirt peers. It’s a mesmerizing tune, powered by Wetzel’s disoriented vocal (“I dont know if it’s Sunday or if it’s Monday — who fucking knows?”); the creepy clip only ratchets up the tension.
Ingrid Andress, “Waste of Lime”
“More Hearts Than Mine” singer Andress whips up a tart little concoction about missed romantic opportunities in her new song “Waste of Lime.” “I’d take a two-mile in-the-rain walk of shame/Yeah, that’d be great compared to this,” Andress sings to an easygoing rhythm, before repurposing the Beach Boys’ “Kokomo” in decidedly un-tropical fashion: “Bermuda, Bahama, guess I’m never gonna meet your mama.”
Cinder Well, “Fallen”
Singer-songwriter Amelia Baker, who performs as Cinder Well, evokes the feeling of isolation on “Falling,” a track from the upcoming album No Summer (out July 24th). Propelled by an urgent, ascending set of acoustic guitar chords, Baker gives a vocal performance that’s alternately flinty and glasslike, particularly when the haunted string section heightens the drama.