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.
Elizabeth Cook, “Bones”
The Americana badass gets her Mad Max on in the apocalyptic video for “Bones,” a smoke-show of a song off her upcoming album Aftermath. “I wear your bones around my neck/I am the keeper of the flame,” she moans, not so much threatening you as telling you the way it’s gonna be. It’s a dominant rock & roll performance, tailor-made for dark bars and even darker souls.
Town Mountain, “You Can’t Win Em All”
The Asheville, North Carolina bluegrassers sidle up to the bar for some tear-in-your-beer honky-tonk. A complement to Hank Williams’ “You Win Again,” “You Can’t Win Em All” is forlorn and woozy, but there’s something oddly reassuring about it too — the message that no one lives a life without a loss or two. Penned by the group’s Phil Barker, he calls it the “last song on the jukebox.” Drop in another quarter.
The Suffers, “Take Me to the Good Times”
Houston, Texas-based group the Suffers ramp up the funk in “Take Me to the Good Times,” a lively ode to the joys of touring life while it’s indefinitely paused for most musicians. Backed by a syncopated drum groove and soulful splashes of piano, leader Kam Franklin sings of all the places she’s currently missing. “Spring in London/Fall in Tokyo/I fall in love more every time I go,” she sings, as a chorus of brass blows through like a summer breeze.
Emily Barker, “The Woman Who Planted Trees”
U.K.-based folksinger Emily Barker will release her new album A Dark Murmuration of Words on September 4th and in “The Woman Who Planted Trees,” she finds a connection to the past through nature. “I can tell my age by the height of trees/By the years they’ve stood growing over me,” she sings, her clear voice accompanied by a circular finger-style guitar pattern and an arrangement that swells and turns haunting.
Michael Logen and Jennifer Hanson, “Tides Will Turn”
Americana singer-songwriter Michael Logen teams with country singer-songwriter Jennifer Hanson (the Wreckers’ “Leave the Pieces”) for five songs on the newly released EP Here’s to Hoping. In the meditative, dreamy “Tides Will Turn,” the two harmonize beautifully and imagine a point in time when troubles will begin to recede. Recommended listening for anyone feeling anxious about everything right now.