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. (Check out last week’s best songs.)
Flatland Cavalry, “Some Things Never Change”
The Texas-and-Nashville band Flatland Cavalry will release their new album Welcome to Countryland on July 2nd and the first preview is the loping, fiddle-driven “Some Things Never Change.” Frontman Cleto Cordero sings warmly of temptations and old memories being stirred, along with fleeting, ephemeral thrills that pass when the night’s over. It’s full of big builds and stops, perfect for dancing the night away with that special someone or just a handsome stranger.
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John R. Miller, “Shenandoah Shakedown”
Singer-songwriter John R. Miller demonstrates his literary prowess in “Shenandoah Shakedown,” from his upcoming album Depreciated (out July 16th). A moody folk-rocker that never quite settles into a relaxed groove, “Shenandoah Shakedown” takes a surreal trip through a relationship’s end where “the river speaks in tongues” and “flights of temporal affection” cause disturbances. Haunting and compelling.
Kalie Shorr, “Cowboy Take Me Away”
Kalie Shorr takes on a trio of the Chicks’ tunes on her new EP 3×3, Vol 1, released on Friday. For “Cowboy Take Me Away” she applies a dream-pop sheen to her version, mixing reverb-drenched electric guitar and washes of synth pads with her airy vocals. Without drums or bass to hold down the low end, it has a weightless quality that makes her narrator sound even more ready to be swept away.
Joe Nichols, “Home Run”
Neo-traditionalist Joe Nichols is back with the ballad “Home Run,” his first release from an upcoming project, and it’s a Covid era-appropriate tune about needing to slow down. “Need to drive through the pines/See my boys, wet a line,” he sings, dreaming about the place that keeps him grounded.
Alana Springsteen, “California”
“Oh my god, it’s almost like a dream,” Alana Springsteen sings in “California,” thinking fondly of a memory that links together a person and place in her mind forever. In this case, it’s a stay in the Golden State and an encounter that left her reeling: “It’s your green eyes against the blue/and that night in Malibu,” she sings, the ringing guitars and musical crescendos rising like waves in the Pacific.
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