From outlaw twang to crisp ballads, pedal steel to electric guitar, and toe-tapping to head-nodding, this week’s Pew Playlist spans across all of the elements that set Americana apart.
Without further ado, here is this week’s Pew Playlist presented in the order they were added to the list. Music is sorted for an enjoyable “mixtape” experience. But feel free to shuffle it up!
“DON’T CRY” – CHARLEY CROCKETT
Classic country and rock & roll get a touch of R&B in the latest single from Charley Crockett. Classic country is certainly going through a revival, but Crockett’s distinct voice makes him stand out in the crowd. Between his soulful crooning and the flourishes of piano, the song has a grand feel.
“UP TO NO GOOD” – INDIA RAMEY
Exploring serious topics over toe-tapping country-western inspired rythms is a trademark of India Ramey. However, on “Up To No Good,” Ramey looks to escape the heavy and gives us a night to remember (or to forget) anthem. With an electric guitar riff adding some rock n’ roll intensity and lyrics that inspire you to take another swig of your drink, Ramey provides some welcome relief from difficult times.
“SUGAR HOME” – GIULIA MILLANTA
“Sugar Home” is a gently sung, yet powerfully emotional ballad exploring the bonds of love. Giulia Millanta‘s crisp, authentic vocals paint a vivid picture of the human relationship: doubt, faith, omission, forgiveness, and intimacy.
“DANDELION” – CAROLINA STORY
Carolina Story brings us an inspiring message of resilience on their latest single, “Dandelion.” The song’s bright acoustic guitar and flourishes of harmonica give it a classic folk rock feel while well-placed touches of twangy electric guitar add a country edge.
“MISFIT PARADISE” – EVELYN COOL
Where do we all fit in? Do we fit in? On her latest single, “Misfit Paradise,” folk singer Evelyn Cool explores those feelings of joy we all have with connecting to the world around us–and the disappointment of isolation. “Misfit Paradise” shines thanks to its willingness to let Cool’s smooth vocals take center stage, bolstered by a guitar-tinged, orchestral glow.
“THE STRANGER YOU’VE BECOME” – IZZY HELTAI
Reflections on becoming who you are meant to be come with unique perspective for trans songwriter Izzy Heltai. There’s an undeniable emotional connection between artist and song on “The Stranger You’ve Become.” However, that’s only part of the story. Heltai sings with an emotional maturity that we all need and can all learn from. Empathy, absolution, and acceptance are sought and expected in return.
“BEAT OF A BAD HABIT” – THE JENSEN SISTERS
Modern country sounds get a kick of retro peddle steel and outlaw twang on “Beat of a Bad Habit” from The Jensen Sisters. With a gallop in its rhythm and singalong worthy lyrical hook, the song’s classic style will draw you in, while its crisp production makes it feel right at home in today’s country playlists.
“PALE HORSE RIDER” – THE ALLMAN BETTS BAND
The Allman Betts Band‘s earthy southern rock style builds on their latest single “Pale Horse Rider” from rock ballad to guitar-fueled jam. The sons of rock royalty give us a song minimal enough to keep the story in focus, yet bold enough that it should be ringing out over music festival crowds this summer.
“ALL ROADS LEAD TO YOU” – CHRIS ISING
Soul influences meet classic country rock ballad on the latest from Canadian singer-songwriter Chris Ising. Ising’s gritty, honest vocals give this song about long-distance love an authentic feeling that stands out, while his guitar work perfectly sets the mood.
“HOW TO BE GOOD” – DOLLY VALENTINE
A soundtrack for any journey, Dolly Valentine’s contemplative lyrics are given a lighter touch thanks to bright electric guitar and a drum rhythm that make the miles flash by. You can read our Mother Church Pew Premiere of Valentine’s recent double release here.