Shawna Virago, Matt Masters, TeawhYB and Jack Greenwood
by Annie Parnell, Editor
We’re finally coming off of a heat wave here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and all the trees by my apartment are in full bloom — which both looks positively beautiful and is attracting tons of bumblebees to stop and smell the flowers. While I write this, I’m watching them buzz around from my seat on the porch, reeking of bug spray in a futile attempt to fend off all the mosquitoes.
I hope that those of you out west are staying safe and cool in that hot summer heat out there. We’ve got some sweet songs for you this week that I’ve been unable to get out of my head lately. Indie pop, folk punk, and dive-bar-music-turned soul — the gang’s all here and it’s all queer country. Give them a listen!
High Road No. 6 — Shawna Virago
The music video for this latest song by trans folk punk pioneer Shawna Virago has a compellingly-campy DIY feel, posing Virago in a bustier next to a pair of buff cowboys in identical booty shorts, fishnets, and silk yellow shirts. Virago sings about turning over a new leaf to a stripped-down, Cash-like beat, promising to “love you for your mind” as she puffs from a cigarette while driving down the high road. Her tongue stays firmly in her cheek, though — the song’s title suggests that this might not be the first time she’s tried to change, and as she explains while the boys frame her in red pom-poms, “trouble started when I slept with the mayor…and then the mayor’s wife.”
Papa Was A Rodeo — Matt Masters
As a big fan of the original, I was extra curious to see what a cover would do with this classic from The Magnetic Fields’ seminal album 69 Love Songs, but Calgary-based artist Matt Masters makes it all his own. Replacing the 2AM-karaoke keyboard on the first version with a swinging saxophone and sultry doo-wop backing vocals, this track off of Masters’ new album Everybody Loves A Winner takes Stephin Merritt’s lyrics to Beale Street and gives them a chance to stretch out. I’m excited to check out the rest of the album!
Supernova — TeawhYB & Jack Greenwood
This sweet single from Green Bank, WI-based TeawhYB and Austin’s Jack Greenwood came out yesterday! This charming little country love ballad tells the story of “a Brokeback Mountain type of love” through a summery, indie-pop swing. There’s a great tension at play between these upbeat vibes and the song’s lyrics about unspoken affection and closeted secrets, and playful metaphors about lassos and Levi’s jeans make the track all the more catchy. To celebrate its release, TeawhYB and Greenwood debuted “Supernova” live as the headliners for Star City Pride.
“Buried Treasure” is your bi-weekly guide to under-the-radar queer artists in country, Americana, and folk. Know an artist who should be included? Contact us!