by Annie Parnell, Managing Editor
The Country Queer staff has officially survived AmericanaFest! We’ve been spending a little time recently getting back on our feet, and I’m thrilled to present this collection of newly-released queer country singles to celebrate.
This week, we’ve got some lonesome bedroom pop-tinged country from Jess Carreira, classic country encouragement from the Whitmore Sisters, heartwarming pop-folk from Holly Clausius, and a reflective swamp-pop rumination on capitalism from Bruisey Peets. All in all, it’s a great mix of new queer music to bring into October for the first few days of LGBTQ+ History Month!
Jess Carreira — “Harvest Moon”
Lord knows I’m a sucker for a Neil Young cover, and this tender rendition of “Harvest Moon” from Philadelphia-based Jess Carreira is the perfect way to usher in the autumn spirit. Originally from rural Kansas, Carreira found a new appreciation for Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, and Dolly Parton over the course of accepting their sexuality, and on their new bedroom-pop influenced album Heartland Express they’ve crafted a queer reclamation of the music they grew up with. This dreamy track combines classic-country guitars with spacey, intimate vocals, a surefire hit for fans of Girl in Red.
The Whitmore Sisters — “Learn to Fly”
Now recording under a joint name that pays tribute to their sisterhood, Bonnie and Eleanor Whitmore contribute their blood harmony and an inspirational country sound to their first single together, a release ahead of their upcoming album Ghost Stories. “If you wanna ride roller coasters/ You must grow so tall to ride” the sisters sing, urging listeners to allow themselves to grow and accept the changes they need to do so. Despite this up-and-at-em sense of urgency, “Learn to Fly” stays soothing, a reassuring encouragement that though your “palms may be sweaty,” it’s important to realize when it’s “time to climb.”
Holly Clausius — “Clementine”
Holly Clausius takes the plunge in “Clementine,” a nostalgic ode to asking a girl out at a middle school dance. Inspired by Fearless-era Taylor Swift, this sweet song mixes the giddiness of childhood infatuation with the exhilarating process of discovering your sexuality, a message that’s sure to resonate with listeners regardless of how long they’ve been out. Clausius says her creative goal is for “her music to be a safe haven for those who feel alone” — a warmth that rings true throughout this feel-good ballad.
Bruisey Peets — “Poached Eggs”
New Orleans swamp-pop act, Bruisey Peets, skewers capitalism and comment under the exhaustion of existing underneath it in this piano-driven track. Mixing Cajun influences with an indie ethos and a vaudeville flair, Bruisey Peets draw inspiration from “sad-clown sincerity” and burnout, evoking Hamilton Leithauser and the millennial satire of Cheekface. Stick around for the whirlwind, dizzying repetition of “Potential is an untapped kombucha keg / Avocado toast with poached eggs” over discordant fiddles towards the end.
“Buried Treasure” is your weekly guide to new releases by queer artists in country, Americana, and folk. Know an artist who should be included? Contact us!