by Annie Parnell, Managing Editor
L’shana tova to all who celebrated the New Year this past weekend! I personally had my first Rosh Hashanah, after being invited to join my partner’s family for a warm weekend of food and celebration. Incidentally, many of the songs I have to share this week focus on new beginnings — both the pain of leaving behind the past or confronting a destructive present, as well as the accompanying opportunities to reflect on life and start anew.
This week we have new music from Spencer LaJoye, Deau Eyes and the Spacebomb House Band, Lenworth Poyser, and Terry Blade. Enjoy queueing these up as the air starts to get ever-so-slightly colder and the leaves start slowly to change.
Deau Eyes and the Spacebomb House Band — “Send Me No Roses”
It’s Tammy Wynette time, darlin’ — Deau Eyes (Ali Thibodeau), teams up with the house band at local label Spacebomb Group for this trippy, Lynchian reimagining of the First Lady of Country Music’s classic “Send Me No Roses.” This “spaced cowboy version” was inspired by a real-life unwanted flower delivery from Thibodeau’s ex and the jazzy, karaoke-lounge sound mixes perfectly with the Spacebomb House Band’s rootsy guitars. Deau Eyes’ debut album was released last year, and features the production skills of Trace Horse Studios’ Jacob Blizard and Collin Pastore, who recently worked with Thibodeau’s fellow Richmond native Lucy Dacus.
Spencer LaJoye — “House Fires”
Boston-based singer-songwriter Spencer LaJoye describes this song off their newest EP Remember the Oxygen as “the best song they’ve ever written.” Layered with orchestral instrumentation and LaJoye’s yearning, nostalgic vocals, “House Fires” details the painful process of reclaiming a nonbinary identity through the lens of LaJoye’s own experiences of growing up and coming out while studying theology at a historically conservative Christian college.
“I had to say, ‘these relationships aren’t for me, these systems aren’t for me, this people-pleasing disposition is not for me,’” says LaJoye of this tearjerker. “Ultimately, on the other side of all of that going up in flames, I found clarity and peace.”
Lenworth Poyser — “Tell Me”
Lenworth Poyser aches for honesty on this slow jam from his debut album Broken Smile. “I’d have laughed in your face if you said I’d grow up and put a country album out,” the reggae-influenced singer songwriter recently confessed on Instagram, but Poyser’s penchant for “sad songs about heartbreak” shines through on this classic country yearning for truth to accompany the three chords. “Tell Me” has a simple message and a bevy of subtle influences: at times, the track has echoes of 90s rock, and an intricate climbing guitar solo towards the end gives the song’s final moments a bluesy feel.
Terry Blade — “Read the Room”
Chicago’s Terry Blade blends old-school R&B with coffeehouse folk in his recent single “Read the Room.” While the song’s biting lyrics scold an insensitive loved one for an out-of-pocket comment, the mellow production laces Blade’s confrontation with just enough tenderness and empathy to keep the overall song from seeming snide, creating a final product that isn’t shy about its frustrations while still urging the offender to do better. As Blade says, someone “may speak with the best of intentions” when they say something errant, but particularly for LGBTQ+ people at family gatherings, it can be frustrating to get “more than your fair share” of rudeness to deflect.
“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!