Celine Ellis, Keep For Cheap, DeLila Black
By Adeem Bingham and Annie Parnell
Howdy y’all! This week, I’m joined by our new writer and the new co-host (?) of Buried Treasure, Annie Parnell. Annie is a terrific writer and I’m very grateful that she’s has joined the little BT subcult. We’ve got a handful of songs for you this week but we’ve picked mighty good ones. You can thank Annie for Keep For Cheap!
I don’t know how to talk about this in a way that leads into my songs but I know a lot of us are navigating a lot of grief and anger that probably feels like it has no constructive place to go. Honestly, I’m not sure how to parse the distance between flexing white privilege and protecting your energy because I do have a limited perspective. However, I do think it’s important to practice radical self-care when the news cycle and the death toll feels like an unbearable weight.
To that end, I encourage you all to drink a lot of water, stay connected to the work of building an equitable world, and dive deep into some new music. Speaking of which, we just happen to have some suggestions.
Celine Ellis is a singer-songwriter from the UK with a distinctive folk-rock sound. My favorite track is “Drive on Through” which has all the energy of a Dar Williams bop (and doesn’t come up short on the wit or sincerity either). She’s recently released an acoustic EP and is slated to have some more music coming out later on in the year so if you dig it, you’ve got plenty to look forward to.
Keep For Cheap
Keep for Cheap describe themselves as “prairie-rock,” a crunchy, rootsy sound influenced by their Minnesota origins. Their latest single “Forgive Me” dropped in November (forgive us for missing it, haha) and feels deeply raw and rustic, while 2019 EP Get Along features rich arrangements of guitar, banjo, and the vocal harmonies of singers Autumn Vagle and Kate Malanaphy. They’ve also got a truly adorable TikTok presence at @keepforcheap, and their most recent video suggests as of a couple days ago that they’re in the studio cooking something new up…
DeLila is no stranger to Country Queer as we’ve covered her artistic and explorative music in the past. This week, I really wanted to spotlight the continued urgency of our white supremacist criminal justice system. I could think of no better song than DeLila’s “Routine” with it’s busy and calamitous production and it’s pointed lyrics.
This song speaks for itself so I don’t want to say much except that DeLila is a delightfully whimsical and expressive artist and this song hits heavy at every point, from the casual critique of how lazily our society justifies the murder of unarmed Black people to the bold arrangement that feels almost uncomfortable.
“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!