By Adeem Bingham and Annie Parnell
I think we’re now out of the Dogwood Winter here in East Tennessee and my face is heavy with the weight of pollen. This is usually the season where the festivals begin to parade through town but with the restrictions, there is still a sort of calm in the hills. I recently spotted 5 black bears lazily meandering about Cades Cove and soon, the rhododendron will be in full bloom up on Roan Mountain.
There is a folk poet in our town that goes by the name Appalachian Hippie Poet and a couple years back, he gifted my toddler with a berry basket he scored in poplar bark and tied up. He’s a big personality with the warmest soul and a book of poetry like little memory capsules and someone I look forward to sitting with for a spell now that I’m vaccinated.
In the coming weeks, we’ll see black berries and blueberries fill that basket (if they make it past initial inspection). I have seen my child pluck a ripe blackberry from the branch and flip it right into their mouth in one fluid motion and, friends, it is a glorious and jubilant thing. Berry stained lips and cool water misting revelrous laughter in between soaking the garden beds.
That is where my hope is planted and these snapshots are the little bit of magic that makes me feel like we can still create a better world for all of us. I hope you’re protecting your energy, drinking all of the water you can, and being gentle with yourselves. Now, let’s get to some upbeat and fun new music.
Adeem: Gemma Louisianna is a pop-country artist based in London. The Taylor Swift influence on her new single “Yellow Hoodie” could not be overstated. With acoustic guitar and a simple electronic beat, she laments, “I don’t wear your yellow hoodie anymore,” exploring the nostalgia of young love with natural pop-sensibilities.
Annie: “Like Milk and Honey”, a stripped-down banjo dream off Salmon’s 2017 album “WAY YONDER FAR”, drifted into my orbit last week and I’ve been hooked ever since. This artist’s trippy, folksy, bedroom pop is as unmissable as it is indescribable. The things that Austin-based musician/visual artist/drag queen Sanam Tiffany is able to do with their voice remind me of a countryfied Joanna Newsom. “Like Milk and Honey”’s ethereal Western-inspired music video is just as otherworldly. Check out the cover of Angel Olsen’s “Drunk and With Dreams” on their Bandcamp for another sweetly off-kilter love ballad.
Adeem: Admittedly, I’m a little surprised by how much killer country and Roots music is coming out of Australia. Natalie Henry is someone who immediately grabbed me by the throat with her new single, “Weed, Wine and Women.” Lyrically and melodically, it hits every point exquisitely. From the subdued percussion, to the bouncing bar room piano and the weeping steel guitar the production is perfect. Would absolutely recommend everyone put this on heavy rotation.
Adeem: Lainey is another Austin-based songwriter who draws inspiration from Kacey Musgraves and St. Vincent on her new single. “Banana Bread” is a mood-lifting, driving song. “Mom sent a photo of banana bread / That she just baked with a text that said / What’s old becomes new again” is such a quirky frame for a really darling sentiment. Sonically, the track is inventive and really well fleshed out. The centerpiece of the song, however, are the lyrics which are full of earnest, poetic prose; beautifully crafted and perfectly paced.
“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!