Featuring Terry Blade, Amanda Munro, Jessye DeSilva, Body Games, and Aaron LaCombe
By Adeem Bingham, Buried Treasure Editor
Howdy! And welcome back to another round of Buried Treasure. I hope you’ve been finding the warmest spot on the sofa to nest and that you’ve been drinking a lot of water. Here in East Tennessee we are being battered in the usual way by the flitting back and forth of warm, sunny days and cold, dreary ones.
The mundane, slow-motion GIF of pages being torn from the calendar in rapid succession feels exacerbated by the rising death toll from COVID-19. As anticipated, our state is fast approaching a lack of hospital beds while our breweries and restaurants maintain full, unmasked rooms of hungry mouths.
This backdrop of horror does little to prop up the festive lights and holiday sounds but we’ve still found hours of driving around the affluent neighborhoods in search of cheer to be a mild salve. These are varying degrees of hard days for all of us so hold fast to whatever comfort you can and tell me if you find any new and exciting kinds of egg nog I ought to try.
I appreciate y’all,
— Ol’ Deemie
Terry is a singer-songwriter based in Chicago whose unique fusion of R&B with Folk has created a fresh, multi-dimensional sound. He caught my attention with his witty and biting original song “The Karen Blues” in early November but I’m especially enamored of his new single, “Same Gender Loving” where he croons, “I’m not afraid to receive your affection.” It’s a touching and poetic expression of love.
Amanda is a wanderer. She stumbled across a guitar in Colombia, drove her songs from Nevada to Oaxaca, bussed to Tijuana from Mexico City, and had a spit in New York. On the new single, her soft soprano laments mournfully, “I leave your toothbrush right where it is,” describing herself as a wounded animal screaming when she uncovers that first love note. It’s a break-up song full of big emotions articulated in frail snapshots.
Jessye is a presence that exhibits gentleness like a flood. That their music is full of so much rich poetry and emotion is a reflection of what an intuitive and contemplative artist they are. I’ve surveyed the upcoming EP, Hover, due in January and it is gorgeous. “36 and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up,” Jessye sings with such vulnerable weight on the lead single. The lyrics are conversational, decorative and full of unabashed sincerity.
Now, I’m willing to admit that I’m stretching the parameters to include Body Games. They are, distinctly, not country. However, I asked for holiday hits and they delivered. Moreover, they are queer, incredibly talented, and I wanted at least one Queer Christmas Bop on my collection. So, here you go. Get lost in this delicious sonic wonderland and, if you like what you hear, don’t be afraid to dip into their back catalogue.
Aaron is a Texas songwriter and the first non-queer artist I’ve knowingly included in Buried Treasure. His song “Uncle Carl” really hit me hard in all the right places, though, and I couldn’t imagine not sharing it here. It’s about a family member who announces his sexuality to the family on Christmas with his partner at his side. Also, I should admit that my father was a lifelong Washington fan so I’m genetically obligated to signal boost any song that mentions Dallas losing a football game. I don’t make the rules.
“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!