Kristian Veech, Katie Lyon, D’orjay the Singing Shaman, Kenyth Mogan, Great Aunt
By Adeem Bingham, Contributing Editor
Our mission is to lift up all queer voices in country and Americana, but the unfortunate realities of time and space have meant that we’ve had to leave some out. That’s why we’re thrilled to be launching Buried Treasure; a compendium like this lets us regularly bring you important but under-heard voices in queer country. Please join us in the thrill of discovering Buried Treasure. – Ed.
Hey y’all! My name is Adeem but you’ll probably mostly know me as the guy who does the “Buried Treasure” feature. I’m a pansexual seventh-generation Carolinian based in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. I like hikes, pipe tobacco, nail polish and digesting new music, so keep sending stuff in for me to mull over. It’s an honor to be working with Country Queer to give space to independent artists and maybe introduce you to some of your new favorites.
Kristian Veech is a Nashville singer-songwriter from Upstate New York. His style is diverse but primarily leans into Pop Country. Sonically, his production style is crisp & reflective of his time spent at Berklee, though his songwriting is more reminiscent of Binghamton. It is a unique, regional style of writing that feels as much empowered by the likes of Ed Sheeran as The Eagles. Lyrically, it is his plain style of storytelling that draws focus- especially on his new song “Running.” The story centers around the struggles of a “small town king” in a rural high school who holds hands with the homecoming queen while quietly pining for a pretty boy in the band. The small town is always running him down and he is always running from his own truth. Give it a listen on SoundCloud and like him on Facebook.
Hailing from Southwest Florida, Katie Lyon writes with the emotional power of an intellectual locked in a daft beach house party. Her new EP, “Some Things Take Time,” is a beautiful little collection of well-produced and well-written songs. Distinctly Americana, the influence of Kacey Musgraves and Jason Isbell is undeniable – though that is not to rob from the originality of her sound. Sonically, “Some Things Take Time” has all the smoky accoutrements of a honky-tonk bar room complete with the silky whine of the pedal steel and all the usual heartache. Katie’s new EP is streaming now on all digital platforms.
D’orjay the Singing Shaman
D’orjay is a fascinating person. A mystic who has found peace & restoration through Pranic healing, she now continues to perfect her own unique Shamanic practice in an effort to heal the world. Perusing her services – which range from full moon meditations, tarot, & divination – I was immediately drawn in to what she was about before I heard the first note. Honestly, that’s why it was so shocking when I found her to be as ridiculously good as she is. I half-expected the musical side of her persona to be a gimmick. But D’orjay has a presence in her voice that demands your absolute engagement. The songs are strong and captivating and well-produced and lovely – but it is D’orjay’s voice that defines the listening experience. As someone in and of Appalachia, I am enamored with the marriage of mysticism, folklore, and roots music that is our culture. D’orjay wears the wholeness of her identity so beautifully and comfortably that her search for wholeness is contagious. Her new album is due out in the fall and I absolutely cannot wait.
Kenyth is from a small town in Montana where he came out at 15 years old and left for Los Angeles first chance he got. His music is firmly pop, though there are a few tracks that are acoustic driven on his new album of cover songs. Growing up as a queer kid in North Carolina in the 90’s, I was obsessed with Savage Garden. Much of the production style as well as the sensual way he sings in his upper register take me right back to some of Darren Hayes’ solo albums from the early aughts. These are songs to dance on your bed to, sing along into your hairbrush – just summer vacation fun songs. “Star Stealer” is streaming now on all digital platforms.
Great Aunt is the combined efforts of Megan Bird and Chelsea Allen, two Melbourne artists whose songs are steeped in bluegrass, jazz, and roots music with equal measure. The rhythm of their lyrics and sardonic drawl of their delivery reminds me of the anti-folk scene in New York. There is the quick rhythmic meter, dripping with Ani DiFranco, endowed with all the quirk & lettered poise of eccentric intellectuals like Kimya Dawson or Dufus. Their new single details their experience of bigotry in a seemingly wholesome neighborhood. Lyrically it is charged with electric wit and armed with the musical complexity of their respective broad influences. Check out the premier of “Rock Paper Neighbour” here and look for it on all streaming platforms on August 8th.