Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

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CQ Roundup, March 2nd

By Sara Gougeon

Joy Oladokun. Photo by Nolan Knight.

It’s that time again! We’ve rounded up a handful of stellar releases for you to check out. This week features Joy Oladokun, Sean Della Croce, Jake Blount, Ally Westover, and Rachael Sage. Cozy up. Grab a drink. And settle into these amazing songs.

— Sara

“Fortune Favors the Bold,” Joy Oladokun feat. Tim Gent

Joy Oladokun just dropped this brilliant single, “Fortune Favors the Bold,” featuring Tim Gent. As always with Joy, the writing is incredible, the song well-produced, and the storytelling engaging. I love songs where you can listen again and again, each time digging deeper into the meaning, the instrumentation, and the intention of the song.

“Rubber” (Ruston Kelly cover) — Sean Della Croce

Ruston Kelly’s gorgeous writing paired with Sean Della Croce’s vulnerable voice makes for a stunning combination. The black and white video and the intimate performance will bring you in. It’s storytime. Wrap up in a blanket with a cup of tea and let this one sink in.


A Honky-Tonk of Our Own

“The Man Was Burning,” Jake Blount

This traditional roots tune, “The Man Was Burning,” is not for the faint of heart. Jake Blount’s new single is heavy, groovy, and buried treasure that he has resurfaced. This fiery song will light you up.

“All Around Town,” Amelia Jackie

Intense. Theatrical. Wildly romantic. This video, as Jackie says, vividly depicts “heartache’s sensual excess. Ellery (Neon) is portraying this bashful, hilarious creature-gender and Jee (Whatever)’s movement is so luscious and painful,” Jackie explains, “The ambivalence of pleasure and suffering trips and slips all over itself.”

“Painted Gold,” Ally Westover

Ally Westover is an indie artist based in Nashville, Tennessee who blends soft-folk lyricism with the energy and instrumentation of indie rock. The writing is thoughtful: “A drop of sun it slips away / Reminds me time is never here to stay.” Westover paints her lyrics gold.

“Barbed Wire,” Sam Kogon

Does this sweet video augur a future where queer love comfortably mingles with sentimental American tropes like pawnshop guitars and a father’s fulfillment of long-delayed dreams? We sure hope so. Kogon says, “It was always a dream of mine to shoot a music video in my family’s pawn shop, ‘Sam’s Swap Shop,’ in Kingston, NY – the place I was named after. My grandpa Lonnie gave me my first guitar from the store, so naturally I wanted the story to focus around a guitar. In this case it’s a 1963 Danelectro Convertible that came from Sam’s – a dream guitar of mine. Bravo to Jeff Mertz for capturing the legend of Sam’s and to my dad, who blew me away with his acting.”

“Revelation Ground,” Rachael Sage

Sage sings “Revelation Ground” in a soft voice. The video features gorgeous animation. “In the hull of my darkness/ In the lull of my light/ In the shroud of my solace/ I hear fight, fight, fight”: the lyrics seem to suit this season in our lives, with social media, conflict, and hope all battling for attention and dominance in our lives.

Got a great new song? Submit it to CQ!