By Christopher Treacy
Alcohol… the rapacious creditor. If I’m not mistaken, it’s referred to that way in some twelve-step literature. And while we certainly don’t all think of it that way, there does seem to be a toll to pay with alcohol, and the price continues to go up whether or not we’re actually reaching our destination. Doesn’t quite seem fair, does it? Alas, the law of diminishing returns…
This week’s Roundup features a trio of selections in which alcohol is a prominent character, including our Song of the Week, which doubles as an Exclusive Video Premiere for the debut single from Ever More Nest’s upcoming new album. We’ve also got a pair of winning collaborations; one is a folksy supergroup, and the other might be the best cowboy-disco track to come along in quite some time. G’head, treat yourself.
Song of the Week & Exclusive Video Premiere:
Ever More Nest – “Wishing Well”
The ache that pulses through this brand new track from NOLA-based Ever More Nest is somewhat arresting. Steeped deep in the loneliness that follows a breakup, Kelcy “Kelcy Mae” Wilburn’s vocal straddles the affecting lines between weariness and prettiness, delivering the sort of performance we couldn’t forget if we wanted to. In the case of “Wishing Well,” our protagonist is dealing with her loss at the bottom of a bottle. “I don’t care what you think, I don’t care what you say, Oh I never even hear you… from this far away,” she sings, surrounded by glass bottles in this brand new video clip, premiering exclusively today on Country Queer.
Wilburn’s delivery is enough to make you a little thirsty, and we got to chat with her about the new song, new video, and Ever More Nest’s forthcoming second album (Out Here Now, due 8/19 on Parish Road Music), in a short Q&A that will run tomorrow. Stay tuned for more and grab your adult beverage of choice for “Wishing Well,” below.
Tom Paxton, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer – “Since You”
A barely-two-minute quickie, “Since You” is a feel good, bluegrass-infused hayride about how new love will nudge you out of your curmudgeonly funk, and it’s a hoot! Paxton, Fink, and Marxer are a folksy supergroup of sorts, and their collaborative album All New is scheduled to drop 7/29. Fink and Marxer definitely qualify as queer pioneers in the folk arena, and Paxton is a legendary troubadour, making this collaborative project ‘old-guard-gold’ of the highest order.
Cody Belew & Dave Aude – “Neon Moon”
Belew’s profile has been blowing up lately, and it doesn’t hurt that he looks pretty good in tight, fringed trousers. But there’s a fair bit more to the story, and some of it has to do with musical versatility. Belew’s latest single finds him paired up with DJ, songwriter/producer, Dave Audé, and the two work masterfully well together, conjuring the cowboy-disco hybrid tune of your dreams. It’s not a club banger, though it could become one with just the twist of a few knobs. No, somehow, this is still a country song. Just barely. See if you agree.
Amythyst Kiah – “Hitchin’ a Ride”
Kiah’s transfixing new cover of Green Day’s “Hitchin’ a Ride” brims with soul, benefitting from a feminine touch while still maintaining an edge. Though it’s a far cry from the scrappy, Stray Cats-inspired, punk-swing of the original, Kiah’s more contemplative take brings greater depth of feeling to a tune about the challenges of maintaining sobriety when you’re naturally wired for dependency.
Of the cover choice, Kiah said, “‘Hitchin’ a Ride’ is one of those songs that I loved to head-bang to when I was alone in my room, but I never really gave much thought to what Billie Joe Armstrong was actually singing about. I ended up revisiting it for this project, and when I read the lyrics while listening, I was really blown away to realize that it’s a song about a person struggling with addiction. Billie Joe has a great sense of melody and storytelling, and this song is a great example of that.“
Elizabeth Wyld – “Love Comes With a Knife”
Wyld’s latest single very clearly channels bits of vintage Alanis in the vocal phrasing and, on the surface, the mood is crisp and sunny. When she sings of waking up early and the bright light flooding the room, you feel it enough to squint a little. The video clip takes a tongue-in-cheek approach, throwing a Killing Eve-inspired, sinister undercurrent into the story. The juxtaposition ends up making the track more compelling.
Wyld explains, “Whenever I attempt to write love songs, they end up focusing on the messy parts of a relationship, about the most painful sides of love. I wanted to challenge myself to write something that was sweet and gushy, upbeat and queer. It’s my homage to Villanelle and Eve’s love story in Killing Eve.”
Levi J. Mericle – “Whiskey Deep”
Mericle is a New Mexico-based, disabled, pansexual poet and spoken-word artist. His award-winning writing has been published in numerous journals, he’s authored children’s books and published fiction as well, but “Whiskey Deep” is the first song he’s written that’s made it all the way to a finished, produced track. It’s easy on the ears, beautifully sung, and the refrain will stick to your brain! Yet another entry in this week’s selections that references alcohol’s ability to simultaneously build up and tear down… and Mericle definitely puts his own spin on it.
Christopher Treacy has been writing about music and the music industry for 20 years. He’s contributed to The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Herald, Nashville Scene, and Berklee College of Music’s quarterly journal, as well as myriad LGBTQ+ outlets including the Edge Media Network, Between the Lines/Pride Source, Bay Windows and In Newsweekly. He lives in Waitsfield, VT.
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