Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

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CQ Roundup With Amy Martin, Amanda Rheaume, Lacey Hill, and More

By Christopher Treacy

Photo Credit: Jen Squires

Ugh. Midterm Elections. Damaging storms.’Nuff said.
Here’s some new queer music to transport you. Stay strong.
Half of this week’s tunes come to us from talented Canadians. Maybe it’s a sign!


Song of the Week: Amanda Rheaume – “Do About Her”

This isn’t a new song, but it’s a damn good one and we missed it the first time around. Amanda Rheaume is a Ottowa-based, powerhouse indie artist with 5 albums under her belt over a 15 year period and a wealth of accolades in her wake. This track is off her most recent release, The Spaces In Between, and it speaks to the concepts of otherness and internalized racism on the surface, while also touching on the plight of all marginalized groups on a deeper level. This idea of needing to “do something” about a given situation is an unfortunate human trait; instead, we should be able to let things be, accepting them as they are. Our divisive natures can have a way of forcing us to pick sides, take a stance, make a choice… when really, none of that is necessary. “Do About Her” is a direct reference to The Spaces In Between both in title and concept—an album focused on exploring themes of identity and belonging as Rheaume continues to find inspiration in her Metis background. We got to ask her a few questions about the song in a Q&A that’ll post Thursday,

Amy Martin – “It’s All Right”

Strident, impassioned tones infiltrate this new tune from Amy Martin, a breakup song that’s spiked with a healthy dose of resolve. There’s some rage in there, too, but the thing that comes across loudest is that it needed to end… And so it did. Sounds like it was time, too. Sometimes songs get written as a vehicle for acceptance within a songwriter’s own life, making each performance a reinforcement, like an affirmation. Meanwhile, the song goes out into the world and echoes that self-assuredness for listeners. “It’s All Right” is definitely one of those songs, and at two-and-a-half minutes, you’ll be hitting the repeat button for another dose of its anthemic independence… a sweet kiss-off for all your exes.


A Honky-Tonk of Our Own

Tiernan – “End It (With Me)

With a playful new video clip directed by filmmaker Marc Carpentier, who’s also a veteran Broadcaster with the CBC (Canada) and NHK (Japan), Laurier Tiernan, (of the duo nature airliner, which we’ve covered at CQ before) is a genderqueer Canadian singer-songwriter based in Tokyo. In “End It (With Me),”they invert the tumult and brutality of the world around them in an offer of love to someone else. It’s as if they’re saying, “Amid so much uncertainty, can we have one thing between us that we can both be sure of?” Along the way, a massive amount of topics get trotted out, driving home the notion that this is, indeed, an awful time to have to be alone.

Lacey Hill – “Little Sister”

Singer-songwriter and inspirational speaker Lacey Hill is also Oneida of Six Nations, Wolf Clan. “Little Sister” is a loving, uke-strummed tribute that’s plenty exuberant while also reminding us that we need to take care of each other, heed the wisdom of elders, and trust our guts. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways. “Little Sister” is taken from Hill’s new album, The Moon (528 Volume III).

Derek Eisel – “I Do”

Based in Washington state, Eisel wrote “I Do” as a surprise gift for his partner on the eve of their wedding five years ago. The pair run a farm, which they also live on, and Eisel writes poetry and plays gigs in the Pacific Northwest—some solo and some with a drag personality called Bobbi Jo Blessings. “I Do” is plenty endearing and the video clip is made from the premiere performance with footage from the wedding the following day. Although this romantic ballad follows a familiar, bluesy pattern, Eisel’s original songs are often quirky and refreshingly unexpected. Check him out on Spotify or at his site.

Hayfitz – “Atlantic City”

As he prepares to relocate from Brooklyn to Berlin, gentle-folk-crooner Hayfitz returns with this hypnotic tune about a birthday-inspired, baked-to-the-gills adventure in Atlantic City. Amusing and heartfelt, “Atlantic City” feels like a romantic, lost afternoon spent wrapped in a cocoon of intimacy—the observations of the world encountered throughout the song seem as if they’re outside an insular bubble. “Atlantic City” is Hayfitz’s first music since 2020 and there will be more in the coming new year.

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’s the Managing Editor for CQ and lives in Waitsfield, VT.

Got new music? Submit it to CQ.