Ok, so when most young people hear the term “Country Music”, they automatically either think of either old man music, or the painful popular variety of the likes of Taylor Swift, and there are a lot of negative connotations there. But in recent years or so, I have developed an appreciation of some more mellow or sophisticated, country-esque songs, found in the likes of Laura Marling’s more recent music, even if the songs themselves are not strictly “country”. There is a sort of rustic beauty in the folky timbres of some country inspired song writing, and it really shows off the best of what country music was originally about - telling a story, and expressing a deep inner sadness, which can be both captivating and thought-provoking.
I know that I seem to never stop hailing Laura Marling as the saviour of modern popular music, but seriously, she’s great, and her 3rd album which encompasses many country influences, as well as being inspired by Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, really makes country music sound eloquent, sophisticated and current, while still maintaining its roots in folk.
In addition to this, a while back, a friend introduced me to the music of Reba McEntire, an 80’s country singer, who while may at times be leaning more towards pop music, all of her songs tell a story and really captivate you. I was surprised when I first heard her song “Fancy” and marvelled at how good it was, and have since found many other of her songs equally good. Who knew, that country music could actually be good, and not just embarrassing and cliché?
So even though I could never really say with full honesty that I am a country fan, as I am more of a folk lover, and as I am not that familiar with a huge range of country music, I can say that there is some truly good stuff out there, and it is not all just awful, monotonous (to use a phrase that a friend most eloquently coined) “farm-emo”.