Nikki & the Phantom Callers: “Blue Moonlight”

Photo by Jaysen Michael

Buzzing vintage country-noir that hits hard, “Blue Moonlight” is one last shot at last call and the evocative brand-new single from Dadeville, Alabama’s Nikki Speake and her band Nikki & the Phantom Callers. You can stream the track now by visiting their Soundcloud page, and their debut LP Everybody’s Going To Hell (But You and Me) will be released on April 3rd.

Karen & the Sorrows: “When People Show You Who They Are”

Photo by Leah James

Translucent and Gothic, its poetry obsidian, “When People Show You Who They Are” is the powerful, pastoral new single from Brooklyn’s Karen & the Sorrows. Its quietly-charismatic new video meanwhile was directed by David Andrew Stoler and the artist herself. The track is taken from her excellent and recently-released Guaranteed Broken Heart LP, and you can order opaque-vinyl, black-vinyl, CD and digital versions of it from her Bandcamp page right now.

Kathryn Legendre’s “Going Crazy” and Tanya Montana Coe’s “Hometown”

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing
Image may contain: 1 person, standing, night and indoor
Photo by Roy Varga

Hopefully you’re watching Ken Burns’ landscape-altering film Country Music. It’s animated by a love for the genre coupled with a critical eye for historical realities — many unpleasant, painful and damning. It teaches that there was never one unbroken path from Jimmie Rodgers to now, and that the regressions and shifts arrived both cynically and naturally, from the boardroom to the grassroots. As importantly it shows that where we are now is the product of previously lightly-considered social forces — most notably the profound contributions to Country from Black, Mexican and women artists.

For those of you who have begun it, you’ll know that the twin poles of the program are Texas and Nashville, and here we’re featuring an artist from each. Both Kathryn Legendre and Tanya Montana Coe speak with a sharp-edged, easy eloquence for tradition, creativity, possibility and equality. They have much good to say and to represent about the genre’s past and future. Ms. Legendre’s most-recent EP Making It Up is available on her Bandcamp page, while Ms. Coe’s just-released Hide Your Emotion can be found on hers.