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Wide Open Country Weekly Must-Listens: Kelleigh Bannen, David Nail and More

Kelleigh Bannen

Here at Wide Open Country, we love sharing our favorite music, whether it’s a brand new track that you haven’t heard or an oldie that deserves some new attention. Each week, our team of music writers spotlight one song that stands out among the pack. Here’s what we’re listening to this week.

Lorie’s Pick: “Heavy,” David Nail and The Well Ravens

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard new music from David Nail, but this week he gave fans a taste of his brand new project. Slightly darker and more rock-leaning than his previous hits like “Whatever She’s Got” and “Night’s On Fire,” Nail still charms with his smooth and emotive vocals.

Bobbie Jean’s Pick: “The Joneses,” Kelleigh Bannen

From George and Tammy’s “(We’re Not) The Jet Set” to Kacey Musgraves’ “Dime Store Cowgirl,” country music has always held the simple life in high esteem. In that tradition, Kelleigh Bannen‘s “The Joneses” celebrates low-cost living and rejects the need to keep up appearances for the sake of others. Or, as Bannen sings, “mind your own business, shut the front door/we ain’t rich but we own it.” With whip-smart lyrics and an irresistibly infectious melody, “The Joneses” is a contender for the song of the summer and an anthem for your own frugal patio parties.

Bobby’s Pick: “Asfaltcowboyen,” Arly Karlsen & His Sons

The title track off Norwegian country legend Arly Karlsen’s latest release captures why he’s a national treasure. Its Waylon Jennings meets Texas Swing vibe proves that real country music translates well to different languages. In fact, it’s safe to say that folks who can’t interpret a word he sings can still pick up the universal vibes in Karlsen’s songs. Over the years, his transnational statements have reflected the rustic wisdom of Johnny Cash, Red Sovine’s truck driving tropes and even the pop sensibilities of Kenny Rogers.

Rachel’s Pick: “Burned,” Carolann Solebello

I’m not one for light-hearted things generally, so Carolann Solobello‘s “Burned” is no exception. “Burned” isn’t a song of the summer, but it’ll help you get ready for the slow fade into autumn. The New York City based songwriter is best known to folk audiences as a founding member of Americana trio Red Molly, she now tours both solo and with modern folk quartet No Fuss and Feathers. “Burned” leans toward the jazzier side of things, but keeps a sort of Western swing shuffle even as it plumbs the depths of Solobello’s journey.

Jeremy’s Pick: “You Didn’t Want Me,” Love and Theft

The first new song from the duo in years, “You Didn’t Want Me” is a refreshing new approach from Love and Theft. Think a countrified version of Jason Mraz or Jack Johnson with the same attitude as Walker Hayes’ breakout single “You Broke Up With Me.” But on this tune, Love and Theft take a slightly more emotional approach to their own rejection and ultimate redemption. With pristine production and great vocal delivery from Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderso, “You Didn’t Want Me” could be the song that returns the pair to the forefront.

Thomas’ Pick: “Reptilia,” Andrew Combs

Early last month, Andrew Combs announced 5 Covers & A Song, an aptly-titled EP due out July 27. For one of the five covers, he takes on the early ‘00s classic Strokes song “Reptilia.” Where the original is a tour de force based on youthful exuberance and has a reckless abandonment to it, Combs’ version is slightly slowed down and composed. In some respects, Combs recreates “Reptilia” into a Tom Waitsesque lounge number filled with brass led solos and a smokey lens. Like the original, he navigates the hustle and bustle of late nights in New York City. In typical Combs fashion, his velvety smooth vocals are a highlight on the number. He captures the aggressive tone of Strokes vocalist Julian Casablancas, but in a turn, it’s almost in a passive and sarcastic delivery — which makes “Reptilia”‘s argumentative lyrics pack that much more of a punch.

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Wide Open Country Weekly Must-Listens: Kelleigh Bannen, David Nail and More