Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

With a classic country voice that often recalls Waylon Jennings and downtrodden lyrics that give Townes Van Zandt a run for most miserable, Sturgill Simpson is emerging as a major talent in a country music field far too jammed with singers who’d rather be leading ‘80s pop-metal bands. Produced by his trusted collaborator Dave Cobb (Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell) and recorded live to tape at Nashville’s LCS studio over four days in late 2013, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music is a potential candidate for ‘Country Album of the Year.’ Simpson’s touring band brings the songs to lean, mean life, while Simpson’s lyrics ride the existential edge. “Living The Dream” proclaims “I’ve been going through the motions / It’s a means to an end but the ends don’t seem to meet,” before mirroring Van Zandt’s realization that he’s got nothing to do but “sit around and wait to die.” Not that Simpson is without humor. He thanks the woman who haunted his memories in “Life of Sin.”

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