An Old West bounty hunter. A diner in the early 1990s. The other side of a country classic. These are just a few of the things that pop up in some of the best country and Americana music videos of 2018 (so far).
In the first few months of 2018, country and Americana artists have released music videos that have made us laugh, cry, feel for their lead characters and think. Keep reading to watch The Boot's picks for the Top 5 videos that 2018 has given us thus far.
“Diamonds or Twine” is a romantic song any way you cut it; after all, Hurd played for Maren Morris when he proposed. So it only makes sense that the accompany music video is pure love, full of simple shots of the real-life couple (some in color, some in black and white) at home and on the road. Its home-video feel underscores the simple message of the song: Hurd loves Morris, and Morris loves Hurd, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, 'til death do they part.
Dynamite. Exploding buildings. Cowboy hostages. All this and more turns up in the music video for “Rich.” Morris stars in the clip as a bad-ass bounty hunter in the Old West, capturing hostages and then lounging in luxury, looking almost bored while she sings, "I’d be rich / Head to toe Prada ..." There’s a lot to like about the whole thing, but there's something extra funny about the shots of Morris dragging a captive cowboy (played by husband Ryan Hurd) behind her horse.
Cam’s “Diane” comes from the perspective of the other woman in Dolly Parton’s iconic “Jolene.” For its music video, none other than Cam herself plays the nightclub singer-turned-other woman -- and pulls off the role of the heartbroken mistress-who-didn’t-know-she-was-a-mistress with ease. The video adds another layer of meaning to the musical plea for empathy.
Owen’s "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)" references and plays off of the 1982 John Mellencamp song “Jack and Diane,” so it’s only fitting that the music video looks exactly like a home movie that could have been shot in 1982. The video is actually a mini-movie -- clocking in at nearly nine minutes long -- that follows the love story of a small-town couple, and part of the reason that it feels so authentic is because they used "almost entirely real, local actors and extras" from the area in which the video was shot.
Janson's "Drunk Girl" music video opens with a content warning, but that’s for a good reason: The video tackles trauma, abuse and consent, weaving together shots of Janson playing a baby grand piano with the harrowing (but ultimately redemptive) narrative of a woman growing up and dealing with various cycles of abuse. If it sounds emotional, it is -- even to Janson himself.
“I don’t cry very easily,” he tells People of seeing the finished video. “But man, this one broke me down quick.”
Stick with this one until the very end, though -- we promise it's worth it.