The Boot’s Weekly Picks: Kyshona, Chris Housman + More
Every week, The Boot highlights recent favorites from country, Americana and everything in between. In each list, music fans will find picks from our contributing team that we think you'll love. Keep reading to check out the latest installment of The Boot's Weekly Picks.
Kyshona"Rise the Tide"
Kyshona should be a household name, but if you need a primer, here it is: trading in her role as a music therapist for that of a touring musician, Kyshona brings a special empathy and sense of completeness to her music.
On "Rise the Tide," released this past winter solstice, Kyshona revels in the power of collective action. "Over the past three years, I have seen it all around me -- from acknowledgment of things that are wrong in the music industry to people lending support, giving space, and making strides," she says. "As artists in our community are finally being placed in the spotlight, with each success we have individually, we rise the tide together. This song acknowledges and celebrates that--and is meant as a call of encouragement to keep doing the work that isn’t always easy." -- Rachel Cholst
"If it ain't you, it ain't nobody," Nashville singer-songwriter Chris Housman sighs on his latest single, splitting the difference between devotion and desperation. Come for the sharp lyrics and smooth delivery, stay for the key change. -- Will Groff
Sydney Adams"A Lot Like You"
Southeastern Kentucky-bred artist Sydney Adams opens up about her journey to discover herself on country confessional “A Lot Like You” from her newly released EP of the same name. On the song, the powerhouse vocalist from Corbin ruminates on how she’s come to embrace her roots and unconditional love of her family despite her imperfections, singing, "‘Cause you can’t outrun / the cloth that you’ve been cut from / you can stitch the pieces back together / needle and thread, make whatever / you want to / make you feel brand new."
The song shows off a softer side of Adams, who also navigates into emphatic country rock (“It Never Was”) and country pop (with a cover of Lorde’s “Royals”) on her electrifying new EP. -- Matt Wickstrom
Mae Estes"I Quit Smokin'"
As the adage goes, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scored," and Mae Estes' hell-raisin' new song, "I Quit Smokin'" embodies that to a T.
With country swagger and a Miranda Lambert-esque feisty delivery, Estes asserts proudly that she's done being dragged around by a guy in her life.
"As high as you could take me / It ain't ever worth the low / I quit smokin' that stuff you're rollin / A long long time, a long long time ago," she sings over an electrifying country melody that will have you hitting "repeat" in no time. This cleverly-written number was penned by Estes, Brett Tyler and Paul Sikes. -- Jeremy Chua
Bee Hall"Park Song"
Hailing from Mobile, Ala. via Brooklyn, trans singer-songwriter Bee Hall marries the sounds of both homes in her new single "Park Song." The song captures the terrified hopefulness of a date early in a relatioship, amidst the backdrop of social distancing in Brooklyn's Prospect Park and a carefully constructed soundscape of slide guitars and synths to mimic the background noise of traffic amidst leafy paradise. The swooning steel guitar adds to the atmosphere: fragile, probing, and cautiously optimistic. -- Rachel Cholst
Lucas Wayne"No One Turns Me On"
Illinois-based songwriter Lucas Wayne pours his heart out on “No One Turns Me On,” a sobering story about the death of his grandmother and the changes that come with time written from the perspective of a table lamp. The song documents his grandfather's sorrow as he sits by this “sun of the living room” that illuminates a picture of his widow of 57 years’ that’s “stained with his mournful tears.”
Wayne’s knack for storytelling is at full force throughout the tune as he breathes life and unparalleled emotion into an inanimate object in ways that many other songwriters can’t even capture through their own experiences, fully illustrating the full spectrum of talent radiating from the up-and-coming artist. -- Matt Wickstrom
Levi Hummon, Filmore, YA'BOYZ"Good Riddance"
If you're looking for a feel-good summer anthem, look no further than "Good Riddance," the latest collaboration from Levi Hummon, Filmore and YA'BOYZ.
This euphoric song, penned by Hummon, Eric Arjes and Parker Welling, is narrated from the lens of a guy who's moved on from his lonesome, post-breakup, sorrow-drowning days. He's got a big smile on his face now that he's head over heels for the new girl in his life.
"Good riddance to that lukewarm beer in the kitchen / Good riddance to the sad songs, I don't wanna listen / Yeah thought my heart was broke, but turns out it isn't / When a girl like you walks into a room / All you can do is say / Good riddance," Hummon, Filmore and YA'BOYZ sing jubilantly over a jaunty beat and singalong melody. Whether it's a road trip with friends or a backyard party, this track is a welcomed addition to any summertime playlist. -- Jeremy Chua
Houston's Unique brings everything to the party on her new song "Fuego." Every verse feels like it's from a different corner of country music: classic '90s country, throw-down rock'n'roll, a hip-hop breakdown to rival the swagger of any bro country contender. This is indeed a party anthem for the summer, one that will make you feel as powerful as the song's titular flame before you go throw it down on the dance floor. -- Rachel Cholst
Tiffany Williams"All Those Days of Drinking Dust"
Much like fellow Eastern Kentucky native Loretta Lynn, Tiffany Williams sings of being a coal miner’s daughter on “All Those Days of Drinking Dust,” the title track from her forthcoming album due out Aug. 19.
The song tells the tale not only of her father, but countless others who risked their lives and well being in the coal mines as a means of building a better life for his family, something she touches on when she sings, “All those years of rubbing on his hand and nails / all those days of drinking dust / all those nights of feeling like he couldn’t breathe / wanted to give a different life to us.” -- Matt Wickstrom
Tyler Nichols"West Virginia Turnpike"
Like a blazing sunset over the Blue Ridge mountains, Tyler Nichols' song "West Virgina Turnpike" flares with emotion and drama from the jump, only to reach new heights as the song progresses. What seems like an intimate journey by car transforms into a life-altering realization as the narrator begins to understand their partner is not the right one for them. Nichols' voice carries with intensity, matching the band's ferocity note for note. It's Americana at its most scenic. -- Rachel Cholst