The Boot’s Weekly Picks: Valerie June, The Local Honeys + 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.
Valerie June"Fade Into You"
Valerie June brings a little twang to Mazzy Star's '90s alternative hit in this cover. Her singular voice weaves with Dan Iead's pedal steel to illustrate the dreamy, complicated longing at the song's center, an interplay between the woozy desire to "hold the hand inside" of a crush and the dismay of seeing nothing in their eyes in return. Lilting background vocals evoke June's most recent album, The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers, while gentle percussion pays homage to the original. -- Annie Parnell
The Local Honeys"Dead Horses"
The Local Honeys’ Linda Jean Stokley sings of animal husbandry growing up on a farm in Eastern Kentucky on “Dead Horses,” the first single from the band’s self-titled La Honda Records debut coming July 15. Produced by Jesse Wells — the duo’s former professor at Morehead State University and a current member of Tyler Childers’ backing band The Food Stamps — the song features an infectious interplay between guitar and banjo as Stokley alludes to us all just being animals with slightly different hides, singing “I never got used to watching horses die / They die badly, it has kept me up at night / I never got used to watching horses die / Count my pretty ponies / When I greet the morning light.” -- Matt Wickstrom
Amelia Jackie"Velvet Leash"
Amelia Jackie's ambivalent love song evokes Nashville just as much as the Lower East Side. The New York City-based singer-songwriter's new album, You Can't F--- The Internet gives one a sense of Jackie's wry yet aggressive approach to songwriting. "Velvet Leash" seems to detail a codependent romantic relationship while also leveling a broadside at America's relationship to consumerism. Maybe they're one and the same, but Jackie makes them sound damn sexy. -- Rachel Cholst
Few Miles South"Doggone"
Georgia-based country outfit Few Miles South are accompanied by the fiery fiddle of Michael Cleveland on “Doggone,” a song about how despite their casual, Southern way of living. The lyrics explain how the band members are happy as a dog, not worrying about the problems and worries of those more connected with today’s “doggone society.” Cleveland’s ferocious fiddling is paired with grandiose guitar picking from Blake English that even the likes of Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle would be proud of. -- Matt Wickstrom
The queer North Carolina-based duo Dissimilar South masterfully blends muted indie pop drums with swooning Americana elements. "Melodrama" may be gentle, but it is poisonously sly, expressing a wish for a relationship that can only end in melodrama, but hoping to avoid fate this time. The band's latest album Tricky Things was released on May 6 via queer label Crusin' Records. -- Rachel Cholst
Seth Walker"Why Do I Cry Anymore"
Seth Walker pulls multi-instrumental duties with producer The Wood Brothers’ member Jano Rix on the R&B-infused “Why Do I Cry Anymore,” the third single from his record I Hope I Know, out May 20. On the tune, Walker confronts the often hard to ask questions in the wake of a break up, singing “Why do I even cry anymore / When I know its not worth crying for” before ultimately coming to the conclusion that love is still worth it. -- Matt Wickstrom
Deathcruiser"Put Your Hands on Me"
Sometimes you just need to get to the point. Nashville's Deathcruiser presents a sweetly earnest love song in "Put Your Hands on Me." Fans of Petty and Springsteen will get hooked by the distorted guitars and beat, though Deathcruiser adds a polish that would make this song feel perfectly at home on country radio. -- Rachel Cholst
"The sharpest of opinions is laying down forever," proclaims Genevieve DeGroot at the beginning of "moses kill," a gem from Philly indie-folk band Sadurn's new release Radiator. Over a tenderly-plucked guitar, the lyrics slip into the comforting cocoon of self-destruction, pushing away loved ones and insisting "I never really made you proud at all." "I'm a stream off a stream off a great river delta," DeGroot calls quietly -- a lostness that suggests they aren't sure whether or not they want to be found. -- Annie Parnell
Jubilant horns, whistling and clapping help to cement the warm and sunny vibes on “Daydreams,” the debut single from Nashville by way of Birmingham, Ala. group Certainly So’s forthcoming album Dreams of Green, arriving July 1. The song’s upbeat arrangements are further elevated into euphoric territory with lyrics about being deeply in love. -- Matt Wickstrom
Cloudbelly's atmospheric folk rises to new heights on "Leavened." Pun aside, the Western Massachussetts duo sports a lyrics-forward effort, buttressed by shimmering guitars and a tasteful drum pattern. When lead singer Corey Laitman sings "Sometimes i'm a cowboy/And sometimes I'm a girl," their transcendence is truly felt. -- Rachel Cholst