Every week, The Boot highlights recent favorites from country, Americana, folk and everything in between. In every list, you'll 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.
Angel Olsen fully embraces country music — something she’s flirted with her entire career — on “Big Time,” the title track from her new album dropping on June 3. In the song, she describes the magic of finding a new love and the wondrous moments that come with it. Olsen reflects on the joy of good morning kisses, laying in the tall grass and talking with your eyes as she sings, “Guess I had to be losin’ to get here on time / And I’m living, I’m loving, I’ve loved long before / I’m loving you big time, I’m loving you more.” -- Matt Wickstrom
Drive-By Truckers"Every Single Storied Flameout"
The second single from Drive-By Truckers' forthcoming album Welcome 2 Club XIII is a Mike Cooley-penned rocker. On first listen, the tune is laden with the lighter tones that the band promised would accompany this new batch of music when it was announced, following a couple of extremely political records. But the track is heavy in its own right; Cooley wrote the song about when his son, who turned 16 hit a bit of a rough patch. "Luckily he's turned it around and he's doing great now, but it was a tough time for a while," Cooley said in a statement. "Part of my way of dealing with it was to take ownership of the example I might've set, in the hope of leading him out of it." -- Blake Ells
Sierra Ferrell"In Dreams (Alternative Version)"
This stripped-down version of Sierra Ferrell's traipsing love ballad lends an intimacy to the track, allowing its vocals and lyricism to stand out. The acoustic guitar builds suspense in the background as Ferrell revels in a giddy crush and muses on the fleeting nature of living with her signature mountain call. Where the original "In Dreams" dove straight into those overwhelming feelings, the alternative version is more subdued -- deciding, it seems, that it's better to come out and say how you feel than to wait until after you're long gone. -- Annie Parnell
Kelsey Waldon"Sweet Little Girl"
Western Kentucky born, Nashville based country up-and-comer Kelsey Waldon searches for healing and her way back home on “Sweet Little Girl,” the first single from her newly announced album No Regular Dog, out Aug. 12. A sweet little girl straight off the farm who never meant anybody no harm, Waldon turns to drinking and getting high to help time pass by and not feel hollow inside from the harsh realities of life before eventually hitting the road to her farm back home, singing “Two more hours and we’ll be home / the bluegrass is callin’, buddy, and I must go.” -- Matt Wickstrom
Hackensaw Boys"Mary Shelley"
The Hackensaw Boys contemplate myths that are repeated so often that they become a part of our reality on “Mary Shelley,” the first single from their forthcoming self-titled album out June 24. Pop-infused string arrangements guide the way as frontman David Sickmen touches on the dangers of knowingly spreading misinformation, singing “damn you Mary Shelley / all the seeds that you planted in our minds / that have galvanized throughout time / now we are living it.” -- Matt Wickstrom
Caroline Spence"Mary Oliver"
Caroline Spence admits to not knowing all the answers on this first track of her recently released album True North. Over sparkling indie production, the Charlottesville native lends a Blue Ridge sound to plain-spoken revelations on the nature of artistry, evoking "Mary Oliver's" poetic namesake. "I really wanna tell you something cool, but I'm still cleaning up my mess," Spence confesses outright -- a gorgeous reflection on how difficult it can be to wear your heart on your sleeve. -- Annie Parnell
Adam Hood"Business With Jesus"
Adam Hood's first new music since 2018 is a song that the Alabama-based Red Dirt stalwart says that he's "had in his back pocket since 2020." When the pandemic delayed releasing the new record, he decided that this spiritual tune was a perfect first single to be released on Easter. "When the lines 'dealing with the Devil's been hard as hell, now I'm doing business with Jesus' came to me, I shoved them into [a Ry Cooder] kind of groove and took them straight to Pat McGlauglin," he explained in a a statement. Since the track's release, Hood joined Parker McCollum on stage for a recent show in Alabama. -- Blake Ells
John Calvin Abney"Sleepwalkers"
Fans of Elliott Smith will love "Sleepwalkers," John Calvin Abney's latest single release ahead of his album Tourist , set for release Aug. 5 via Black Mesa Records. Recorded during a cross-country road trip spent sleeping in hotel rooms and on friends' couches, "Sleepwalker" delves into friendships loved and lost, appreciating connections that linger across time and state lines while recognizing that some won't always be there. "Our paths aren't going to run together forever," Abney has said of the track, but "Sleepwalkers" is far from pessimistic or nostalgic -- rather, it's at home in the bittersweet space between. -- Annie Parnell
Megg Farrell"Whiskey Drinking Blues"
Megg Farrell, previously known as Sweet Megg, laments about her tumultuous relationship with liquor on “Whiskey Drinking Blues” from the album Christine’s Daughter, out now. Augmented by a hefty dose of pedal steel, Farrell delves into the complex relationship that she constantly returns to despite it burning her tongue and making a fool out of her, singing “I never needed no one, but I needed you tonight / and there must be something I can do to make me feel alright / so I’m leaving you behind / tell the world the news / ‘cause I’m sick and tired of these whiskey drinking blues.” -- Matt Wickstrom
"Microdose," from modern-day troubadour John Craigie's new album Mermaid Salt, explores intimacy and self-destruction with a psychedelic twist. While wading through a complicated relationship, the narrator navigates earthly pleasures and spiritual reckonings over indie-folk guitars and strings, suggesting both Kris Kristofferson and Gregory Alan Isakov. "Somebody up there must really like me," Craigie concludes, but "somebody else must really hate me." -- Annie Parnell