Hannah Smith

What Country Can Sound Like

Music Scene Media
Mar 28, 2024
1 min read

I used to be country music’s biggest snob. Growing up in Alabama, I have many memories of riding shotgun in my dad’s pickup while listening to the classics–Waylon Jennings, Jim Croce, Dolly Parton, and even Alan Jackson–and I was quick to defend what I saw as real country from the likes of Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan. To me, that kind of country music was overproduced and riddled with stereotypes. I wasn’t a beer-drinking woman scorned, so why would I listen to what I thought of as “white trash noise?”

But we’re in a time of country revival, and I have to admit that the twang making its way into much of our modern music has brought me back to my red dirt roots. There’s been a country, folky trend I’ve noticed in music lately, in large part thanks to the popularity of artists like Noah Kahan and Kacey Musgraves. Beyonce’s Cowboy Carter is hotly anticipated, and I for one cannot wait to hear her prove her CMA Award haters wrong. This trend is going deeper than the Hot 100, though, and I have been pleasantly surprised to hear country seep its way into genres like indie pop and rock.

I’ve made this playlist to remind myself that country music can sound like anything. Its influence can be heard in songs from Maggie Rogers, Sam Burton, and Medium Build as much as it is in Morgan Wallen’s discography–you might have to listen just a little harder, but it’s there. These songs remind me of those days with my dad, windows down, in my blue jeans, and I love that this new wave of country can bring me back to a place of loving my musical roots.

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