If you love The Civil Wars, then today’s Music Monday is for you.
Comprised of singer/songwriters John Paul White and Joy Williams, The Civil Wars were a critically acclaimed, Grammy winning indie folk duo. In 2008, White and Williams met at a Nashville songwriting workshop where they first wrote together and the magic began. Both had previously recorded their own material as solo artists, but the positive energy they discovered at the workshop prompted them to form a duo. After creating incredible music, touring the country, and winning four Grammy awards, The Civil Wars parted way in 2014.
Though I’ve never considered myself a huge Civil Wars fan, everything I’ve ever heard them do is always beautifully executed, from their harmonies to their lyrics and their passionate delivery. I love “Poison & Wine” and “Dust to Dust”, two of their biggest tracks to date, as well as their cover of “Billie Jean”. I give y’all this brief history on The Civil Wars so that I can now talk about why I am absolutely in love with John Paul White’s first post-Civil Wars album, Beulah. Released in 2016, Beulah is everything from gentle ballads of love, to angsty songs carried by crunching guitar. His sound is so distinct, strong yet delicate – almost haunting. If you listen to the record’s first track, “Black Leaf”, you’ll know what I mean. “What’s So” and “Fight for You” take on a rockier, more edgy persona, while “Hate The Way You Love Me” plucks at my heartstrings. Musically and lyrically, this album is intricately crafted and brutally relatable. I feel myself becoming emotionally invested as I listen to his words, and that is what I want to feel when I discover a new artist. If you like The Civil Wars, I totally recommend giving Beulah a shot.
In other news, one of my favorite country artists released a new EP, and I had literally no idea! I discovered Margo Price very early this year, and she has easily become a new favorite. It’s rare these days to find country artists that have stuck with the traditional sounds and philosophies of country music – or what country music used to be, at least. Though I do like some of the stuff that plays on mainstream country radio, that’s not the country music that speaks to my soul. The ballads of Willie Nelson, the honesty of Kacey Musgraves, the life lessons learned from Loretta Lynn – that is the country music that I relate to, and Margo Price is one more I’ve added to my list. Her new EP, Weakness, is a sweet little follow up to Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, her solo album debut. Her songs tell true stories from her life, of losing a child to having a drinking problem to spending time in jail – listen to “Hands Of Time” and “Weekender” to experience these tales for yourself. It’s artists like Margo Price that encourage me to swim against the flow of modern country music and create what comes from my heart truthfully and authentically. Bring on the crooning pedal steels and the Glen Campbell-esque strings! (PS, RIP to the Rhinestone Cowboy ❤ )
If any of y’all reading this go listen to John Paul White or Margo, please comment below and let me know! I would absolutely love to hear y’alls thoughts. Here’s to another Music Monday in the books, and another week of hard work and hustlin’.
Keep living the dream y’all – much love.
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