Welcome to this new weekly feature where I recommend you three songs and discuss something loosely topical in the music industry. I will still be reviewing full length albums but I have been wanting a quicker way to highlight some songs and stories while also sharing my weekly playlist here on the blog.
So without further ado, here is what I’m currently listening to and thinking about!
This new single from Caroline Spence is a welcome tonic for tired hearts and minds. Clean Getaway is about trying to escape yourself and failing – somehow this artist always seems to write songs which hit me straight in the heart. Released with the cutest video filmed at a roller rink this is the first song from her upcoming album ‘True North’ out April 29th on Rounder Records. Preorder here: https://store.rounder.com/collections/caroline-spence
Returning to music after a 14 year hiatus is the wonderful Leona Naess, who released one of my favourite albums of the 00’s. Her voice still sounds as shimmering and beautiful as ever, with a refreshingly poppy sheen to the music. The lyrics are about the difficulties of forgiveness and navigating the seasons of a troubling relationship. Let’s hope now is the time for this underrated artist to finally get the attention and credit that her music deserves.
Here’s a gulp of sparkling, sentimental country music for those thirsty for some sunshine and classic songwriting. My full review of this album is now posted here. Dolly herself would be proud of this one. Speaking of Dolly…
The Truth about Dolly & the Rock Hall of Fame
Should Dolly Parton be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? She thinks not and released a statement this week in an attempt to exclude herself from consideration. The nomination committee thinks otherwise. Social media is abuzz with support for Dolly and her credentials.
Truth is that Dolly has recorded some songs which could be loosely grouped under the rock category, notably covers like Stairway to Heaven, Lay Your Hands on Me, Help and Great Balls of Fire. And they are, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst offerings in her musical catalogue (and I’ve listened to everything she’s released). She sounds neither comfortable nor convincing when attempting anything in the genre.
In her heart, Dolly knows this to be the truth. Her statement covers herself against criticism of this fact while also appearing humble and modest. Of course she is somewhat influenced by elements of rock and roll, just like any modern musician can’t fail to be. It doesn’t mean she actually is a part of the genre. She has made a career out of albums spanning other genres: country, pop, bluegrass, gospel, folk and disco. Rightly she’s in the country, gospel and songwriters Halls of Fame. But anyone with a serious understanding of her music knows she isn’t rock and roll, not even slightly.
The other truth here is that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame doesn’t even seem to know or care what rock and roll actually is. If you look back over the list of inductees then Dolly clearly deserves to be there. She’s at least as rock as The Supremes and the Bee Gees, for example. But you don’t solve the initial definition problem by trying to deny the reality of genre. They should just rename themselves the ‘Music Hall of Fame’ and be done with all this nonsense.
Crucially Dolly can’t lose here since they aren’t removing her from the ballot. She’s surely now a shoo-in. Trust President Parton to always know exactly how to play the game.
Please listen & subscribe below to my weekly playlist featuring these three chosen songs plus new ones from Elle King, Kaitlin Butts and many more. Thanks for reading and let me know if you like this new format 🙂