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.
Hannah Juanita"Girl, Where You From?"
Hannah Juanita gleefully sings of her wanderlust as a 20-something on low-down honky-tonk ballad “Girl, Where You From?” Born in Tennessee, the song documents the curiosity of people she’d meet for the first time as she adventured out west in her twenties. -- Matt Wickstrom
Joy Oladokun"Purple Haze"
Singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun is always searching for the positive. The latest in a series of accomplished loosies — released amid her first national headlining tour — “Purple Haze” looks at climate devastation and sees a reminder of love’s ability to endure. -- Will Groff
During the pandemic, Katie Toupin posted herself covering Blink 182's "Adam's Song," and it achieved some viral success. The reaction inspired her to begin a project — reimagining multiple songs from the popular 90s pop-punk band as Americana tracks. Her goal was always to donate proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America. Now, her first studio track has arrived, and it's everything that could be anticipated. Toupin proved her hypothesis that catchy, upbeat singalongs can just as effectively be bummer jams. -- Blake Ells
Leyla McCalla"Memory Song"
“How much does a memory weigh?” That's the question singer and multi-instrumentalist Leyla McCalla asks on this standout from Breaking the Thermometer, her sweeping fourth album. Built over a deceptively gentle combination of electric guitar and tanbou, the song considers the toll of ongoing injustices on the body and the mind. -- Will Groff
New Zealander Marlon Williams may have just concocted one of the season’s most catchy and easygoing tunes with “My Boy,” a whimsical folk pop adventure as bright as the summer sun. The ditty has Williams describing the feeling of finding someone you can take solace with who sees past your insecurities, singing “He don’t suffer my mistakes / I love him / He’s why I’m what I am / Nothing can touch my boy.” -- Matt Wickstrom
Joshua Dylan Balis"Lydia"
With "Lydia," Joshua Dylan Balis finds a way to combine jangle-pop with what we've come to call Americana —and the result lands somewhere near late 90s alternative radio. There's certainly something very nostalgic about what Balis has done here, and that familiarity offers up an inviting listen. -- Blake Ells
Wesley Dean"Leave Adelaide Alone"
Australia-born Nashville resident Wesley Dean laments about a surprise and unwelcome move from Adelaide to Sydney, Australia during his teen years on “Leave Adelaide Alone,” the lead track from his new album Unknown. The southern rock-infused confessional sees Dean recount the friends he’ll miss back home while also acknowledging that the move was probably the best thing that could’ve happened for his musical pursuits, singing “I’ve been back a time or two / But when I’m there all I do / Is miss the way it used to be / I can't stay / I can’t leave.” -- Matt Wickstrom
Mary Gauthier"Dark Enough to See the Stars"
Mary Gauthier is still delivering gut punches. The title track from her upcoming album, "Dark Enough to See the Stars” finds Gauthier searching for signs of hope in the wake of devastating loss. -- Will Groff
Michael McDermott"Pack the Car"
Michael McDermott sings of pandemic isolation and pushing toward a change of scenery on "Pack the Car," a fast and furious cut from his upcoming album St. Paul’s Boulevard, out May 20. Without naming a particular location, McDermott eyes getting to anywhere but here on the meandering tune as he sings, “Maybe a change of scenery / Might be the best for you and me / I would never leave you here alone / C’mon c'mon c'mon c'mon / Let’s pack the car and go.” -- Matt Wickstrom
Alec Lang"Waiting on the End of the World With You"
The mundane and the tragic look awfully similar in the work of Iowa-born, Tennessee-based country singer Alec Lang. “It’s lousy science fiction,” he shrugs here, nonplussed even in the face of apocalypse. -- Will Groff