December is a slow month for new music. However, there are still a handful of artists out there releasing killer new albums before the year ends. This week, we have a handful of new records that are sure to scratch that hard-to-reach musical itch. There’s some country, a little bluegrass, and some great folk-leaning Americana from the heartland.
New Albums for December 9, 2022
- Missouri Folklore: Songs & Stories from Home – My Politic (Independent)
- 1992 – Justin Hiltner (Phony Graph Records)
- Drove Me Country – Brandon Ratcliff (Independent)
- Fade Away (Memphis Sessions) – Rob Baird (Hard Luck Recording Company)
It has been a dreary week here in Tennessee and these new albums fit the weather like a glove. The long-awaited new release from My Politic is perfect for a relaxing rainy day with a warm beverage. However, if you’re trying to shake the weather-induced blues the faster, lighter moments in Justin Hiltner’s new release will do the trick. Rob Baird’s latest offering is only two songs. However, both are guaranteed to get your toes tapping.
My Politic is a folk/country/Americana band based in Nashville, TN. However, both Kaston Guffey and Nick Pankey grew up in the Ozarks. As a result, their sound is steeped in that unique folk style that transports you to the rugged mountains and wide-open plains of the heartland. The duo cites John Prine, Woody Guthrie, Nina Simone, and many more as influences.
In their last album, Short-Sighted People in Power, My Politic took on social ills in their songs. With this release, they’re looking back on the region that raised them and dealing with some of the things they went through growing up. Lyrically, Missouri Folklore is vulnerable, personal, and honest. Sonically, the sparse arrangements and glowing harmonies create a beautifully melancholy vibe.
If you enjoy the sound of a well-played banjo and can appreciate some expertly-written lyrics, you’re going to love the new album from Justin Hiltner. Throughout the album, Hiltner delivers personal, vulnerable looks at his life. On the other side of the coin, he examines the overall human condition in the modern era. His rolling banjo that, at times, reaches breakneck speed is the perfect backdrop for the stories he tells.
Drove Me Country
Brandon Ratcliff gave us a taste of his upcoming album with this EP. Drove Me Country precedes A Tale of Two Towns Vol. 1 which will drop next year. Overall, the five-track offering showcases Ratcliff’s laid-back country sound as well as his songwriting prowess. The Louisiana native co-penned all five tracks on the new EP. He worked alongside storied songsmiths like Shane McAnally, Pete Good, AJ Babcock, and Lori McKenna.
Ratcliff started working on his new album – and, by extension, this EP – in March of 2020, after the pandemic hit. “It was a unique moment of silence I’ve really never had since moving to Nashville. I used that time to lean into that and sort of go, ‘Hey, if nobody is listening, maybe dare to say something vulnerable and honest.”