Since the early days of the genre, country music has been the creation of hard-working men and women. Songs about working hard to make a living are as much a part of the country repertoire as songs about drinking, heartache, and cheating. Across the nation, people are cranking these anthems about getting their hands dirty on the way to punch the clock because they can feel those songs in their bones. With her new single, Emily Nenni taps into that vein.
“Useless” the fourth single from Emily Nenni’s upcoming album On the Ranch hits streaming services on Friday. However, Outsider readers get the chance to check it out a day early. Give it a spin below.
The other singles from this record – “On the Ranch”, “Can Chaser”, and “In the Mornin’”- have all been about having a good time. This one, though is all about the hard work that goes into being able to do everything else. However, this isn’t a worker’s lament. Nenni delivers this with the same laid-back, breezy style as her other singles.
It works so well because Emily Nenni penned this song during the pandemic. She was just so happy to be able to work again. Lines like “Oh I’m workin’ to make a living and that feels good, you see,” really capture her mood at the time.
Emily Nenni on “Useless”
Looking back on what inspired her to write “Useless,” Emily Nenni said, “I had my first shift back at work in Summer 2020 after lockdown when the first line to this song popped in my head with the melody as soon as I hopped in my car.”
When she’s not on a stage or in the studio, Emily Nenni was working full-time in a Nashville restaurant. After months of being locked down, she was more than happy to get back to the grind. “It was my fourth year working at a James Beard Award-winning restaurant, and COVID had us trying to navigate takeout and delivery for an oyster bar.”
Looking back, it would have been easy for her to complain about the conditions, but she didn’t. The positives outweighed the negatives. “It was many hours a day masked and feeling anxious around my coworkers,” Emily Nenni recalled. “But it felt so good to work again after a few months in isolation. I’ve been in Nashville for almost ten years, working full-time jobs and playing shows and recording when I had the time. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though. I’m proud to work hard to get where I want to be. It’s a privilege.”
You’ll be able to hear the result of years of hard work next month. Emily Nenni’s label debut On the Ranch drops November 4th via Normaltown Records.