Whenever I’m out looking fine and a guy asks me (quoting my weird uncle Jerry), “What are you listening to musically these days?” I always respond by saying, “Country.” Crickets. Fleeing. Sigh. If he’s still there I say something about being from Oregon (my first concert was Johnny Cash. I bet yours was Weezer). If he’s still still there, I’ll tell him about John Moreland.
Rhapsody tells me John Moreland is, “Americana” but is that just a way for listeners to assert they’re cooler than those who like Florida Georgia Line? Rhapsody also tells me another favorite country band of mine; First Aid Kit is “Indie Pop.” Regardless if a band is from Sweden, if they sing about Graham Nash then they’re country.
For the last two years I’ve done my research using Rolling Stone’s 40 Best Country Albums article. I listen to all 400 tracks and then pronounce my favorites to a few friends and the guys still standing there admiring me looking fine. You’re welcome for doing the legwork for you. My favorite country album of the 40 for 2015 is John Moreland’s High on Tulsa Heat.
I’m not a music critic. If I were, I’d argue things like Miley Cyrus’ rendition of Jolene is better than the original and nobody would believe me. If you’re looking for a review the New York Times has a good one. I like lyrics and I think John Moreland’s lyric, “Well I’m the kind of love it hurts to look at” from the song You Don’t Care Enough For Me to Cry is a great lyric. John Moreland’s music is the Rachel Weisz (thinking man’s hottie) of country.