I wouldn’t quite say that 2013 was “the year of country” for me, but I guess you could say it was a year of country for yours truly. Meaning that I did listen to some country music this year, as opposed to the little-to-zero country music I usually listen to. Most of this consisted of the classic sounds of Merle Haggard and Loretta Lynn, while the hard-rockin’ brazenness of Lucinda Williams also caught my ear, and then there’s also the pop-country of some of the artists I’ve been listening to for The People’s Albums.
Lately, I’ve been pretty taken with The Stand-In — the second album from Nashville singer-songwriter Caitlin Rose — probably because it evokes a little bit of all the different references I just named. As you can tell from the album’s retro-y cover, the image of the classic Nashville singer-songwriter is something Rose has molded herself into, but at the same time there’s a soothing pop-savvy to her songs that feels distinctly modern. And if her lovely cover of The National’s “Pink Rabbits” is any indication, she’s got enough of an indie rock aesthetic to maybe crossover to that audience sometime in the future. Which would be nice, since there seems to be a bias against country in the online music community, as evidenced by the fact that it took me until the end of the year to even hear about this little gem.