After a brief hiatus, we're back with a new installment of The Boot's Weekly Picks, which highlights great new tracks from the world of country, Americana, folk and everything in between.
Keep reading to see this week's selection of great new music selected by our contributing team, and come back every Thursday to find a fresh mix of songs we think you'll love.
Jessye DeSilva"Proud and Lonely"
Jessye DeSilva's "Proud and Lonely" is not a song you'll forget soon. It's the latest single off their upcoming crowdfunded album, Renovations. DeSilva, a voice professor at Berklee College of Music, shines in their duet with collaborator Alex Calabrese.
Along with fiddle player Cecilia Vacanti, the trio shares a soothing anthem for LGBTQ+ people (or anyone else) who are weary of the slings and arrows of this world. The gently layered harmonies guarantee that this song will live in your head -- and heart -- for some time to come. Renovations will be released on July 14. -- Rachel Cholst
Gregory Alan Isakov"The Fall"
Earlier this week, accomplished singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov marked the beginning of a new career chapter with the release of "The Fall." The stunning, richly layered track served as an exciting preview of Isakov's first new album in five years, Appaloosa Bones, which is set for release on Aug. 18. -- Lorie Liebig
Sara Petite"Tread Softly"
San Diego-based outlaw country pro Sara Petite is readying the release of her country and twang homecoming, The Empress, on June 9 via Forty Below Records. In the meantime, we've been treated to some downright country gold on "Tread Softly," a honey-sweet ballad that features Petite's smoky, road-tempered voice.
Petite implores her lover to take it easy on her, and we get the sense that she's tasked far too many people with this before. But the thickly layered steel guitars provide a sense of hope even amidst the narrator's caution. -- Rachel Cholst
Texas' own Paul Cauthen returns with "Hometeam," a funky and slow-rolling tune produced by longtime collaborator Beau Bedford of the Texas Gentlemen. The single is the first in a string of new tracks expected to be released in the coming weeks on Cauthen's own independent label, Velvet Rose Records. -- Lorie Liebig
Sammy Kay"A Couple Cardinals"
Carrying on the grand tradition of working-class New Jersey troubadours and the even grander tradition of Jersey punks who've turned folk, Sammy Kay's EP Inanna is big on story and melody. It's also exceedingly intimate. The EP is just Kay, Americana wunderkind John Calvin Abney, and Cory Tramontelli in a hushed atmosphere.
"A Couple Cardinals," tells a familiar story of nostalgia, ancestor worship, and soft-hearted grief. The three artists recorded their tracks to tape, which created some fortuitous moments: if you listen closely, you can hear children running and playing as school ends for the day among the ghosts in "A Couple Cardinals." The EP is a collection of 12 to 16-line sonnets, available to stream everywhere now. -- Rachel Cholst
Dead Professional"Ashes Are Ashes"
Before Americana became gentrified, a select few were tinkering at the margins of American roots music and creating something entirely new. Dead Professional (John Harouff) was one of those people, applying an electronica element to country music that feels as if someone layered Depeche Mood over Tom Petty.
"Ashes Are Ashes" is Dead Pro's first release in years, thanks partly to a health scare that left his ability to play guitar in doubt. That fear encouraged Harouff to embrace his long-lost love. "Ashes Are Ashes" is moody, intriguing, and a great jumping-off point for Dead Pro. -- Rachel Cholst