Not a month before quarantine started, my Taylor Swift™ snake ring snapped in half. After anxiously twisting it on and off my finger for nearly two years, the silvery metal fittingly relented in therapy.
Black squares. Thoughts and prayers. Heart emojis and hashtags. That about sums up the country music community’s response to the recent uprisings for racial justice that were sparked by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others.
Kip Moore entered my life the way most country singers did in 2011 — by singing about a truck. More precisely, “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck.” For months on end the cheeky, feel-good track was playing every time I turned on the radio.
Before her debut, Rina Sawayama was the kind of low-key singer you’d come across on Spotify and think, Holy shit, she is going to have a career. Her first EP, RINA, remains one of the best musical projects of 2017.