Juanita Stein ‘I’ll Cry’

It might just be me, but I feel that the 50/60’s pop ballad is back in a big way. It could be that I’m naturally drawn to this kind of music, but it does feel like it’s been cropping up everywhere. Rather than the blue-eyed soul of mid-noughties Duffy, this new breed of nostalgia-driven music has roots in dark Americana and blues, which when combined with innovative production techniques and modern lo-fi affectations, makes for a compelling sound. Ranging from the cinematic mutant pop of bands like Trudy And The Romance to the soft lo-fi pop stylings of Japanese Breakfast, this new wave of ballad brandishers sounds completely fresh despite their irony-laden retro leanings – and latest artist to join the party, Juanita Stein (of The Howling Bells), is most definitely f-r-e-s-h. Her debut album ‘America‘ is ‘an ode to the dark heart of America. Of times gone and times to come. Dusty trails, a whimsical 50’s suburbia, and the haze of the 60’s‘. No track on the album embodies this better than ‘I’ll Cry‘, a meandering blues waltz, featuring jangly acoustic guitar and softly brushed percussion that gently accentuates Stein’s louche and ever-so-slightly husky vocal. Sugary vocal harmony and folky guitar cadences add to the 60’s ballad feel to the track, whilst the haunting country timbres are reminiscent of Americana idols like Dolly Parton and Roy Orbinson – in other words, perfect listening for pretending you’re 1000 miles deep into Route 66, driving away from the dirty rascal that broke your heart. Enjoy.

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