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Sep 10, 2023

[Update] Country Retro Futurism

Last October, I forecasted a trend that I called COUNTRY RETRO FUTURISM.

I hypothesized that as global chaos continued to rise and people grew weary of curated and filtered social media content, they would increasingly seek authenticity and long for a return to simpler times.


Fast forward 11 months, and Zach Bryan's #1 album makes it official: we are OFFICIALLY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE COUNTRY RETRO FUTURISM VORTEX!

This Zach Bryan album is GOOOOOOOOOOD! It feels honest, heartfelt and authentic. The exact opposite of what we are fed every day in our feeds. I think the success of Zach Brown is a reflection of what people crave most in a time of chaos, information overload, and the pervasive completion to meticulously curate the perfect life (neigh, existence! horse!). 

The music feels genuine and provides a relatable escape from the digital noise, providing emotional connection and a return to simpler, heartfelt storytelling. Country music hasn't been historically welcomed by younger people because it has sucked for a really long time – Florida Georgia Line, Dan & Shay (the new Rascal Flatts!), Luke Bryan – it's all been so bad for so long. Zach Bryan is different, and I think people can feel that difference.

🎶 Zach Bryan (feat. Kacy Musgraves) – I Remember Everything

🎶 Zach Bryan (feat. Maggie Rogers) – Dawns

[Earlier this year, he dropped "Dawns," a duet with Maggie Rogers. His latest single with Kacey Musgraves, "I Remember Everything," a classic country ballad, recently debuted at the Billboard 100's top spot]

Also, a quick shout out to the Instagram cult classic, The Man Who Captured Sunshine. His hats/shirts are very cool and are the perfect representation of Country Retro Futurism.


Based on reader interest/feedback, I've added even more artists to the musical quadrant above, as well as some of my favorite songs below (and these aren't deep cuts – these are flagship bangers that should give anyone new to an artist a good sense of their sound):

🎶 Jason Isbell – Cover Me Up
🎶 Sturgill Simpson – Turtles All The Way Down
🎶 Drive-By Truckers – Outfit
🎶 Gillian Welch – Everything is Free
🎶 Highway Women – My Only Child (this one makes me cry every time)
🎶 Waxachtee – Lilacs
🎶 Ryan Bingham – Southside of Heaven
🎶 Ryan Adams – Oh My Sweet Carolina
🎶 Big Thief – Certainty
🎶 Justin Townes Earle (RIP 🙏) – Graceland