We've officially rung in 2023, which means we have a whole new year of great music to look forward to.
Since our Weekly Picks feature first launched in 2022, The Boot has highlighted recent favorites from country, Americana, and everything in between. Each list features picks from our contributing team that we think you'll love.
Today's installment includes the powerful lead single from Ruston Kelly's highly anticipated third studio album, a party anthem from Canadian country artist Jade Eagleson and a moving, timely story-song from Milwaukee-based talent Trapper Schoepp.
Keep reading to check out the latest installment of The Boot's Weekly Picks, and check back every Thursday for more great tracks curated by our contributing team.
Ruston Kelly"The Weakness"
With his new track "The Weakness," Ruston Kelly evolves from his stripped-down "Dirt Emo" roots to a driving, anthemic rock sound that begs you to grab the nearest lighter and wave it in the sky.
The engulfing tune acts as a first glimpse into Kelly's upcoming record of the same name, which he penned during a period of solitude and reflection after facing a wave of major life changes.
Although his sound is more layered and well-rounded than ever, its power still radiates directly from Kelly's clever lyrical proses and raw, impassioned vocals. -- Lorie Liebig
David White’s dreamy “Pioneer” brings Americana to a classic American tale: striking out for a new life in a new place. In this case, White’s wife wanted to move to Pittsburgh from New Jersey. White, a full-time swim coach and former member of The American Boychoir, was hesitant and wrote the song while they scouted the place out.
“Pioneer” is a gauzy confection that rocks, complete with a vocal crescendo that calls to mind the best of ‘70s folk rock. -- Rachel Cholst
Colin Haliburton’s cornered the market on power pop and Americana. On “Hot Dice,” The Roseline deliver a ‘90s alt-rock-inspired critique of virtue signaling among musicians.
Backed by music that’s both upbeat and melancholy, the lyrics questions the ethics of having a good time as the world comes crashing down. The narrator wishes we could break the illusion of civility to discuss the truth: nothing is okay, and maybe we should be rocking the boat and speaking the truth. -- Rachel Cholst
Trapper Schoepp"Cliffs of Dover"
Recorded at Johnny Cash's historic Cash Cabin, located just outside of Nashville, "Cliffs of Dover" tells the all-too-common story of an Iraq war veteran trying to readapt to everyday life after combat. Trapper Schoepp provides a powerful snapshot of what it's like to navigate PTSD, a painful challenge many military members quietly face every day. The stirring track is a cut from the acclaimed musician's upcoming album, Siren Songs, set for release on April 21. -- Lorie Liebig
Elliott Novak and Sylvie"Why Does Every Day Start With Goodbye?"
Ignore the title — this isn’t a sad song at all. Elliott Novak’s sweet single celebrates love and turns upon the Bard’s line: parting is such sweet sorrow. Here, Novak questions why we spend all day apart from the people we love, and if that’s really how the world should operate. Sylvie sells the song with vocals that are sweet but never saccharine. -- Rachel Cholst
Jade Eagleson"Shakin' in Them Boots"
Canadian country artist Jade Eagleson has been chewing up chart records and spitting them out. “Shakin’ In Them Boots” is a party song to top them all — a Texas two-step that brings the rock, with red-hot musicianship to convey the roaring good time Eagleson brings with him. The music video is a hoot, too, hearkening back to ‘90s country music video tropes. -- Rachel Cholst