I.B. BAD ON A VIBRANT BUT BIFURCATED MARKETPLACE
What's growth got to do with it? (1/19a)
BRUCE GIVES OBAMA
A SEND-OFF SHOW
How fitting is that? (1/19a)
BBC RADIO 1 HOSTS FUTURE STARS
...including DIY up-and-comer Jorja Smith. (1/19a)
THE PRESIDENT-ELECT ON STREAMING
Political performance battle A companion piece to the SNL cold open. (1/19a)
by Simon Glickman
Big Machine’s Midland finds a remarkably sweet spot where classic country, southern rock and “yacht rock” converge—authentic, richly melodic and breezy. The Texas band’s freshly released EP is among the most promising new releases in some time, thanks to smart, soulful songwriting, gorgeous harmonies and terrific musicianship. “Check-Cashin’ Country” is a declaration of purpose from a working band—“if you don’t two-step, we don’t eat”—though they may have to adjust that lyric about not having a song on the radio pretty soon.
The tune, like all five tracks on the set, just feels good, like bourbon-on-the-rocks good. The Midland boys (who are co-managed by Jason Owen's Sandbox and Matt Graham of L.A.-based BRND Management) have distilled a hybrid of Merle and Waylon, Glen Campbell, Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles and .38 Special that twangs, rocks and glides with assurance. Other standouts include the weary, winsome “This Old Heart” (“this old heart needs a break”), sweet 'n' sad "Burn Out" and the gorgeous AM throwback “Drinkin’ Problem.” I’ve had it on repeat since it came out, and I want more. For an intro to the band, check out the clip below.