Sturgill Simpson Goes Meta-Country

Metamodern Sounds In Country Music





Sturgill Simpson isn’t one to rest on his laurels.

His debut album High Top Mountain was released in 2013 and collected a great deal of positive attention, including a spot on many best-of lists for the year.  Less than a year later, Simpson is coming out with a follow-up, and it’s title is a bold one –  Metamodern Sounds in Country Music.

The title in fact is an allusion to Ray Charles’ groundbreaking 1962 Capitol release Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.  There are hints here that Simpson is delving into psychedelic and mystical sounds, a far cry from the traditional earth-grounded genres of country and alt.country.  It sounds like a fascinating move and is clearly a significant departure from Simpson’s first album which drew comparisons to the music of Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard.

To be so bold with just his second release makes the whole project even more interesting.  Says Simpson. “I think that there is a lot of room in country music for progression and sonic oscillation, which is what I wanted to explore”.


This is a clip of the album’s opening track.


Here are just two of the glowing reviews I’ve read:

“It’s a work of significant reflection, instrumental experimentation and emotional evolution, influenced by but not imitative of the works of Roy Orbison, Otis Redding and Waylon Jennings. It’s a mighty, yet mightily considered, roar.  Peter Cooper – The Tennessean

“It is the best country record of the year, hands down. That is, if you can even call it country. Frankly, I don’t know what it is, except for brilliant…” “Sturgill Simpson’s new masterpiece.”  Joe Keohane – Esquire

I think I need to get a copy.




Metamodern Sounds In Country Music

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Author: Rob Dickens

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