“County Fair” by Eller Rhodes

Although it has the bones of a soft pop/folk crossover single that wouldn’t normally appeal to the contemporary tastes of country fans, there’s something so classically Nashville about the new single “County Fair” by Eller Rhodes that I’m hesitant to call it anything other than just the kind of country track we needed this summer. There are no theatrics or aural pomp in this performance, and if you’re looking for a rock n’ roll edge that a lot of country acts have been flirting with more openly in recent years, you aren’t going to find it in “County Fair.”

Eller Rhodes – County Fair (Official Lyric Video)

County Fair is a sweet reminiscent of a past love from a more simple time of life. Please subscribe to this channel. Buy at: music.apple.com/us/album

To be perfectly frank, there isn’t a single instrumental nor lyrical element in this song that steps away from the pastoral pop made popular by the singer/songwriter movement of the 1970s, but what ties it to the bones of country music lies in the execution these players utilize. They’re more deliberate and disciplined in their performance than anything I’ve heard among the Americana revivalists on the hipster side of pop at the moment, and where the country establishment might have lost touch with this faction of its roots, these musicians are here to bring them back into fashion.

The production quality in this single is of a noticeably higher quality than one tends to find casually browsing the vast collection of indie country releases debuting this summer, and I think it’s obvious that this is something Eller Rhodes care about a lot. They aren’t content to simply give us a heartfelt performance – they want us to appreciate the passion in their words and the weight in the melodies that start from their very own fingers. In using the openness of this arrangement, they’re able to set the tone for everything that follows our pressing the play button right off the bat in “County Fair,” which circumvents the need to invite any additional bells and whistles into the mix in the first half of the song. Between the structure of the composition and the way they go about playing it for us, Eller Rhodes don’t leave us with an unclear picture of who they are as studio players, nor an act trying to right the country music ship.

County Fair

Listen to County Fair on Spotify. Eller Rhodes · Song · 2021.

I’m not normally the biggest fan of Americana, but this season has been making it more than easy for me to get into the aesthetics thanks to a bevy of creative alternative artists coming out of the woodwork, this act included. Eller Rhodes’ folky attributes could evolve their sound much faster than using traditional country elements alone would, but even if it takes them some time between now and their next release, I wouldn’t want them to rush their process to appease critics and fans at all. There’s literacy to this music that can’t be forced or thrown together, but instead allowed to develop in its own natural time, but with players like these at the helm, I doubt this project is going to produce anything but exciting results in the years to come.

Clay Burton

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