“Not Forgotten” by Jenson David and Kelly Miller

A pendulous but warm piano. Burning emotions simmering to the surface courtesy of a dual-attack vocal that comes together slowly but surely. A sense of continuity extending itself well beyond the limitations of sound and melodicism altogether.

In the new single “Not Forgotten,” country singer Jenson David is joined by Kelly Miller for what feels like one of the more powerfully honest collaborations of its kind to debut in 2020, and though I had never heard either of these players before coming across their track this fall, I think they set the bar pretty high for themselves moving ahead. Ideally, two artists are able to bring the best out in each other through a song that invites both of their talents into the same narrative, and even though David tends to have more of the spotlight than his counterpart does, there’s never a moment in which they don’t sound like equals here. This is definitely an instance of musicians finding the magic through collaborative kinship, and to me, it’s something that country music enthusiasts would be foolish to ignore in favor of checking out more of the mainstream Nashville mundane as 2020 crosses the finish line.

There’s no plasticized element to the instrumentation here, but instead a piano that exclusively builds the melody beneath the verses and allows the singers as much space as they need to shine like a couple of superstars. The vocals spark immense chemistry between each other, and as we press forward it feels more and more organic in spirit.

There’s an aching emotionality to the lyrics that makes me feel like every word here is really personal and sourced from the heart, and though I do think a bassline presence would have helped to cushion the keys a bit more, there’s nothing specifically negative about the instrumental construct that would require an overhaul prior to this track getting into the radio pool. I’m surprised these two have been able to remain in obscurity for so long; with the kind of passion they have for the medium, theirs is a sound that could go mainstream without a lot of help from the establishment.

Country music, much like the rest of the United States and our culture, has gone through one of the more difficult years of recent memory in 2020, but fans of the storied style needn’t fear for the future as independent artists like Jenson David and Kelly Miller rise to the occasion and take control of a new generation of content.

Harmony-lovers can’t go wrong with what they’ve produced in “Not Forgotten,” and though there’s still a long way between where they stand now and the heights of industrial success, there’s no question that this is a good start to what could easily become a very successful career in the music business. 2020 is a transformative year for the arts, but with guys like these in the mix, I have a feeling some of the best tunes we’ve heard in years are still on the horizon.

Clay Burton

The music of Jenson David has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division.  Learn more musikandfilm.com