If you’ve somehow managed to miss them, the Court Yard
Hounds are comprised of Emily Robison and Martie Maguire, the two members of
the Dixie Chicks who aren’t Natalie Maines. The duo released a self-titled album
back in 2010, and are back in 2013 with new music. While their next full-length
album(‘Amelita’) is not due until July 16, they released a 4-song EP on June 11
and the lead single ‘Sunshine’ on June 10.
‘Sunshine’ heads up more of a return to country-infused
material for the two talented musicians. Appropriately titled, ‘Sunshine’ oozes
summer appeal, but more rootsy and with less moonshine and party than the songs
on country radio. This song is one of two halves; while the verses are led by
acoustic guitar and retain a stripped-back vibe with an infectious rhythm and
punchy melody, the choruses hit the listener with atmosphere, mandolins,
harmonies and expertly-written hooklines that are perfect for singing along to.
It is commercial enough to be palatable to mainstream country fans, yet does
not compromise on musical or lyrical substance for those with tastes leaning
towards Americana, or other more independent country subgenres.
Speaking of the lyrics, they’re both a curiosity and a
delight. With much more depth than we’re often used to hearing from other
artists, they tell the story of someone who whines and complains and generally
wallows in their own self-pity. The words twist and turn and wind back round on
themselves, poetic, intriguing, but sarcastic and cheeky, pivoting around the
line “we call you sunshine”. I’m sure that many fans will have someone in mind
when listening to this song, with phrases like “you play until you break it,
you make it hard to be around… you start a fire just to beg for intervention,
you like the drama and attention”. Personally I love the intricacy of lines
such as “tonight you’ll grace us all with your inner presence, while your
back-handed compliments appear out of the room”, that make each listen
rewarding and every lyric fun to sing.
The beauty of ‘Sunshine’ is in its simplicity yet detail,
but moreso in the basic fact that it makes you smile. The words, the music, it’s
just a great song, and that’s it. I am extremely excited for the release of their
full-length sophomore record and you should be too.
I highly recommend this track and look forward to blasting
it throughout sunny days and balmy nights.
You can listen to ‘Sunshine’ here: