Oh the wonders of the internet. It can be used for so many things. But one thing that we I enjoy most about the web is music blogs like this one. They can be used to open people up to artists they’ve never heard of before. I’ve discovered many wonderful artists through sites like Country Universe and Engine 145, one of those wonderful artists being Sturgill Simpson.
We’ll admit this: when we listened to iTunes previews of Simpson’s work, we just couldn’t get into his stuff. Sure the production was pure old-school country and the lyrics on paper were top notch, but what kept me from truly loving his stuff at first listen was his voice. At first glance it came as across as annoying and distracting and I really did not enjoy it. But I figured I owed it to the guy to give his music more of a chance than just a couple 90 second previews, so I went on to YouTube and listened to “Turtles All The Way Down” off his latest album Metamodern Sounds In Country Music (which I still have to order online, I’ve heard it’s brilliant) and fell in love with it. It’s fantastic.
First of all, while I still don’t love his voice all that much, it is much better than exemplified through the previews and his storytelling ability makes up for it. That brings us to the story. It’s… interesting to say the least. Just reading through the lyrics I thought it might be about how love saved a guy (based on one of the later lines) but then it also talks about reptile aliens made of light (yes, you did in fact read that correctly) and then it starts talking about drugs. It really makes little to no sense but it’s intriguing nonetheless, and certainly miles ahead of most mainstream records.
The production is also killer. It’s distinctively country yet somewhat distorted, which is a perfect match for the lyrical content. Meanwhile, the melody also hold it’s own, but isn’t a core aspect of the song. It also doesn’t wear out its welcome, clocking it at just over three minutes.
“Turtles All The Way Down” is masterpiece, plain and simple. There’s not one thing it doesn’t do right. It’s pure country goodness, that may have you scratching your head and searching for the lyrics online to make sure you heard them correctly. Good stuff.