There are aspects of music writing that almost always lead to perilous (and altogether presumptive) activity. Obviously, nobody is predicting that one pop act is going to doom all of humanity, or that a particular country star can singlehandedly devastate society. That’s bogus (as well as slightly off topic).
But before we dive into spectral gazing upon the Nashville “scene” (quotes equally intended as colloquial indicator as well as not the magazine), a word on “musical acts’ career futures” and general “Music scene futures”(for lack of a better term).
People who act as a critic and indulging in music scene “predictions” is effectively the same thing as betting on the Super Bowl at the beginning of any NFL season (except people betting on the Super Bowl probably aren’t nearly as enamored with Annie Clark as most music critics), but as is the case in all things, there are always exceptions (Los Angeles Rams linebacker Connor Barwin comes to mind).
Then again, there are no clairvoyant critics, executives, A&R reps, managers, or artists (or at least no one’s gone out of their way to reveal their “extraordinary” abilities), but almost all build their respective reputations on a sort of pseudo-soothsaying when it comes to new artists. Yet they all go about touting “Artist X” as the next Jimi, or “Artist Y” as the next Aretha; it never fails.
Furthermore, as we’ve all learned (through an increasingly prevalent manner) in recent years, the general nature of ascribing labels to anything is rather precarious, much less musicians. They’re almost always consigned to the oblivion of whatever particular descriptor is hastily slapped upon them (a fairly recent one being Harry Styles and David Bowie, for whatever reason).
No, there is no real doom and gloom, and I can assure you, this article certainly won’t be a “music-writer-trying-to-prove-blue-collar” grit by bashing new music in honor of the “old,” but this is a look at what’s (rather, “who’s”) to come in Nashville.
Anyway, I’ll step off the long lede in service of saving face in order to get to the true core of my intentions – if and when the “next wave” of Nashville comes crashing upon the shores of the indie music social media landscape, I have no doubt in my mind that Nightingail will be the proverbial figurehead upon the prow of the “ship.”
Its hard to do Nightingail proper justice in describing the utter splendor of her abilities, and after that terribly long lede, its probably best to stave off the urge to compare her to any preceding musical acts.
Things have been a long time coming on Nightingail's behalf (sort of). A long and winding road lay behind her, having finally come across an effective (and entirely excellent) backing that looks to be here to stay, Nightingail's Basement East set proved to be her most dynamic to date.
Even still, the set was tantalizingly short - a mere 5 songs - but that's the type of approach that will best serve Nightingail in both the short and long term economic runs (full disclosure, I have no economic background). No offense to bill-mates (phrase?) Forlorn Strangers and Lonely Benson, but Nightingail and her band set a near insurmountably high bar.
If the Basement East show was a sign of things to come, then Nightingail is well on her way to being one of the best "new" acts in town. Whether Nightingail is truly "new" or not, she simply just is and will continue to be one of the best acts in Nashville, regardless of semantics. I'd be willing to bet my reputation on that.