Part of my objective in writing this blog was to promote music that doesn't necessarily make the mainstream country scene. Here are five songs that I've enjoyed this year but which, for whatever reason, you probably haven't heard. And you really should have done. Let me know what you think below.
Pernilla Andersson - Desperados
I've featured this song before, but had to include it in here again. It's (from what I can make out with my limited Swedish) the tale of 'two desperados who always wanted more' and features wonderful ambiguity reflected in the music and Andersson's vocal.
Tara Oram - Kiss Me When I Fall
Tara was the obligatory country contestant on the fifth season of Canadian Idol, and has found some minor success in her home country. This song, the second single from her second album released this year, is a powerful, mid-tempo ballad with a driving beat and a heartfelt vocal.
Jill Johnson - In One Piece
Written by Swedish country star Johnson along with Lisa Carver and Taylor Swift's sometime co-writer Liz Rose, 'In One Piece' is a Faith Hill-style big ballad, with Johnson performing the role of the woman whose lover is leaving her, with just the right balance of grace and desperation.
The Lucky Bullets - Fire Below
Eurovision goes country, and properly country while it's at it. This traditional-sounding song from Norway wouldn't sound out of place on a Justin Townes Earle album, and would be far too traditional for contemporary country radio.
Gretchen Peters - The Matador
Peters released this video in December to promote her upcoming album Hello Cruel World. With this as a taster (as well as the wonderful 'Five Minutes, which moved me to tears when Peters premiered on her tour), I can't wait for the album's release at the end of January.
There's my five songs you didn't hear in 2011. What's yours? Comment below and let me know your favourite country song that didn't make the mainstream.