The new single “Amy’s Gone” from country band The Tennessee Werewolves gives us melodic fireworks on every front, starting of course with the fiery output that its players pump into the music seconds after we press the play button. The instrumentation is incendiary enough to set your speakers ablaze, but it isn’t until our lead singer introduces lyrics into the song that we start to feel like we’re getting swept away in a tizzy of old-fashioned country swing. This is a vocal-powered jam that doesn’t ask much from its listeners in exchange for a guaranteed fun groove, and from where I sit, it stands a chance of getting dejected country consumers somewhat excited about their favorite genre’s future again.
Retro compositional foundations are at the core of “Amy’s Gone,” but not to a degree where the harmonies, the beat, or even the lyrical construction feels like a saccharine tribute to the artists who inspired and came before The Tennessee Werewolves. This isn’t an act that has been liberal in the department of wearing their influences on their sleeve, but I will say they don’t hide their increasing alignment with the classic songbook in Americana and country music here. They’re revisiting the roots of an entire cultural movement, and sounding proficient in their journey for sure.
The music video presents an indulgent slew of polished components that other artists would have had a hard time putting into balance with the soundtrack at hand, but this never becomes an issue for The Tennessee Werewolves. They wear the look of excess particularly well; so much so, I would even say, that they should make more of a habit to let their collective guard down and express through more unrestrictive means in the future. This is such a freeing single, and it makes me want to hear more of its kind from the same players we meet here.
Country addicts can’t go wrong with what The Tennessee Werewolves are cooking up for the world in “Amy’s Gone,” and if this is just a preview of what they’re going to be developing as they enter this next part of their career together, I think they’re going to win over the mainstream critics who might have been skeptical of their early work. This is a phenomenal combination of past and present that doesn’t come off like just another pop hybrid, and I have a feeling it’s going to do a lot to increase critical praise for its designers around the underground.