Good country music has an infectious sway that grabs us right out of the gate – there’s no hesitance in the harmonies, nor does it ever sound like we’re listening to someone who doesn’t know their way around a bucolic beat. Simply put, Lorraine Jordan is everything that a good country singer ought to be in 2023, and her sound exemplifies the very reason why the indie sector of the genre is putting the mainstream to shame right now. “Mama’s Cross,” her emotionally charged new single, testifies to her talents rather flawlessly, and while it’s quite the tear-jerking piece of material, it’s also one of the most endearing I’ve heard from an underground player this year.
If I were assessing the talent Lorraine Jordan has in her new single “Mama’s Cross” off of the skills she has as a singer exclusively, there would be no need to write a complete review of her performance – she’s a lights-out vocalist who can sing anything she wants. Countrified and charismatic, Jordan’s pipes are solid gold in the harmony-centric “Mama’s Cross,” but it’s not just how she sings to us that verifies her credibility as a performer. Between crooning and caring for this complicated arrangement, she’s got more going for her than almost anyone else I’ve been spinning this month.
Through the poeticisms that are posed in the lyrics as well as the melodic context through which they’re being presented to the audience, we’re told of a life and enduring impact from Mom in this song that is anything but easy for us to forget, and with the moxie that it’s filtered through at the mic, it becomes rather difficult to deny how heartfelt this singer is being with her words. She’s taking us to the heart of the harmony in “Mama’s Cross” whilst adhering to an efficiency-first concept that hasn’t been big in country music for too long now.
The arrangement and overall stylization for this track are rather cut and dry, but I wouldn’t want it to be a picture of elaborate theatre. Contrary to hip-hop and pop, country music is a genre that always does a little better with audiences when it isn’t made complicated beyond what it needs to be, and Jordan is a songwriter who knows this for sure. She’s leaving the fluff on the sidelines where it belongs, which highlights all the best features of her sound as they ought to be (and without a boost from synthesized componentry).
You don’t have to be as big a country music fan as I am to dig the stylish sounds of one Lorraine Jordan, but those who are in my league will find it to be a lot fresher than some of the more commercially-bankrolled content debuting out of Nashville this late spring season. There’s never been quite as competitive a time for American country singers as the present, but Jordan brings such an affectionate attitude to her music that I don’t believe she’ll have a hard time getting planted within the community a lot sooner than later. “Mama’s Cross” could do the trick, and I recommend you give it a listen for yourself before the year is over.