We have reached peak throwback decade trend. To nobody’s surprise, I used to be Tumblr girly, enamoured with The 1975 (still am), E.E. Cummings’ poetry (am no longer), and Halsey’s song “Colours” – namely the bridge where she talks about mixing red and blue and ending up with purple, and somehow making that into a metaphor about love. The chokehold that song had on me and the rest of the 16-year-olds back in the day was unbelievable.
With Y2K trends oversaturating the zeitgeist, really the only natural progression is to move onto the 2010s – which of course, for a lot of people my age, was when the core of us found our personalities for the first time, usually though listening to Indie Folk.
Well, the 2010s are back, and apparently cool again. Cast your mind back to the days when The Lumineers were at the top of the charts, girlies took pictures of their outfits with a purposefully pigeon-toed pose, and all our wardrobes were full of leather jackets and a variety of hats. Hipster style is actually not a far stone’s throw from Western wear, funnily enough: one is black, and one is brown, but both feature hats, boots, leather jackets, and a strong penchant for the banjo.
The Lumineers may not be back at the top of the charts per se, but Indie Folk is back with a vengeance, with newcomers like Noah Kahan and slow crooners like Dermot Kennedy taking the world by storm. This is a far cry from the pop and rap music that has reigned supreme for the last six years or so, and it seems the tide is turning.
I unfortunately have had the tendency to fall in love with men who have coincidentally all loved country music, which I have – I’m ashamed to admit – always looked down upon them for, as I thought only a real loser would genuinely love country music. It’s true, I am a music snob.
I suppose that seems a little hypocritical of me, considering one of my main goals in life is to go country-line dancing, just like in Footloose. I learnt to shoot a gun at a young age, and took great pride in knowing how to drive a manual tractor before I could ever drive a car, yet although I have long had a love for country living, the love for country music has always evaded me. But as hard as it is to believe, I do have flaws – and being a two-faced idiot is apparently one of them.
I should’ve seen the country wave coming, really. With Western cowboy boots being one of the key trends of Autumn/Winter 2022 (even Hermès created the sold-out Folk 35 boot, which I was never able to purchase, even after several attempts) and people pairing them with cowboy hats unironically, naturally this would spill over into culture too.
Yellowstone is one of the breakout shows of this year (even though it’s a few seasons deep), and with Bonnie Raitt winning the Song Of The Year Grammy with a country song, it seems there is a deep country cosmic shift.
All those who liked Indie Folk in the first place (including me) seem to have crossed over the Western border and become country cowboys. Catch me walking to work in my cowboy boots listening to Zach Bryan in the morning (who am I?) when only two months ago I thought country music was for small town hicks. It’s only a matter of time before country becomes worldwide Top 10 material, and we are currently teetering on the brink.
I think the allure of country music lies in the yearning in the songs, whether it be for a love lost or a life out in the wild, taking pleasure in the simple things, like open plains and adventures yet to be had. Either way, I’ve embraced it wholeheartedly and swallowed my pride; I am a country-music lover, and I am not ashamed.
Feature image via Wonderland magazine Spring/Summer 2022