‘All Your Favorite Songs’ is the new album from Will Bennett & The Tells, and it is out tomorrow. And this song is the first single from the album, and what a single it is. Scathing is the word that applies here, scathing and contemptuous of the mainstream country scene where they’re “digging up the bones of the Cashes and the Jones-es for the shred of credibility that remains.” But who are Will Bennett & The Tells that they should be so harsh on a music business where “everyone’s a critic – too full of shit to give it“. Hey, what’d he say?
Well, the band are Chicago based but have roots in what is sometimes disdainfully referred to as “flyover country” – the dull bits in the middle of the States, between the exciting East and West coasts and lacking interesting features like dramatic mountain ranges. And this assumption of being dull and worthless is captured across the new album which aims to immerse the listener to this world – with a small town with just a single shitty dive bar, where the young have a continual conflict between longing to leave and then rationalizing staying on.
On the single itself Will Bennett has explained that “‘In Nashville’ isn’t really critique of country music, but rather a critique of Music Row and the machine that churns our these mindless country radio hits at the expense of a lot of great artists who don’t fit their vision of what a country singer should look like. While I certainly soaked up a lot of that music growing up in rural Iowa, the bands that got us into country music, like the Old 97’s and Neko Case, all existed outside of that world. But since this song is about Nashville, we wanted to lean into the honky-tonk sound, so we went heavy on the pedal steel and organ.” (Photo credit: Lou Engleman)