Nashville based roots duo Golden Shoals have released two new singles today for the post-lockdown era. With roots steeped in traditional acoustic performance, creative collaborators Amy Alvey and Mark Kilianski reintroduced themselves as Golden Shoals in 2020 with the release of their self-titled album. Now stepping comfortably into their new identity as a genre-bending folk ensemble, the two are proud to share a series of tracks that memorialize the unique challenges of re-emerging from the pandemic age.
Golden Shoals have mastered the art of balance over the course of their decade-long collaboration. As equal contributors in the songwriting process, the pair has become known for crafting characteristically upbeat arrangements that blend old-time charm with a fervent indie-rock spirit. On their latest offerings, both Alvey and Killianski have a chance to express their own meditations about the current state of the world, trading vocal responsibilities to match their respective sentiments.
Alvey’s “Treading Water” speaks to the growing threat of alternative news sources and misinformation that gave rise to the January 6th, 2021 insurrection. Written in response to the event’s violent aftermath, Alvey explores the phenomenon of political division among families, drawing from her own experiences with relational contention.
On the track, Alvey shares, “My parents and I disagree politically. They are staunch Fox News supporters, and throughout the pandemic it was especially trying on our relationship. Many phone conversations from 2020 and 2021 between my mother and I would devolve into a screaming fight. The song speaks to underlying grief in feeling so disconnected in world view to someone you love. In the current political polarization, it’s a dynamic that many Americans will only continue to deal with.”
Channeling the honky tonk sensibilities of Roger Miller on the heartfelt ballad “Ain’t No New Orleans,” Kilianski vocalizes his anxiety about the slow-sinking city of New Orleans, bringing a personal touch to a widespread concern about climate change. The song’s chorus, “I don’t want to live in a world where there ain’t no New Orleans” carries a necessary urgency akin to its predecessor.
Kilianski’s personal connection to the Crescent City demands a staunch call to action. In response to the upheaval of Hurricane Ida in 2021, the songwriter employs American songbook-style verse to communicate a poignant message about the dire state of our climate. Throughout the verse, Kilianski pays homage to the rich musical and cultural history of the city, imploring others to help preserve it before time and opportunity run dry.
Kilianski explains, “It is a simple declaration that if our current class structures remain intact, the most important cultural center in the US will be destroyed in a matter of years or decades due to man-made climate change.”
Produced by Kai Welch (Kacey Musgraves, Molly Tuttle, Abigail Washburn), the two latest tracks commemorate the first of several chapters of upcoming Golden Shoals single releases, slated for release throughout this year and next. Rich with moving prose, haunting instrumental arrangements, and deeply engaging lyrics, the heavy subject matter of the two singles finds equilibrium in Golden Shoals’ signature cheerful delivery and showcases a continuously evolving band; from the pair’s strictly acoustic old-time roots to their current, more experimental sound.
Golden Shoals’ “Ain’t No New Orleans” and “Treading Water” are available today on all digital streaming platforms. To listen and download, visit lnk.to/treadingwatersingle. To learn more about Golden Shoals, view tour dates, and more, visit goldenshoals.com.