A Country Western announce new record with Wilco-inspired single "The Dreamer" - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

West Philly’s A Country Western sometimes gets labeled “slow-core,” but their ascent to becoming one of the most beloved indie bands in the city has been swift. Their latest single, “The Dreamer,” amps up the pace and energy; there’s really nothing slow-core about it. A central, distorted retro guitar riff gives way to lowkey acoustic strumming, while old-school electronic drums briefly interrupt a booming backbeat. With an unwaveringly calm voice, Derek Hengemihle sings, “Lost my memory twice, doesn’t that sound nice? But it’s wasting energy and keeping me clean.” The song stems from an Ocean City, Maryland trip and Hengemihle’s “first ever Wilco phase.” It’s not hard to hear the influence of Jeff Tweedy’s bittersweet folk-rock feelings on the new track.

“The Dreamer” is the first song from their upcoming album, Life on the Lawn which the Pittsburgh label Crafted Sounds will release on March 29th. It follows up 2022’s An Insult to the Sport, a joint EP with They Are Gutting a Body of Water (aka TAGABOW), on which the band embraced sludgy, distorted guitar, breakneck drum n’ bass, and indie-rock melancholy. They first broke out with a self-titled album in 2020, full of moody, slow-paced tracks that created a dark, fascinating sonic atmosphere. In 2021, Samantha Sullivan interviewed the band for XPN right as they were performing their first live show at Greys Ferry Skatepark. Read the interview here to learn about the group’s history dating back to old high school collaborations. A Country Western is about to embark on the “I-95 Tour,” appropriately driving up and down the highway to reach New Haven, New York, and Baltimore, among other cities. They’ll perform at God’s Auto Body, a West Philly house venue, on March 22nd.

Listen to single “The Dreamer” below.

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