RUSTY GEAR rustles up a pop-country hybrid that goes to many of the places we want it to in IT’S STILL YOU

Review by Vince Leigh

The new track from Rusty Gear follows last year’s Check in Check Out Blues, a collaboration that featured emerging US country act Calamity Jane.

Rusty has generated over 900,000 Spotify streams, with the country music artist enjoying quite a few success stories along the way, including, Tequila Won’t Solve Your Problems, Won’t Forget (#1 on Europe’s Hotdisc Top 40) and Wondering Why (# 51 on Billboard’s Country Breakout Chart in the US). It’s Still You is the latest single from the American singer-songwriter, taken from his EP What We Believe.

It’s Still You fits into the contemporary country category, a style that takes on some of the shiny attributes of pop, the strong melodic centre, the clean, polished production while maintaining many of the signposts of the genre; the instrumentation (slide guitar, banjo, slick vocal harmonies) being the most obvious here.

The lyric explores themes familiar to the genre too; a meditation on a long-lost love, a connection that retains its bite long after the fact. In recounting this tale, the narrator makes it quite clear that he’s not over, The girl out front with perfect pitch.

That’s understandable. Perfect pitch: that is an extremely attractive quality indeed.

This track endears and convinces by its allegiance to the style, a pop-country hybrid that does not reconfigure any molecules but does go to many of the places we want it to go. There is a robust hook in the chorus, and the ambiguous lyric in the last verse is somewhat surprising:

Now I need to think of something fast
If I want a night of living in the past.

It’s all there in the title; the adverb and pronoun telling us all we need to know, the musical accompaniment gladly and convincingly substantiating this claim. The track has all the potential to find itself blasted across mainstream pop and country radio, and to find a home on similarly designated streaming playlists. And that result is no doubt part of the aim of this record. 

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