As far as country music goes, there’s a very niche sound I find myself looking for when it comes to enjoying the genre. Classic country icons such as Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, and the ilk come to mind as easy anytime listens, but modern country music can be hit or miss as far as memorable artists and tracks go. When it comes to contemporary country, I often want something that harkens back to the sounds of older acts — if that’s old-fashioned of me, so be it, but when you know what you like, it’s hard to break the trend. Lucky for me, this artist Reuben Brock seems to have his heart in similar places as mine, and his output lines up with my tastes more often than not! His latest single, “Black Horse Through Hell,” just might fall among the best new singles I’ve heard this year.
Finding itself both tied to a specific headspace and yet seemingly unstuck in time, “Black Horse Through Hell” has arrived as the second single off of Brock’s upcoming third album Damage. Complementing the sullen, quiet first single “Nail and Hammer” with a dash of more bravado and energy, “Black Horse…” functions as a rock track as much as it is undeniably a country hit. The orchestral string work alone will be enough to pull in listeners, but the confidence in the delivery of the vocals from Brock is what caught my attention on the first listen. Prompt and unique vocals are often enough to truly make a track in the current streaming landscape, and Brock’s voice is something that modern country seems to be lacking. Not only does he have the talent in his performance, but he has the timbre and one-of-a-kind vocal presence that feels timeless. There’s a confidence in Reuben Brock’s act that can’t be denied.
“Black Horse Through Hell” makes a case for itself against its contemporaries by delivering a great music video alongside the single’s release. Focused on Brock performing the song amidst fire, burning cacti and all, and decorated by a plethora of red and black imagery, the video has done pretty well for itself on YouTube with over a quarter hundred thousand views! Any attention the single can get gives me hope for the future of independent country music, and Brock’s future within the genre seems extremely promising.
There’s no official release date for Damage just yet, but rumors seem to be saying it’ll be out in the fall, which gives listeners plenty of time to cozy up to “Black Horse Through Hell” and “Nail and Hammer.” Sure, Reuben Brock has his feet in the past with the overall sound and approach for his latest single, but his eyes are certainly set on the future and whatever comes next will only be even more assuredly up to par. Evocative of the classics but hellbent on burning his own trail, Brock is an act to watch as he continues his trek into contemporary country music.
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