Single Release: The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow – Released 5th March 2012

The Civil Wars

Nashville duo The Civil Wars release their single Barton Hollow on the 5th March 2012 alongside their release of their debut album of the same name. Having independently sold over 215,000 copies of the album already through touring alone this real-life couple are the very essence of DIY musicianship. The album reached Number 1 on the iTunes chart in the US and secured two Grammy nominations at the end of 2011. 

Barton Hollow has a country-blues feel to it. It begins with simple vocal harmonies from the couple against steady guitar strums before exploding into the verse, sung by John Paul White. This is quite easily one of the coolest tracks I’ve heard so far this year. It’s proper cowboy music – it even has the lyrics “I’m a dead man walking” and “Can’t no preacher man save my soul”. What’s not to like? 

Some critics have blasted it for being too safe and predictable but I think it’s one of those rare tracks works well with a constant tempo. Part of its charm is that it is stripped back and vulnerable but at the same time it gains strength from the steady rhythm and structure. 

I hear a lot of music and rarely do I find something that I want to listen to again and again. This has gone straight onto my iPod (high praise indeed!) and has been on repeat since my first listen. Give it a go - I don't think you'll be disappointed!