Fresh off being recognized on nearly every “One to Watch” list for 2017 including Rolling Stone’s “10 New Country Artists You need To Know,” Runaway June is without a doubt the most important new group to hit country music. At a time when the “Group” section in the genre’s award shows is… well… meager, it’s refreshing to know that there is at least one new group making headway in the genre. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Runaway June, the trio is comprised of three talented women: Lead singer/guitarist Naomi Cooke, singer/mandolin picker Hannah Mulholland, and singer/guitarist Jennifer Wayne. The trio couples their beautiful three-part harmonies with a very organic country sound (you won’t hear synthesizers here) and original lyrics with modern themes.
Runaway June just recently released a brand new song, “Wild West”, which is presumed to be their next single. “Wild West” is a sweet and slow love song that uses imagery from the Wild West, such as Jesse James, Outlaws, the prairie, and a pearl-handled .45. The female narrator is asking for a man who will ride onto the scene, steal her heart and save the day like in the Wild West. The song opens with, “Baby you could steal my heart like Jesse James/ or come in guns blazing just like ol’ John Wayne”, and continues with the western theme with verses like, “hold me tight like a pearl-handled .45” and “I wanna feel like we jumped a train to Santa Fe/ like we’re desperados makin’ our getaway”. The chorus rounds out the continuing theme with, “Love me like the wild, wild, wild west/ Ride me off in the sunset/ Outlaws makin’ a run for it/ Come on boy, be my cowboy.”
I have to say, I really love this song and no, not just because it references the Duke…. Though that does help! ;) But in all seriousness, there have been plenty of songs that have referenced John Wayne in which I didn’t like, simply because I either felt the song wasn’t good enough to reference him or because it referenced him in the wrong way. As a huge Duke fan and someone who has studied the legend for years, I’m always tickled when I hear the legend referenced in a good song, and quite frankly I can’t think of a more fitting song than “Wild West”. For one, the song is all about western imagery and well known western figures, which fit John Wayne’s own imagine, as he is best known for his westerns and cowboy imagine. The other and probably most interesting reason it’s so fitting that “Wild West” references the legend’s name is the fact that Jennifer Wayne is actually the legendary actor’s granddaughter! ***Let’s all take a minute to be jealous***
John Wayne reference aside, “Wild West” is a really great song. It touches on age old themes all the while keeping the sound and lyrics fresh and organic. You’ll definitely want to put this one your playlist. ;) I look forward to hearing a full album from Runaway June.