This is honestly not what I expected from Diplo.
While most of his new Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley: Chapter 2 – Swamp Savant “country” project features a lot of beats and heavy drops, there are a couple songs that feel way more “country” and alternative than I thought they would.
Some of the best artists in the genre right now are featured on the tracklist from the pop/EDM producer, including Paul Cauthen, Parker McCollum, Morgan Wade, Sierra Ferrell and Ernest to name several you probably know and love, but “Lonely Long (feat. Parker McCollum)” and “Rain on my Mind (with Paul Cauthen & Sierra Ferrell)” immediately caught my attention.
“Lonely Long” has a sound and production that almost reminds me of The Lumineers, and for the most part, is pretty simple and doesn’t actually sound like a song you’d hear Diplo spinning in the club.
And the Paul/Sierra collab is actually really haunting and interesting, and I love that it’s not some sort of EDM trap tune that you can fist-pump to all night long, which there’s a time and a place for, too…
He actually did their artistry and vocals justice, and honestly, I can see myself listening to this one again and going back to it often:
It’s certainly not going to win the Grammy award for Country Album of the Year by any means, but overall, I think this is a step up from his 2020 Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley Chapter 1: Snake Oil because of those two songs alone, honestly.
Of course, Morgan Wade and Ernest sound really good too, but their features didn’t quite catch my ear like the two aforementioned songs did.
Diplo put out two singles in the lead-up to the release too, one being “Wasted” which featured Koe Wetzel and Kodak Black and definitely sounds more like what you traditionally hear from Diplo, and is still one of my favorites on the album, albeit not country in the slightest.
And a couple weeks ago, he also brought us the return of Sturgill Simpson as Johnny Blue Skies on “Use Me (Brutal Hearts),” along with Dove Cameron.
If nothing else, it’s pretty impressive that Diplo got the caliber of country artists that he did to be part of this record, and maybe clubs across the world will be at least just a little bit more country because of it…
“Use Me (Brutal Hearts)”