08 Aug ELLE: Exclusive: Listen to Valerie June’s Gripping Ballad, “Shotgun”
Though Valerie June no longer lives in Tennessee, her Southern roots shine through on her debut album, Pushin’ Against a Stone. The spare, stunning track “Shotgun,” a murder ballad that drips with raw emotion (listen to it below), anchors her first LP with her razor-sharp vocals and a palpable maturity.
June’s voice is her trump card, a storytelling-minded soprano that calls to mind Dolly Parton by way of Erykah Badu. But her songwriting is what listeners will return to: a blend of folk, blues and gospel that, while traditional on paper, would hardly feel out of place on today’s eclectic pop charts.
Pushin’ Against A Stone, due out on August 13, was produced by The Black Keys‘ guitarist and vocalist, Dan Auerbach, as well as acclaimed studio wizards Kevin Augunas and Peter Sabak. The singer-songwriter was also joined in-studio by an A-list cast of musicians, including the legendary Booker T. Jones (“Somebody to Love, “On My Way”). But trust us, the only voice you’ll be hearing—and dying to return to time and again—is June’s. Read more here.