“She’s In The Wild” speaks well enough for itself musically, Northern Youth can leave its “Girls Gone Wild”-inspired video on the cutting room floor

Northern Youth

Update: I do not like to change content once I’ve published it on “Hear! Hear!” because I don’t want any appearance of dishonesty. I have removed the link to the video in question, however, as it was not officially produced by the band as the YouTube page made me believe. Luke Messimer was unaware it had been published as the official video for the song, and the video has also been removed officially from YouTube for copyright infringement. The text of the review, however, remains as originally written. I’d encourage you all to listen to the album below, because the music here truly is good, video or no.

Dancing hot chicks sell music, so it’s easy to see why Northern Youth (a.k.a. songwriter Luke Messimer) chose to market his song “She’s In The Wild” the way he does via the Girls Gone Wild aesthetic of this rather shameless video. That’s a shame, because the over-sexed video overshadows what’s really a solid indie pop single, as Northern Youth successfully merges recent Noah and the Whale’s eighties-inspired pop earnestness with distinctive vocals he can call his own. The infectious chorus should draw listeners in to hear more from full-length debut Home. Trust me, when we set aside unnecessary gimmicks and let the music speak for itself, everyone wins.


Jason Isbell vs. Dierks Bentley

Jason Isbell v Dierks Bentley

Jason Isbell vs. Dierks Bentley -- stolen song showdown?

Okay, folks, get your eagle ears ready, because this is going to be a fun head-to-head comparison. First, the background, via a series of tweets by Jason Isbell, formerly of Drive-By Truckers:

Dierks Bentley actually did respond to this via his own account:

Okay, so now that we’ve got all that laid out on the table, I can summarize: Jason Isbell hears Dierks Bentley’s latest song, “Home” and hears similarities to the arrangement of his song “In A Razor Town,” from his first solo album, Sirens of the Ditch. He tweets to his 15,000 followers, who then spread the word to Dierks Bentley’s 205,000 followers, and then briefly there’s a Twitterfight brewing between a mainstream country hitmaker and one of the better alt-country songwriters working today. All par for the course for a January Friday night. And I, as readers of this site surely know, am not one to “cry plagiarism,” but I decided to listen to the two songs side by side and judge for myself where any similarities may lie. And though I don’t think anyone “stole” anything, so to speak, there appear to be elements of the same melody to be heard in either track.

What do you think? It doesn’t seem as blatant to me as when Son Volt completely rewrote Counting Crows’ “Goodnight Elizabeth” for their American Central Dust track “Exiles.” But to these ears, it’s there nonetheless.