Regina Ferguson’s “Canyon Town” 

Comprised of a subtle but enticing rhythm, swaggering lead vocals, an indulgent slew of melodicism that forms a foundation perfect for ushering forth blues-laden lyrics and a sense of urgency that is underscored by the frustratingly pendulous accent towards the main hook, describing Regina Ferguson’s new single “Canyon Town” as a complex effort might not be doing this refined piece of country glory justice.

Truthfully, as multilayered as the cosmetics of this song would have us believe its actual compositional substance to be, “Canyon Town” really isn’t quite as intense and intricately wound as it might look on paper – centered on Ferguson’s voice, this is ultimately a track that was conceived to give us heavenly harmonies of the most divine quality this fall. The vocal leads us into the thick of the sonic brush only to protect us from the melancholy of the instrumentation through both efficiently-constructed verses and a stutter-step groove that seduced me in my very first sit-down with the single just this past week. There’s no rushing anything in this performance, and because she’s taking her time in laying out as formidable a presence as she can, Regina Ferguson sounds all the more like the seasoned indie country star she should be regarded as. 

This smoky harmony in “Canyon Town” is absolutely the undisputed center of attention whenever it’s inserted between the gentle push of the drums and the moaning angst of the string play, and I like that it frames the lyrics in a rustic lens not afforded to any of the other components here. Every element in the mix has its own identity rather than contributing to a single concept or theme, which is part of the reason why I think it sounds as orchestral in some spots as it inarguably does. I love the spacing between the percussive pulsations in the backdrop and the vocal up front as it lends an atmospheric quality that would not have been present in this song otherwise, but I don’t think it’s the lone feature that induces catharsis amidst the smothering tone of the music. The mix itself is intimidatingly rigid, and this is necessary to create definition; after all, to produce a patchwork of musicality, you have to properly stitch everything together without allowing for any overlap.  

I only just recently found out about the work Regina Ferguson has been breaking off in the past six months or so, but with “Canyon Town” acting as my first proper introduction to her sound, I think I’m going to enjoy exploring the rest of her discography as it comes to fruition for sure. It would be really interesting to hear her approach to this composition in a live setting, particularly as it sports such a smoky nightclub quality in its bones, but in any case, I would recommend those with a taste for throwbacks to a vocal-centric era in the history of country music check this out immediately. Ferguson is an amazingly talented woman, and even with all of the competition she’s facing in 2023, she’s sounding like a member of the elite class here without question.  

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