Are ya looking for a great new country song? We’ve got one here for you; Steve Pointmeier’s new single, Sway.
Calgary (Canada) artist, Steve Pointmeier, is everything you’re looking for in an authentic modern country artist. He has that perfect country twang in his voice, and the production on Sway feels like our dear John Prine has written a new song with a full band. With vocals nicely high in the mix, as is often the case in country music, there’s a clarity here that soars over the instrumentation and feels like Pointmeier is just singing you a story.
The lo-fi start of the song makes it all the more impactful when the full band comes in. This song has a really strong start.
The female backing vocals are dripping with charm and sit perfectly in the mix to help bolster the lead vocals as and when needed.
I’m very drawn to the incidental fiddle parts in this song. They’re well played and with well chosen melodies, they make the song feel all the more authentic. I’m always a sucker for some great mandolin playing and Sway has that too.
The electric guitar solo, which at moments is doubled with a second guitar, almost had a Brian May feel to it, and took Sway to another level above the generic country songs that fill our airwaves. Whilst on the subject of generic country, I like that Sway feels like a really bona fide country song without it being a simplistic 1-4-5 chord sequence.
This song has it all; the instrumentation is extremely well placed and each instrument has its own spot in the EQ spectrum. Really great definition between instruments. Just when I thought I’d figured out all the instruments that were in the song, I noticed a piano as well. Everything was so clear and easy to hear. I particularly like the marching snare in the break down section. Sway has lots of little touches to take it head and shoulders above 99% of the new country that’s out there. I also like that Steve Pointmeier hasn’t succumbed to the trend in modern country to autotune his vocals.
This is a superbly produced track and there’s very little I’d change about it. If I was mixing it myself, I’d make a few tiny EQ changes, but these are just personal choice. Perhaps a bottom shelf in the low bass area for a little more punch in the low end, a tiny cut in the low-mid area – to even out some of the boxy/honky frequencies especially in the vocal track (not the voice), a tiny wide boost in high mids for more definition and maybe a tiny boost in the highs for some brightness and air.
I imagine this song being extremely well received on country radio in North America. It’s well mixed and mastered, well written and easily within a comfortable radio-friendly length. Lets hope to see Steve Pointmeier performing at the Calgary Stampede before too long!