Carlisle, PA (US) based artist, Steve Yanek, has released his latest single, I Could Use A Little Rain, and we’ve been taking a good long listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio.
I Could Use A Little Rain is a comfortable singer-songwriter, Americana tune with some tinges of alt-country thrown in for good measure. There’s a few hints of some surf rock influence in the track too, but the incidental guitar keeps bringing you back to this having been mostly influenced by artists such as The Eagles.
Yanek gives a confident but endearingly vulnerable vocal performance in this track. The vocal track has a very live feel to it, perhaps a one take, which gives the artist connection to the listener. There’s something about a slightly imperfect vocal that makes this style of music just that little bit more charming. Thankfully, Yanek hasn’t given himself over to the unnaturally tuned vocals that you so often hear in modern country these days.
The backing vocals reminded us a little of Ben Folds in places, and overall the song had several moments that reminded us of Counting Crows (both of whom we love) so Yanek was onto a winner here with us.
The incidental guitar riffs have a lovely country tone and the outtro guitar solo reminded us in many ways of Lynyrd Skynyrd – particularly their later work. The repeated motif on the guitar to fade could have been straight out of something from their Last Rebel album (also an album we love!)
The middle 8 gives the chance for some lovely hammond chords to be heard and the lyrics;
Seems like I’m always in a daze
Can’t seem to get out of my way”
tell a great deal in very few words about how the singer is feeling about life at the time of writing.
The comfortable chord sequence and the pounding and predictable drum pattern serve to make this a catchy and highly marketable track. Standing at a perfect 3m25s, we can imagine I Could Use A Little Rain being a song that will perform well on the US charts. Depending on budget, we’d suggest starting with US College radio, and looking to commercial stations that feature Americana and Classic Rock.
With superb production and a great hook, I Could Use A Little Rain really does have significant commercial potential.
Steve Yanek, despite having a lengthy career in various aspects of the music business (from singer-songwriter, to label owner and artist management), was a new name to us today. We’ll most definitely be keeping an eye out for him in the future though. With catchy riffs, heartfelt and insightful lyrics, I Could Use A Little Rain is a glorious example of 70s California mixed with some country influences. Great stuff!