SOTD – Katie Queen of Tennessee by The Apache Relay

Songs titled after particularly named women are nothing new. Head over heals, unsure of but hopeful of your entwined destinies, willing to make commendably foolish decisions based on extreme infatuation…as exciting as these themes sound, we’ve all heard them before. Yet somehow, songs like “Katie Queen of Tennessee” stay topical and exciting. It’s ironically obvious that logical rationalization of this phenomenon doesn’t produce a straightforward answer, but there seems to be a few patterns. First, as sappy as it sounds, rewording ballads may never get old because of our primal adoration for the hope found within love songs. Second, the physical music embedded within the song is always new (occasionally discluding country music…), hence the fresh and exciting violin strewn within an alternative folk song showing a strange resemblance to a new-age waltz. Lastly, no matter how many times these lovey dovey topics gets brought up, they remain downright relatable, subsequently leaving a feeling of strong song association to actual events, occurrences, or feelings within the listener’s life.

The Apache Relay may have started as an acoustic project out of a Belmont university dorm room, but their rapid growth into an intricate six-piece band has signified anything but that. Every instrument has a vital place, no member seems extraneous, and “Katie Queen of Tennessee” can’t help but leave a smile on listeners faces. It isn’t tough to extract why The Apache Relay has toured as the opener to Mumford & Sons, yet I struggle to pinpoint a clearly identifiable genre. As Rolling Stone accurately claims, “There’s still folk-rock in here, but you have to dig through layers of harmony to find it.” The detailed and smooth integration runs so deep that I wouldn’t have blinked an eye if there were 10 unified band members standing up on stage. Hell, if they’re going to keep producing epic tunes like this, throw the Boston Pops behind’em just to see what happens.

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