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  • Wayne Dabney/Wikimedia Commons
  • Valerie June

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Valerie June hails from Tennessee and isn’t afraid to sing about it. June’s fourth album, last year’s Pushin’ Against a Stone, is steeped in her Memphis roots, which are intricately woven into her earthy lyrics. This summer my roommate played a few songs off of June’s album while we hung out on our porch on a hazy evening, making for the perfect atmosphere to listen to these tunes. June creates gorgeous melodies with her gentle but powerful voice, weaving together soul, gospel, blues, and a little bit of country.

I’ve been hooked on her album ever since, and it was a joy to watch her performance in person at the Hideout Block Party a few weekends ago. June was also able to effortlessly connect with the crowd through her charming banter and anecdotal stories in between songs. Today’s 12 O’Clock Track is one of my favorites off Pushin’ Against a Stone, “Tennessee Time.” It sounds loose and spontaneous, and her polished vocals will remain crooning in your head hours after listening. Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach cowrote the song and joins in on vocals, which makes it even more swoon-worthy. I’m not sure if I’ve ever experienced the ease of “Tennessee Time,” but Valerie June makes it sound lovely.