For those of us wanting to soothe and smooth our brains after a long day dealing with all of everything, please take a moment to watch Lil Nas perform a cover of Dolly Parton‘s classic, ‘Jolene‘.
Almost as if he knew I’d asked myself whether he’d do more country music after dropping his debut album MONTERO last week, Lil Nas X delivered a truly soulful and silky version of the 1974 hit for BBC1’s Live Lounge sessions.
Sit back in your chair, close your eyes, and let the dulcet tones of Montero Lamar Hill wash over you for the next two and a half minutes.
Considering everyone who takes a run at the iconic Dolly heartbreaker has a tendency to sing to the higher register (hello Miley Cyrus and The White Stripes), there’s something that just hits different when it’s sung in a lower octave. It’s as velvety as a deep red velour cowboy Nudie suit – which I’m more than sure Lil Nas X would have in his wardrobe somewhere.
Backed by a simple drum line, a gentle organ piano, harmonising vocals and a noodly guitar, Lil Nas X croons through the stunning track, reminding us all that yes he can go back to that ‘Old Town Road‘ energy whenever he damned well pleases.
Lil Nas X covered Jolene and Elvira came out; the gays win today
— PandoraVolva 🌈 (@PandoraVolva) September 21, 2021
Lil Nas X version of Jolene is *chefs kiss*
— Beth 🌻 (@bethany_day16) September 21, 2021
There’s also something to say about the subtlety and tenderness of this Live Lounge performance, and how it contrasts the high-energy, in-your-face vibe of the album he’s just dropped. It’s got a certain vulnerability to it as Lil Nas X looks deep into the camera throughout ‘Jolene‘, mournfully singing about a love that’s about to be stripped from him by someone he can’t match.
His energy is far more subdued than the performances of tracks like ‘Industry Baby‘ or ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)‘. Though he has the ability to be horny as all hell, Lil Nas X contains multitudes.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put my cowboy hat on, hit play for a tenth time, and cry quietly.