American country crooner Sarah Diamond comes out swinging hard in her single “Doin Whatcha Doin” and effectively introduces a world hungry for a solid new sound to her richly textured skillset. Right from the start of the track, the vintage tonality of the strings accompanying her smoky vocal is captivating, unvarnished, and full of a raw tenacity that speaks to the organic quality of the song’s composer. This is starting to look like a big year for country artists everywhere, but Sarah Diamond and her well-named band the Soul Miners are positioning themselves at the front of the pack with the release of this stunning new single.
The production quality here is unequivocally top-notch, but it’s not the plastic pop minimalism that a lot of country fans have unfortunately come to expect out of the establishment in recent years. Every subtly crafted intricacy in the vocal track is given the VIP treatment next to the unwaveringly strong fretwork driving the main riff in the song. “Doin Whatcha Doin” is balanced by the Soul Miners’ vivacious instrumentation, but there’s never any question as to who the real star of the show is here. Even if she were being backed by a more straightforward country band in this track, Diamond’s seductive serenade is simply too potent to be overshadowed by anything going on behind her.
It should be said that Diamond’s swagger only slightly borrows from the American country music model as it currently sounds today. There’s a lot more old school Nashville, pop/rock, and soul present in “Doin Whatcha Doin” than there is anything from the contemporary country scene, and the unfiltered emotionality in the lyrics is a far cry from most everything that we’re hearing in the underground from her peers at the moment. She’s not afraid to get vulnerable with us here while still attacking these melodies with as much spirit as you would find in a hard-partying rock n’ roll single.
Instrumentally, “Doin Whatcha Doin” is just as strong an offering to country enthusiasts as it is from a lyrical perspective, and that’s something when you look at the competition that this act is facing in the Florida scene. While the poetry here is pristine and sharply delivered by Diamond, the Soul Miners’ string arrangement is what makes the mood created by her words plausible to the audience. There are a lot of layers working in perfect synchronicity here, but despite the complex framework of the material, this song is hardly inaccessible to serious country fans and more casual listeners alike.
If this new track from Sarah Diamond is on par with the caliber of content that we should anticipate hearing from her band as they embark on a proper career, then they’ve got a long and exciting road ahead of them moving forward. All of our senses are stimulated by this affectionately stylized power ballad, but we’re never overwhelmed by all of the sonic intensity being throttled at us with little to slow its increasing momentum aside from our control of the volume knob. If this single is a statement piece, it’s announcing to the country music world that Sarah Diamond and the Soul Miners are here to stay. You can catch the Soul Miners on The Grove stage at the Florida State Fair.
Feb 9- Feb 14