Written by Maria Arroyo
The incredibly talented singer/songwriter, S.G. Goodman, shares her debut record, Old Time Feeling. Goodman grew up in Western Kentucky with a very religious family. She started in the church choir, and has now blossomed as both a singer and person, with her latest release.
In an interview with Spin Magazine, Goodman talks about how deeply affected she is by her environment when coming to terms with her sexuality. “I always feel, when describing the South to people, that the South is the soul of the country,” She begins. “And when the soul is sick, the body is sick. It was very important for me to represent a side of Kentucky that a lot of people I don’t feel like would associate with this place.” Spin depicts Goodman as a “church-choir-singing farmer’s daughter from Western Kentucky” who is “tearing down a lot of what has long defined Southern music.” She truly is breaking down traditional barriers and paving a way for artists who will follow in her footsteps.
Helping her bring this album to life is producer Jim James. They worked closely together, and from that, a truly raw and beautiful masterpiece was created. Old Time Feeling is Goodman‘s way of sharing her experiences through heartache and estrangement from her family, but also explores the darkness of mental health, suicidal thoughts, and coming to terms with her own identity.
“A lot of times when there’s any sort of traumatic events in your life, with lack of support, you can feel really isolated and alone,” Goodman says in relation to her first track, “Space And Time.” There’s this soulful and beautiful aspect to this single. She is able to tell her personal story, while keeping it broad enough to make it relatable for other listeners. She backs up her story with a swing-like feel rhythm that really drives the song. Goodman shares that this song juggles through her thoughts of suicide, after coming out to her community. “Being a queer woman in the south,” Goodman says, “there can be a real sense of isolation from anything to who you’re able to date in your area to what kind of support you have from your community and family.”
Her next song “Old Time Feeling” has this country Americana vibe to it that really brings it to life. Even though Goodman is exploring some pretty tough ideas and emotions, she channels that into so many different feels and perspectives to really keep the dynamic of the album as high as possible.
“Tender Kind” is able to bring a more intimate feeling to the album by slowing things down a bit. The song has a beautiful story that carries it from beginning to end, while standing out melodically as well. There’s this country-like feel to the song that works well with bringing her southern roots into her music.
Another concept that Goodman plays with is tying her family roots into her music with the use of biblical references Her songs “Red Bird Morning” and “Burn Down The City” are perfect examples of this. Both of these songs are so beautifully written, and symbolize such an important part of her younger years. Goodman also pulls in some wild west shootout style music with her song, “The Way I Talk.” It has moments of tension and mystery, but her haunting yet enticing vocals bring you closer to her southern roots till the last second of the song.
Bringing Old Time Feeling to a close is her final song “Big Girl Now” which couldn’t be more fitting. As a songwriter, she completely blew me away. She structured her life story so carefully from beginning to end to tell this seamless and beautiful look into very vulnerable moments in her life. It’s almost a fresh start to accepting and moving on with her newfound confidence in her identity, and being ready to share that with the world.
S.G. Goodman is able to completely expose herself, in hopes of attracting those who truly accept her, and she has beyond exceeded my expectations. Her ability to marry her old country roots with some modern influences came together to create a beautifully told concept, which is weaved together with her life story, and offer a unique perspective into her music.
Connect with S.G. Goodman