John Moreland - High on Tulsa Heat LPOld Omens / Thirty Tigers
Stripped-down arrangements rooted in gritty rock and roll punctuate and cushion Moreland's compositions. Tracks including "Hang Me in the Tulsa County Stars," "Heart's Too Heavy," and "Cleveland County Blues" set the tone, trafficking in relentless honesty and folk. Buoyant lament "Sad Baptist Rain" tackles internal conflict. If "Sad Baptist Rain" is about self-acceptance, "White Flag" warns of self-destruction. "American Flags in Black and White," grapples with nostalgia, and while Moreland initially seems to condemn it, he ends up acknowledging it's comfort, framing the past as everyone's guilty pleasure. The album also includes the first recording of live show staple "Cherokee." Based on a vivid dream, the song explores longing, shame, forgiveness, and love.