No matter what your personal taste in music is, there’s definitely no arguing that summer has its own unique sound, different from pretty much any other time of year. For country music fans, summer is all about bonfire beats, old fashioned swing rhythms and the occasional burst of cathartic, overdriven twang, all of which can be found in spades in the debut single from Chris Douglas, the appropriately titled “Ain’t Getting Any Younger.” “I woke up this morning / Realized how much time has passed / I smelled something burning / And it’s those years I can’t get back,” he sings in the sensuously soft opening verse, every word reflecting the bucolic backdrop of the music elegantly. The magic is just getting started, but the chills are already plentiful and infectious; Douglas has a lot to prove if he’s going to make it in the cutthroat scene that is modern day Nashville, but what he does in “Ain’t Getting Any Younger” definitely goes a long way towards establishing his name as among the highly touted hotshots of this new, emergent era in country.
This single has a really melodic core, but the actual textures in its instrumentation are unpolished, grainy, and rich with a vitality that I had thought reserved for edgy rock songs only. They aren’t abrasive, but the guitars are ultra-electrifying and have a physical presence that could destroy a weak set of speakers, no questions asked. Part of the reason why I’ve strayed from mainstream country music in the last five years has been because of the absence of the brute basslines and heavy riffing that saved the genre from becoming completely understated in tone back in the early 2000’s, and that withstanding, if Douglas’ country/rock hybridity were to become a bigger influence over other indie songwriters trying to break into the scene right now, I’m certain that I wouldn’t be the only fan that would be coming back to the sound that at one point in time was the very essence of the American spirit in both songcraft and stylization. This isn’t to say that he’s perfect – far from it. He’s got some efficiency issues that, despite not impeding the flow of the track, could use some fixing in the future, but make no mistake about it; this probably won’t be the only occasion that you’re hearing about Chris Douglas’ music in the next couple of years.
Infectious, smooth, and most importantly, remarkably honest in its verses, you really can’t go wrong with “Ain’t Getting Any Younger” if you like a big ol’ country guitar wallop as much as I do. It’s an excellent addition to a summer playlist that has already had a lot of refined gems, and if it manages to find its audience before the year is out, then I think that the hype surrounding Chris Douglas’ debut record of the same name is going to get all the more credible (and impossible for any of us to ignore). The stars are lining up for him to do some really great things with his sound, and I look forward to hearing what sort of stories he has to tell us next.