Open main menu

Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

Metamodern Sounds in Country Music is the second studio album by American country music singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson. The album was produced and engineered by Dave Cobb and was released on May 13, 2014, through High Top Mountain, Thirty Tigers and Loose Music (Europe). The title is an homage to the album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music by Ray Charles.[3]

Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
Sturgill metamodern.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 13, 2014 (2014-05-13)
GenreOutlaw country[1][2]
ProducerDave Cobb
Sturgill Simpson chronology
High Top Mountain
Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
A Sailor's Guide to Earth
Singles from Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
  1. "Turtles All the Way Down"
    Released: April 8, 2014


Prior to its official release, the entire album was available to stream on MSN's Listening Booth and NPR Music's First Listen.[4]

To further promote the album, Simpson performed on Late Show with David Letterman,[5] Conan,[6] and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.[7] Simpson also performed a set for NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series.[8]

"Turtles All the Way Down" was featured on FX's The Bridge.[9]

His cover of "The Promise" by 80s band When In Rome was featured in the Season 2 Episode 9 of the HBO series The Leftovers.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [11]
American Songwriter     [12]
The Daily Telegraph     [13]
The Irish Times     [15]
Mojo     [16]
Record Collector     [18]
Rolling Stone     [19]

Metamodern Sounds in Country Music received "universal acclaim" according to Metacritic, earning a normalized score of 81 out of 100 based on ten reviews by music critics.[10]

Jonathan Bernstein of American Songwriter noted Simpson's cover of When in Rome's "The Promise," stating that he "turns the song into a countrypolitan torch song that culminates in a cathartic release."[12]

Track listingEdit

1."Turtles All the Way Down"Sturgill Simpson3:08
2."Life of Sin"Simpson2:26
3."Living the Dream"Simpson3:52
5."Long White Line"Buford Abner4:01
6."The Promise"4:17
7."A Little Light"Simpson1:40
8."Just Let Go"Simpson2:32
9."It Ain't All Flowers"Simpson6:44
10."Pan Bowl" (hidden track)Simpson3:02
Total length:34:29



  • "Dood" Fraley – Master of Ceremonies
  • Sturgill Simpson – vocals, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
  • Laur Joamets – electric guitar, slide guitar
  • Kevin Black – bass guitar
  • Miles Miller – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Mike Webb – keyboards, mellotron
  • Dave Cobb – classical guitar, percussion


  • Dave Cobb – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Justin Herlocker – assistant engineer
  • John Netti – assistant engineer
  • Sturgill Simpson – mixing
  • Pete Lyman – mastering

Chart positionsEdit

The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 59 and the Top Country Albums at No. 11, with 5,500 copies sold in the US for the week.[21] As of January 2017, the album has sold 228,600 copies in the US.[22]

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (2014–15) Peak
US Billboard 200[23] 59
US Digital Albums (Billboard)[24] 22
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[25] 6
US Top Country Albums (Billboard)[26] 8

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (2014) Position
US Top Country Albums (Billboard)[27] 69


  1. ^ "Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (High Top Mountain)". Stereogum. December 2, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  2. ^ Winistorfer, Andrew (February 9, 2015). "Why Do People Keep Calling Sturgill Simpson the Savior of Country Music?". Noisey. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  3. ^ "Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music". Pitchfork. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  4. ^ Ganz, Jacob (2014-05-04). "First Listen: Sturgill Simpson, 'Metamodern Sounds In Country Music'". NPR. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  5. ^ "The Late Show Sturgill Simpson – "Life of Sin"". CBS. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  6. ^ "Sturgill Simpson 'Living The Dream' 09/10/14". Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  7. ^ "Sturgill Simpson: Turtles All the Way Down – Video". Archived from the original on 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  8. ^ "Tiny Desk Concerts – Sturgill Simpson". NPR. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  9. ^ Logan, Buddy (2014-08-26). "Sturgill Simpson Music to be Featured on FX's 'The Bridge'". Radio Texas Live. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  10. ^ a b "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music by Sturgill Simpson". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  11. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music – Sturgill Simpson". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  12. ^ a b Bernstein, Jonathan (2014-05-19). "Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music". American Songwriter. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  13. ^ Chilton, Martin (2014-12-22). "Sturgill Simpson, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, album review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  14. ^ Henderson, Stuart (2014-05-13). "Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  15. ^ Breen, Joe (2014-05-16). "Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  16. ^ "Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music". Mojo (251): 91. October 2014.
  17. ^ Deusner, Stephen M. (2014-05-16). "Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  18. ^ Staunton, Terry (July 2014). "Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music". Record Collector (429). Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  19. ^ Murray, Nick (2014-05-30). "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  20. ^ Hughes, Rob (2014-06-12). "Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music". Uncut. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  21. ^ Matt Bjorke (May 21, 2014). "Country Music's Top 10 Albums: The Week Of May 21, 2014". Roughstock.
  22. ^ Bjorke, Matt (January 22, 2017). "Top 10 Country Albums Chart: January 23, 2017". Roughstock.
  23. ^ "Sturgill Simpson Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  24. ^ "Sturgill Simpson Chart History (Digital Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  25. ^ "Sturgill Simpson Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  26. ^ "Sturgill Simpson Chart History (Top Country Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  27. ^ "Top Country Albums: 2014 Year-End Charts". Billboard. Retrieved January 16, 2015.