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Dori Freeman, 'The Storm'

As a folk singer-songwriter from Galax, Va., Dori Freeman has made a career out of subverting commonplace stereotypes of Appalachian music and culture. Written during the pandemic, her latest album, Ten Thousand Roses, is no exception. Freeman directly tackles common misconceptions about her home region throughout the record, which shines when she addresses the issue of gender typecasting.

"The Storm" is a kiss-off to a cheating lover that unfurls across one of the catchiest hooks of the year. "I wrote 'The Storm' as an anthem for women who've been put through the ringer by men who didn't deserve them," Freeman says. "Storms and floods are powerful imagery for tumultuous relationships so I wanted the song to have a big swelling chorus to reflect that." By infusing the traditions of bluegrass and old-time with a modern pop bent, Freeman embraces the past while expanding the trajectory of Americana.

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Desiré Moses