In these uncertain times, many of us have turned to artists for both comfort and entertainment. But artists also have a responsibility to address current events and question our culture and current state of affairs. It’s this aspect of Molly Parton’s “Redneck” that demands attention. In this new track, the country-house act reclaims a traditionally derogatory term and shines a very direct light on the current pandemic.
As a track, “Redneck” manages to skillfully integrate delectable beats with country style. The bass-heavy synth is infectious and steady. Meanwhile, the lyrics bringing in traditional country themes of the “Southern Girl” trope, whiskey, and an unmistakable below-the-Mason-Dixon-line accent. But these two influences do not conflict—rather, they complement one another and underscore the experience of the South in a modern world.
Which is what brings us to the video: an unapologetic take on current events. From the very first frame, this quirky cartoon video is making a clear statement on COVID-19. Images include red colored humans in hospital beds with guns and others still flaunting stay-at-home orders on the beaches while doctors hunt down the cure. A “YALLMART” is overrun by “rednecks,” and a Trump-like figure appears on the news. The final images show people at various locations around the world who turn into the redneck color as well as images of the world; perhaps suggesting that we are all in this together.
Molly Parton is a DJ project from Rob “Rez” Resnick, and is best known for debut EP California. He explained that “Redneck” came out of songwriting sessions in Nashville, where he began to think of how the term might be repurposed. Resnick represents half of the electropop duo Timeflies with Cal Shapiro. If “Redneck” is anything to go on, he is a courage and creative artist him.
“Redneck” is available now on Spotify, and the video is out on YouTube.
Follow Molly Parton on Spotify.