Songwriter Caitlyn Smith has written hundreds of songs, self-released three full-length records and worked her butt off in the music industry for years. But to the public, Starfire is their first introduction to her. And what an introduction it is.
Kalie Shorr’s latest project is a complete reinvention of her sound. Her last project, Slingshot and the Y2k Mixtape before that both embraced the pop-country sound that’s fairly popular right now among young artists. But Awake sounds unlike anything country singers are releasing these days. A couple years ago, Shorr’s little slogan was ‘A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.’ Awake is her return to that, and the first time she’s fully embraced all of her influences on a project.
You really haven’t met Danielle Bradbery until you take a listen to her sophomore record. Forget everything you know about Bradbery from her first record: the traditional country sounds, the fiddles, the slightly-too-old-for-her lyrics. Bradbery’s second album, but in actuality the first album dictated by her, is a rebirth of her as an artist.
"I grew up my father's daughter / he said don't take no shit from no one" is the first line of newcomer Jade Jackson's record Gilded. It's a bold and defining statement that concisely describes the Anti Records artist's debut album. This album is a musical storybook, each song telling a specific story, all connecting to the overarching theme of being strong in the face of adversity and learning how to love. From start to finish, Gilded is full of hope, loss and self-discovery.
A year after the release of The Variety Show Volume One, Maggie Rose is back with another EP. Volume 2 of The Variety Show never appeared, but this could be seen as the second volume. This one doesn't have 'variety' in the title, but Rose has continued her pop influenced country sound, adding a little variety into country music. It completes Rose's transition from more traditional to more varied, and solidifies the vibe of the new and improved Maggie Rose.
Former Sony Music artist Ana Cristina Cash is leaping into the country music scene with her new EP, The Tough Love EP. Produced by and written in part with her husband John Carter Cash, this preview of her upcoming full length debut country record is soulful, gritty, and tough, like the title indicates. Her vocals are stellar, the lyrics tell interesting stories, and the sound is a marriage of classic and new, soul and country. Here's the breakdown, track-by-track.
Before even listening, a serious country music listener needs to go in knowing what this album is. It's bubbly pop-country from an early twenties woman who just got married. It's going to be sickly sweet at moments, and very poppy at others. But there are some surprises. There's depth to this album, in a way that not many people expected it to have, and although is it polished pop country, it's polished pop-country perfection. With some misses, and some incredible hits, RaeLynn's debut record is worth a listen.
2017 is the four year anniversary of Ell's first single release ever, "Trippin' On Us." Four more singles and many major tours later, Ell is finally releasing her debut EP. It's been a long time coming, and that's maybe the reason Ell named her EP after the song "Worth the Wait?" And it was. Ell has spent so many years releasing different singles with various sounds. The blues-pop-country blend she came up with is so her, and was worth the four years it took to develop.
On Nikita Karmen's debut EP, she succeeds in bringing a completely unique perspective into country music. Australian-born, this singer/songwriter writes with a sincerity and wit that is often hard to find in American country singers, but is found in Nikita Karmen's music. The first new offering after Karmen's debut single, "Out of the Park," Nikita Karmen is a pleasure to listen to. Continue reading for a track-by-track review of Karmen's new project.
You would think that a girl who was the runner-up on the biggest reality TV competition when she was 16 would have a perfect life. But Lauren Alaina has been very open about how her life is far from perfect. The first line of Alaina's much-anticipated sophomore record is "Daddy got sober, mama got his best friend," alluding to her parents' divorce. It took Alaina five years to get a second record out, and with this record, she tells her real, and sometimes sad story.