"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.
Like Brandy Clark's Big Day in a Small Town, Natalie Hemby's debut record is the story of a small town. This particular small town is Puxico, MO, Hemby's grandfather's hometown. Great country music has the ability to be incredibly specific, but with that specificity, relate to people around the world going through similar things. Most people aren't from Puxico. But we all can feel the messages in this music, and we all understand the emotions songwriter-turned artist Hemby conveys on this record.
The funny thing about country music right now is that when you find a new artist that seems completely devoted to making country music that sounds 100% country, it's a surprise. I'm not saying that the pop and soul influence on country music is bad. Rather, it is great a lot of the time and exposes a greater audience to country music. Even so, sometimes is seems like more traditional country music is a dying genre. But then someone like Carly Burruss comes along.
Morgan Leigh Garner and Courtney Dashe are the two women behind the new fiery duo, Hadley Park. This isn't your typical duo: the name 'Hadley Park' comes from the names of their two daughters, born four days apart. They're motivated by their children and encouraged by their husbands, and they've got a lot of life experience to draw from for their music. In their music, you won't hear songs about puppy love or growing up: you'll hear life lessons, stories of real life, and some fun, poppy jams for the heck of it.