The best demo in the bunch is "Booze or a Boyfriend." It begins with the sounds of a crowd, as if Edwards is performing in a coffee shop or another small venue. The background noise slowly fades out to acoustic guitar and the first lyrics of the song. Although all of the tracks on this little EP have very strong songwriting, this song by far has the best. In the vein of Miranda Lambert's "Me and Your Cigarettes," Edwards compares booze to boyfriends, and occasionally it is not clear whether she is talking about her drink, or her boyfriend, creating an interesting song to listen to lyrically. The acoustic production compliments her strong vocals, and adds a rustic and real feel to the track.
"Crank it up these days,
think you're gonna feel something.
But all you're gonna get is words that don't mean nothing."
The chorus then goes on to proclaim that Edwards wants to hear a little more Loretta on her radio (which is something that needs to happen right away.) There are more special lyrics thrown throughout the track, like "when twang was enough, you didn't need a DJ" and a connection to a Loretta song in the bridge: "She grew up in the Holler, a coal miner's daughter." The one problem with this song is that it is pure pop. A song paying tribute to one of the greatest country musicians of all time should be a little more country, shouldn't it? However, despite that, this is an excellent song.
Although the ShoeString Sessions is a collection of demos, there is a polish to these not often found in demos by up and coming artists. Edwards shows her potential in both the pop and country music fields, which is something that new country artists seem to need to have these days. These demos, the others on Edwards' SoundCloud, and her occasional YouTube covers are clear indicators that whatever she releases next, it will be incredible.
Best tracks: Booze or a Boyfriend
Throwaway tracks: none
Overall rating: 3 and 3/4 crowns