After a brief hiatus, Queens of Country is back, here to inform you of the great music we've been listening to this summer that you don't want to miss. Without further ado, here are the tunes that stuck with us the most this summer and you can take with you into the fall.
Jacqueline has been dropping new music like crazy recently, including a much buzzed about duet with country superstar Keith Urban entitled, "If I Were You." But "Sad Girls" is an incredible song, even without a superstar feature. The lyrics are simple in the beginning, listing off things that describe the situation of this sad girl, devolving into the chorus of "You can't jump out of the car right now / It's too damn far to walk alone." The combination of the simple verses and the more elaborate chorus creates a sense of hopelessness, and the feeling of being trapped in a relationship. "The way he says he's sorry makes you feel so small" finishes up the chorus, rounding off what may be one of the most perfectly written, but heartbreaking sad songs to come out of Nashville in the last couple years.
"WHEN YOU KISS ME" BY MAGS DUVAL
While not necessarily country, Mags Duval has been a big player in the 'Girls of Nashville' event, a seasonal show consisting of the best female singer/songwriters in Nashville. She sang this song at the event a while back, and ended up releasing this one take version of it. The most striking thing about Duval's music has always been her voice, which is a lovely, old-school sounding soprano. This song plays to her strengths, with just a piano accompaniment allowing that lovely voice to take center stage. A song about the love she will never receive from the man she loves, Duval takes the listener on a full journey of sadness and longing in just three minutes.
"BREAKFAST IN THE AFTERNOON" BY CAITLYN SMITH
As if her stellar record Starfire wasn't enough, Caitlyn Smith decided to bless us with two b-sides that are as good, if not better than the songs on the original record. "Breakfast in the Afternoon" is the happier of the two, a necessary addition to this already quite depressing list of songs. Smith has shown in the past that she has the vocal caliber of a superstar, but in songs like this one, she pulls back a little to a different but still endearing effect. The song is acoustic based, and the little guitar lick at the beginning continues throughout, creating a memorable little melody. "Breakfast in the Afternoon" is a little off the cuff for Smith, who usually favors dramatic ballads, but it's a cute change of pace.
"GOOD ENOUGH" BY CARMEN BRANDY
Just like us, Carmen Brandy went on a little hiatus for a while. But instead of just failing to post like us, she was working hard on new music to release into the world. This is the first taste of that new music she's been working on. It's noticeably more folky and a little more poppy than her other releases, but to a positive result. Her voice fits right in with the little change in production, indicating that maybe this is more the direction her music was supposed to take. The lyrics are important and empowering, discussing the idea of being "enough" and self-worth. The little break was worth it, because Carmen Brandy is back, better than ever, here to tell us that we are loved and important as she reminds herself of that.