Michaela Anne brings wit and candor with ‘Won’t Go Down’

From a New York spirit to a Nashville state of mind: that’s the transition Michaela Anne seems to have made with her new single ‘Won’t Go Down’, an upbeat song that introduces us to the extrovert side of her sound and personality.

The cover art gives the tone – an electric blue bedazzled jumpsuit that plunges us into a vintage honky-tonk mood. With its electric guitars and retro melody, ‘Won’t Go Down’ delves into Anne’s balance between being freewheeling and having moral values, in an up-tempo yet introspective way.

Co-written with producer Dave Brainard (Brandy Clark, Jerrod Nieman), the song explores their relationship with trouble, as the two were raised in military families and ended up in the world of music. “I ain’t no angel but I stand my ground” she sings, claiming there are sins she’ll give in to and sins she won’t.

Michaela Anne has definitely widened her range in terms of topics and musical color, adding an element of spontaneity and liveliness to her music after the very autobiographical Ease My Mind.

Joining Kelsey Waldon and Margo Price on the East Nashville scene, Michaela Anne announces with ‘Won’t Go Down’ a playful new album that mixes heartfelt lyrics and catchy hooks. Bright Lights and the Fame is set to be released in May and is already available for pre-order.

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Photo by Angelina Castillo
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Shelly Colvin is taking over Americana one song at a time

Shelly Colvin has just released ‘I Want To’, the first single from her upcoming sophomore album Longshot. Blending Americana with east-Nashville’s alt-country, California’s folk and Alabama’s gritty bluegrass, ‘I Want To’ tackles the topics of regrets and lost love with a unique voice and sound.

Shelly Colvin is Nikki Lane’s partner in crime. The two share a love of Americana and often duet on each other’s records – this single included. But don’t misinterpret shared tastes for similar sounds. While Nikki Lane has been described as the misbehaving rebel child of Americana, Shelly Colvin’s sonic identity finds its root in more of a folksy aura.

‘I Want To’ reflects Colvin’s ability to create a unique old-fashion yet modern sound. Shelly’s haunting vocals and unpretentious style takes you to another era where 70s folk meets southern rock. The song depicts the aftermath of a breakup in an elegantly down-to-earth way, Colvin singing her regrets and struggle to move on: “And I wonder who is loving you / driving you down Pacific Avenue / like I want to”.

With her gender-bending sound and authentic songwriting style, Shelly Colvin is establishing herself as one of the best up-and-coming Americana artists, and ‘I Want To’ announces a promising LP – set to be released April 1st.

‘I Can’t Stop’ and the rise of Jenna McDaniel

Jenna McDaniel may very well be the next big country star, and her new single ‘I Can’t Stop’, with its heartfelt lyrics and catchy melody, will convert anyone who isn’t already addicted to her music!

With her pure country sound and elegant songwriting, the 19-year old Texan has already conquered the hearts – and ears – of many country music fans, opening for big names such as Gloriana and Phil Vassar.

Inspired by Taylor Swift but also Stevie Nicks, Jenna McDaniel manages to blend lyrical depth and melodic catchiness, delivering a kind of old school country-pop – in opposition with the idle pop sound inundating the country airwaves…

 

In her new single ‘I Can’t Stop’, the songstress declaims her unreciprocated love with finesse, accompanied by a mourning fiddle and delicate harmonies. “You’re a stranger in the daylight but at night your hesitations disappear” she sings in a vulnerable voice, creating the kind of authentic storytelling that reminds of an early Miranda Lambert or Taylor Swift.

Delivering a sweet yet profound Texan country sound with a hint of pop and folk, ‘I Can’t Stop’ confirms that Jenna McDaniel belongs in the big country music league. And her album Little Miss Understanding is filled with such gems, like the catchy ‘Train Wreck’, the melancholic ‘Here Comes The Rain’, and, well, pretty much every song on the record!

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‘Spinning Wheels’ and the introspective journey of Dana Hassall

Dana Hassall introduces her alt-country sound with self-penned ‘Spinning Wheels’, the title song from her upcoming album, and its gripping music video.

The Australian songstress lived the true country life growing up on an alpaca farm in Queensland, a lifestyle that gave her the space and time to creatively reflect on her everyday experiences and led to her discovery of songwriting when she was eight. Fifteen years later, Hassall is pursuing on this introspective path as she put to music the joys and struggles of growing up in her first LP Spinning Wheels.

With the first single, Dana contemplates the uncertainty of achieving what she aims for, while presenting the sound she has molded over the years – a mix of Americana, roots and country that reminds of an acoustic Lera Lynn.

“The single, ‘Spinning Wheels’, comes from that twenty-something feeling of wondering whether all your effort is going to amount to anything, but soldiering on when it feels like you’re getting nowhere”, Dana explains. And the song’s video perfectly reflects this aura of unpredictability, as a woman finds herself spending her life driving seemingly nowhere, carrying around her (emotional?) baggage.

As Dana Hassall works her way towards the ranks of Kasey Chambers and newcomer Fanny Lumsden on the Australian country scene, ‘Spinning Wheels’ announces a deeply wise and personal album, due to be released on January 15.

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Uncovering Rainey: a review of Qualley’s ‘Soap’ cover

After her self-written country-pop EP Turn Down The Lights, Rainey Qualley is showing a more intimate side of her music with her cover of Melanie Martinez’s ‘Soap’.

Originally a pure up-tempo electro-pop song, Qualley’s version is slower and completely stripped down, with nothing to hide the vulnerability in her voice but a timid acoustic guitar.

This country ballad interpretation highlights the somber story told by Martinez’s lyrics, that of a heartbroken character regretting confessing her love and trying to wash these words out of her mouth. Qualley manages to convey the fear and doubt that go through this woman’s head, and the minimalist arrangement only adds to the emotionality of this country-folk rendition.

Her video for ‘Soap’ comes as a reminder of Qualley’s aesthetic we discovered in her previous videos – authentic, edgy, slightly risqué and definitively unique in the country world! Offering her own spin on the “overflowing bathtub” theme of the song, we see her behind the wheel while her car moves through the rolls of a carwash. The video ends in a very “early Sky Ferreira” insouciant mood, Qualley blowing bubbles behind color filters while the song gets deeper and darker.

Rainey already proved on Turn Down The Lights that her sound was undeniably inspired by pop music, but with this new single she demonstrates her ability to remain country no matter what she sings! Falling in with rising songstresses Cam and Tori Kelly, Rainey Qualley mixes genres with brio to the delight of country-pop and traditional country fans!

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See Margo Price hit the town in ‘Hurtin’ (On The Bottle)’ video

Margo Price, the first Nashville-based artist to sign on Jack White’s Third Man Records, has just released the video for her first single ‘Hurtin’ (On The Bottle)’.

Co-written with Caitlin Rose around a bottle of bourbon, this pure country tune recounts without any frills the failed attempts to drink away the pain of love. The heartbreak & booze theme may be pretty usual in country, but with her shimmering voice and no-nonsense attitude Margo Price delivers a catchy classic hit we can’t stop listening to!

Price sounds like a modern Tammy Wynette, singing things as they are and putting a piece of herself in each of her songs, and now in her music videos. In ‘Hurtin’ (On The Bottle)’, we follow her and her friends on a wild night on the town from sundown to sunrise, hitting the Nashville bars Price is used to frequent.

This atmosphere of “old-fashion drinking in dusty honky-tonks” sets the mood for her upcoming album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter. Recorded in analog at the Sun Studios in Memphis – the same studio that saw the rise of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash – Midwest Farmer’s Daughter is announced as a straight-up traditional country album.

We cannot wait to hear this collection of real life stories, from growing up on a farm in Illinois to living in the music community of East Nashville. Midwest Farmer’s Daughter will be out on March 25, in the meantime watch the video above for the album’s first single.

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‘Blame the Whiskey’ by Carly Pearce, a country-pop game changer

Whether or not you like country-pop, Carly Pearce will make you love it! With her raspy voice and folk-rock inclination, the Kentucky native brings depth and maturity to a genre too often marketed as “superficial teen music”.

Pearce cut her teeth on the stages of Pigeon Forge, from Dollywood to the Country Tonight Theater, before moving to Nashville at only 19. She’s since toured with country-pop acts such as Lucy Hale and Florida Georgia Line, learning from their sound to build hers.

Yet, this fearless bohemian path did not make her lose sight of her childhood inspiration: bluegrass, a genre she tried her hand at fronting a touring bluegrass band at only 11.

“Are you the permanent I’ve been missing or am I just kissing a boy with a buzz?” Where other pop-inclined musicians would have just scratched the surface of this booze-fueled storyline, Pearce dissected it meticulously and managed to deliver a multi-layered love song in a radio-material format.

With ‘Blame the Whiskey’, Carly Pearce introduces us to a new (better!) kind of country-pop, one that combines the freshness and catchiness of pop with the gritty intensity of folk and bluegrass.

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