Miranda Lambert performs emotional ‘Scars’

Miranda Lambert held an unplugged concert at Nashville’s City Winery on January 20, and she took the opportunity to perform a brand new song, ‘Scars’. Actually, the song isn’t new at all since it was written seventeen years ago by Scotty Raye, Miranda’s guitarist.

‘Scars’ reflects the recent events occuring in her (love) life, and fits perfectly with Miranda’s trademark sound: half traditional half modern, but one hundred percent country!

‘Scars’ and ‘Sweet By And By’ – Lambert’s contribution to Dave Cobb’s Southern Family – announce a return to this sound she emphasized so much at the beginning of her career. A direction we cannot wait to hear more of on her next album, expected for 2016-2017.

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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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Jennifer Nettles is back with colourful ‘Sugar’ video and new single ‘Unlove You’

Don’t be fooled by the pop colors, Jennifer Nettles is back with her signature country sound!

Nettles offers us a deliciously retro video for her single ‘Sugar’, a spicy song about not giving in to the boys’ “cotton candy dreams”. While at first glance the lyrics could have send it in the ‘yet another girly pop song on country radio’ pile, Jennifer Nettles’ unique voice and energy turn ‘Sugar’ into an addictive quirky anthem.

Co-written with Jessie Jo Dillon and Brandy Clark, the single failed to hit the top of the chart when it was released with UMG last July. But freshly arrived at Big Machine, she now gives a new life to the song with this vintage cupcake-themed video.

Brandy Clark co-wrote several of the songs that will appear on Nettles’ next album, such as her brand new single Unlove You, that she performed yesterday on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show.

As she said it so beautifully at the CMT Next Women of Country showcase, “country music […] celebrates brokenness, and it takes realness in life and it shines light through it, and it says ‘there is beauty in all of this’ because it is life”. And ‘Unlove You’ perfectly rises to this definition.

‘Unlove You’ and ‘Sugar’ display Nettles ability to cover a wide range of country styles, from classic ballads to radio pop, always with sharpness and authenticity. And her collaboration with Brandy Clark only announces what might be the best country album of 2016!

Although the album release date has not yet been announced, Nettles keeps a very busy schedule, currently touring the US on the Playing with Fire Tour. She will also headline the 2016 CMT Next Women of Country Tour, and will appear in the Dolly Parton biopic ‘Coat of Many Colors’ (airing December 10 on NBC).