Country music artist Hailey Georgia is best known for her song "Ridiculous" — but that reputation is mostly notoriety. Although her debut EP was released last year, she's recently released it on NoiseTrade. It's hard to decipher the meaning behind her EP as a whole, as the songs besides the title track seem to be about the same kind of thing that the title track satirizes. The EP as a whole presents varying perspectives on the archetypal, glamorized high school experience, with some songs glamorizing and some songs satirizing the same thing. Georgia's debut EP is a mixed bag in quality, but does have some solid tracks that show her promise as an artist.
Maggie Rose has come a long way since "Girl In Your Truck Song". Her "Tomato Tuesdays" series over last summer proved her confidence in her new music and showed her style, and now she's released her first project since 2013's "Cut to Impress". All of the songs in The Variety Show prove her to be a force to be reckoned with in country music, and much more than the girl in someone's truck song. Country music needs a voice like Maggie Rose.
Olivia Lane has made a name for herself in country music already with singles such as "Steal Me Away" and "You Part 2". "You Part 2", her most recent single, contained a rap bridge and highlighted the pop-leaning direction her music was going in. Her debut album "Heart Unlocked" contains many songs like "You Part 2", and also several ballads and tracks with a definite message. It's pitched as acoustic, but the majority of the songs are much too produced to truly be considered acoustic. Despite being less cohesive than would be ideal for a debut album, it has many highlights as well as containing several important messages and describing a journey of sorts that Olivia has taken in country music. (Track by track review after the break)
Love her music or hate it — you've definitely noticed Rachel Platten. Her debut single off this album, Fight Song, was pretty much impossible to avoid if you listened to the radio or had a general awareness of pop culture. And thanks to an opening spot on the "Girls Night Out, Boys Can Come Too" tour with Colbie Caillat and Christina Perri as well as promotion by Taylor Swift on her Twitter, her other music is getting noticed too. (She's nearly impossible to avoid if you listen to Coast 93.3 at all.) The songs on Wildfire range from deeply emotional to poppy and optimistic, with plenty of love songs thrown in the mix. I'm one of the people who loves her. (Track by track review after the Read More break.)
Maren Morris is one of many up-and-coming female country singer-songwriters trying her hand at success in Nashville, but one of the few actually getting the success she deserves. She's written songs such as Kelly Clarkson's "Second Wind", and the music video for her debut single, "My Church", has over 2 million views on Youtube. Her first EP to come out on major outlets such as iTunes gives a taste of what's hopefully to come. There are several standout tracks, with the entire EP being written by well-known songwriters in addition to Morris herself.
2015 Mini-Reviews part 2, featuring Ashley Monroe, Halsey, Ellie Goulding and Alex G. (see Part 1 here).
Megan & Liz have had a tough road to success. Of course, there's the general sexism of the country "bro-country" takeover, which makes it hard for women to break into the country music genre. Then there's how they parted ways with their label two years ago. But they aren't letting anything like this deter them. With Deux, they're back, and showcasing their sound with an EP that's a combination of pop beats and country instrumentation and songwriting. Megan & Liz have finally found where they want to be in the country-pop continuum, and it works.
Hailee Steinfeld is one of many (many, many, many) actresses who have tried their hand at a music career, in a move to establish more of a musical personality. Several reviewers have dismissed her debut EP as unoriginal and presenting a confusing image of her as a musical artist, but I disagree with them. Although there is a mix of ballads and upbeat songs on this EP (as there should be), the EP gives a nice taste of Steinfeld's musical style, moreso than her debut single did.
Lots of amazing songs were released this summer, and some that were....less than amazing. This singles rundown will cover, essentially, the ones I have the most to say about, because due to my fall schedule I have less time for this blog. Sorry!
Katelyn Tarver - Nobody Like You With this catchy, sarcastic gem of a song I can say with utmost confidence that Katelyn Tarver is back. I didn't enjoy Weekend Millionaires very much, but this track is excellent, and perfect for summer, with clever, catchy lyrics and complementary production. It's vaguely reminiscent in theme of A Little More Free, the title track off her 2011 EP, but different in nearly all other aspects, making it stand out. Now when is this album coming?
Carly Rae Jepsen’s had a tough time in the spotlight since the release of her breakout 2012 single, Call Me Maybe. Along with all the obligatory “one hit wonder!!!” comments following Call Me Maybe, music critics have done their job in criticizing her debut Kiss, which is likely why she’s striving for critical acclaim on her third album. Oh, and of course, there was that whole pawn shop rumor, too. Although Emotion has a large number of co-writers, similar to Kiss, it doesn’t seem nearly as all manufactured, and has substantial lyrics now, similar to lyrics from her debut, Tug of War, and the original version of Tiny Little Bows or even Curiosity. If that’s what it takes for an album to be considered indie, then okay. But in my opinion, Emotion is a pop album, and a fantastic, substantial varied one at that. This is the kind of music Jepsen seems at home with — and for that matter, a sound that’s a lot more appropriate for her age that only occasionally falters.
About the Blog
Fountain Pen Girl Album Reviews is a blog writing track-by-track reviews of new popular and independent music with a focus on female artists. The main genres that are covered on this blog are pop, country, singer-songwriter and alternative music, focusing especially on independent artists and female country artists. Enjoy my blog!
View archives by genre, artist and other tags here.