Carly Pearce Plays it Safe with 'Every Little Thing'
It's rare to see a female artist climb the charts these days. This is sad since there is a countless number of amazing artists out there who are overlooked. What seems to be even more rare is hearing a depressing, post-breakup song climb the charts. In the age of bro, drink on my tailgate, date rapey, spring break country music, I find it surprising to hear that a song with substance is cracking the top 10.
But that's exactly what Carly Pearce managed to do. I first heard her unbelievable voice in 2015 on Josh Abbott Band's phenomenal album Front Row Seat featured on the love song Wasn't That Drunk. After that, I was hooked on her sound. Not much later, she graced everyone with the title track of her debut album, Every Little Thing.
Though Pearce moved to Nashville at just 16 years old to chase her dreams, singing in bluegrass bands and grinding her way through Nashville and gracing the Opry stage seemingly every night, some traditionalists didn't take to her sound. They saw potential, but figured a singer with a background in bluegrass should stick to more traditional instead of the sound this song gave off.
I love the song Every Little Thing. I've had it on my Heartfelt Country playlist since the week it came out. Don't believe me?
That being said, I figured that Carly Pearce would dive head first into the mainstream after the success of such a chilling and traditional song that includes a friggin' dobro solo. I cannot name you a single top 10 song that has had that in the past 10 years. I figured she would recognize that feeling, the one that, like Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell, fans of country music were tired of this pop-inspired country music and she'd help begin a new age of the return to tradition.
I thought Carly Pearce would be the door that opened to the world of Sunny Sweeney, Jamie Lin Wilson, Harper Grae, Brandy Clark, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Kaitlin Butts, and so many other female artists that stick to their guns and are trying to expand to new audiences.
But instead, we got a safety album.
Now I'm not saying this album is bad. I really enjoyed it. Pearce's personal lyricism and writing credits on her 11 of the 13tracks is amazing, from If My Name Was Whiskey:
Maybe if I was a neon light
I'd lead your car right back to my door
Oh, maybe if I was a jukebox needle dropping on a drinking song
You'd want one more
If my name was Whiskey
Maybe right now you'd miss me
to You Know Where to Find Me:
When I'm feeling lost, when I'm feeling weak
You know how to bring me back to what I really need
That little bit of wild that no one ever sees
When I'm on the edge of losing who I wanna be
You know where to find me
But that doesn't change the fact that she has allowed that radio friendly pop beat to find its way into the majority of her songs. While her voice and songwriting abilities are exquisite, I cannot find it in me to forgive the pandering to radio playability. She doesn't need that sound. Every Little Thing proved that. It's a song that touched all of our hearts. No autotune or backroad talk was needed.
I will never be upset if any of these 13 tracks come on when I'm out and about. These songs are innocent by today's radio standards. I have a feeling Hide the Wine, a love(?) song not co-written by Pearce, had to have been included purely because of the wordplay, emotion and Pearce's very public love for wine.
I'm hoping that Pearce's next venture will be a little more traditional and that she sticks to songs like Every Little Thing, If My Name Was Whiskey, and I Need Ride Home as her driving forces for her career, because it's sound like that that made me fall in love with her music in the first place.
Every Little Thing is now available.