Each of these three ladies deserves her own feature length article (any writing volunteers out there?), but I am putting them all here together. Seriously fans of powerful female vocals will love these three and fans of traditional-influenced country music MUST LISTEN to all three. Enjoy!
Caitlin Canty – Reckless Skyline
-From the very first line of the album it’s evident that Canty packs a punch. Her voice is piercing in the best way possible, reminding listeners of a bygone era in country music. She’s not twangy or disingenuous like a lot of newer country music. Rather, she comes across as someone who ought to be singing these songs about life, love, and heartbreak.
Her opening track “Get Up” is a motivational jam that will get toes tapping. With a few slower songs on the album to change the pace, when “Enough About the Hard Times” comes along the raspy power sounds like a different artist. All told the album is full of several different flavors of country music and they are all great.
Sarah Gayle Meech – Tennessee Love Song
-It’s pretty hard to believe this album was recorded in this century, let alone this decade. It’s the most traditional country music album I’ve heard in years. Meech’s vocal is about as timeless as possible, and it’s the perfect compliment to the good old fashioned steel guitar present on most of the tracks. The predictable “At the Bar Again” is entertaining and typically country. Meech’s lead is strong and the music is sure to get people dancing. “Thinking bout the times we had when we were in love… let’s make a toast to broken hearts.” The whole album has that sort of feeling to it. Oh, and “Rain Song” is just about as good as it gets. If you long for the old days of country music, this is a fantastic album.
Emily Hackett – The Raw EP
-If independent country music needed a spokeswoman, I’d recommend Emily Hackett. What she’s doing with this EP is just about as soulful as possible. Although it safely fits into “country” as a genre, the songs are not stereotypical country fodder. They are gripping and emotional. Her Noisetrade says she’s like Brandi Carlile and Miranda Lambert – which are pretty decent comparisons vocally. (I have to say the “Partial to Drinking” opening line has to be inspired by Courtney Marie Andrews.) One of the best things about the album is that it has several different kinds of songs even though it’s an EP. “Hard to Tell the Heart” is a piano ballad that comes right before “Reason for Me,” an introspective, minor-chord-filled guitar track. Both are great, but in completely different ways. Hackett is quintessentially indie country, not beholden to the formula, but able to master the formula when necessary (“Bad Weather”), yet far more complicated throughout the album. If you’re a fan of the current leading ladies of country music, Hackett is definitely worth a spin.