This week, CMT’s Weekly Roundup of new hits features an all-female quintet of performers making music at the popular edge of mainstream country music.
Click here to take a listen to the following tunes.
Mickey Guyton – Have A Little Faith In Me
Mickey Guyton continues to pick up momentum with “Have A Little Faith In Me,” a cover of John Hiatt’s 1987 hit, released alongside tracks from her September-released album Remember Her Name. Guyton’s ability to live within the DNA of a love song and take the track in the direction of a powerful torch song or, more acutely, emotional material is proving to be her most significant artistic development of late. However, if looking for the true victory of her long-awaited debut album, it’s that over her decade-plus in Nashville, her vocal instrument has reached a level of ultimate mastery of her craft. That has always spelled extraordinary, sustained success for female artists in Music City.
Tenille Townes – Villain In Me
Self-awareness of one’s own heartbreaking ability to say the wrong thing at the wrong time drives what Tenille Townes called “the most personal thing I have ever written.” The Canadian-born country singer is currently opening for Brothers Osborne on their nationwide tour before kicking off her own run of intimate venue dates to start 2022. In songs like this one, the statement in her website bio finds greater gravitas: “I am inspired by people and their stories. I am so grateful for music and the way it makes us feel like we are never alone. I believe we have everything we need inside of us to be a light for the world. We make each other braver. We’re in this together.”
Priscilla Block – Peaked In High School
Alongside the likes of Elle King and RaeLynn, Priscilla Block is yet another female country artist who does well when stripping away the artifice from a song and diving into precisely what’s at the heart of the matter. The CMT 2021 Next Women of Country class member’s new single feels like it could be wallowing in self-absorbing doubt. However, “oh how things changed,” indeed. By the hook, the song has morphed into an anthem for those who played the long game towards high school popularity. If in need of a track that highlights why Block is a songwriter worthy of notable acclaim, it’s here. Likely her best work to date as a signed, mainstream-aimed country performer, it demands a listen.
Renee Blair – Downtowned Up
Regarding her debut album Seventeen — on which “Downtowned Up” is a single, Renee Blair notes via a press release, “I would describe this album as a peek under the hood of my life. There isn’t one song I haven’t lived. I share the good and the bad, my fears, mistakes, and all the love I’ve experienced. I grew up in St. Louis, obsessed with Nelly and Shania Twain at the same time, so I hope people can hear my influences on both ends of the musical spectrum.”
Listening to her cadence and hook on this one, both of these notions bear metaphorical fruit. The result is a delightful earworm about preparing for a night on the town downtown.
Madeline Edwards – Best Revenge
For those who may feel that taking a Louisville Slugger to a cheating partner’s headlights is a step too far, Madeline Edwards’ debut country single “Best Revenge” is for you. Edwards is a veteran singer-songwriter and native Houstonian whose road to Music City involves detours through jazz and soul, which are apparent in this single. Notable here, too, is the lyrical choice of, “I could drown my tears in vodka sodas, try to find myself out in Arizona / but I’ve got new guys standing in line like I’m that new bar; out on the east side.”
Taking thoughts typically saved for bourbon whiskey on Broadway just fifteen minutes over the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge — but retaining an essence that remains pop-country — is notable.