Growing from a 2021 CMT Next Woman of Country to a 2022 CMT Listen Up artist feels like less of a “come up” and more of a doubling-down on a call to pay close attention to Brittney Spencer. From stages with Jason Isbell and The Highwomen to the CMA Awards, intimate sit-downs for CMT’s Campfire Sessions, or onstage on her current headlining tour, she’s possibly both country music’s fastest-rising and busiest star. Insofar as what has caused her acclaim to grow, it can largely be attributed to the writing on songs like her two singles, “Sober and Skinny” and “Compassion,” plus unreleased gems like “100 Years Old.” In a recent interview, she chronicles what inspires her well-regarded tune-crafting.
In a recent Nashville Scene feature she notes, “For me, lyric is king. That’s why I love country music so much. So fusing what I love so much about a catchy melody with a story that really brings the melody to life is so important for me. The lyric and the melody will go hand in hand, and if one is lacking, I just toss it out. If I can’t find the tune to make a section make sense, I let it go, because melody is just that important to me.”
More profoundly, she offers a “bottom-line” argument in regards to what she considers important to consider as country music’s future — as highlighted by dynamic, genre and style-shifting songwriters like her — evolves. She shares one consideration that should weigh heavier than all others:
“Is it good? Is it telling the story? Is it honoring the traditions that made artists want to do this style of music in the first place? I just wish ’good’ was a genre.”