DISClaimer Single Reviews: Colbie Caillat Releases ‘Dreamy’ New Single
As we head into springtime, Music City’s country artists have a breezy soundtrack for us.
Topping the playlist in this edition of DisClaimer is Colbie Caillat. She came to pop fame with “Bubbly” back in 2007, and during the successive decade issued a string of hit “alternative A/C” tracks (”Fallin’ for You,” “I Do,” “Realize,” “Try,” etc.). In 2018, she turned toward country with her group Gone West. Now she has this week’s country Disc of the Day.
Caillat was not without challengers. I was particularly smitten with the new tracks by Melonie Cannon, Cattie Offerman, Brandy Clark and Danielle Bradbery. K. Michelle also sounds promising.
I have been grooving on Jamie Floyd’s sounds for several seasons. Years ago, she was a cool pop-rocker. Today, she wins a DisCovery Award for being a new country artist.
BREI CARTER / “Straight Up Country Crazy”
Writers: Brei Carter/Ken Matthiesen/Blaine Younger/Rachel Seiler; Producer: Curt Ryle; Label: Brown Lee Entertainment/Orchard
– What are you waiting for? Get up on your feet; Carter is summoning you to the dance floor. The “gang” chorus and pounding rhythm let you know she’s aiming for an anthem here.
CATIE OFFERMAN / “I Just Killed a Man”
Writers: Catie Offerman/Ryan Beaver/Joe Clemmons/Jessie Jo Dillon/Benjy Davis; Producer: Dann Huff; Label: MCA Nashville
– Offerman aches with guilt on this stately ballad. She’s dumped the guy she doesn’t love anymore, and now she has his heartbreak on her hands. Very cool and very different.
COLBIE CAILLAT / “Worth It”
Writers: Colbie Caillat/Liz Rose/AJ Pruis; Producer: Jamie Kenney; Label: Blue Jean Baby Records
– Pop star Caillat has always had country tendencies. On this power ballad, she realizes the relationship is kaput, but doesn’t regret a thing. “I know it wasn’t perfect, but loving you was worth it,” she sings in the hooky refrain. The echoey production atmosphere gives the whole thing a dreamy quality.
ELLA LANGLEY & KOE WETZEL / “That’s Why We Fight”
Writers: David Garcia/Brett Tyler/Ella Langley/Joybeth Taylor; Producer: Will Bundy; Label: Columbia Records/Sony Music Nashville
– It sounds like ‘70s rock, and it is over produced.
TENILLE TOWNES / “Landslide”
Writer: Stevie Nicks; Producers: Tenille Townes/Jaxon Hargrove; Label: Sony
– Canadian superstar Townes (she’s the reigning Country Entertainer of the Year there) is issuing a stripped-down, acoustic, live set of tunes. The Train Track Worktapes is an EP consisting mainly of originals, but she also does a cool, folkie version of this Stevie Nicks classic. I’m a huge fan of both of those ladies.
BRANDY CLARK / “She Smoked in the House”
Writer: Brandy Clark; Producer: Brandi Carlile; Label: Warner Records
– How great is it that one of our own has a musical on Broadway? Two of our own, actually, since Brandy and Shane McAnally are the co-writers of the songs in Shucked. Anyhow, Brandy also continues her winning ways as an artist. Ahead of her third album, she has issued “Buried” as a single and this lively character portrait as an advance track. The production ripples around her as she unspools the delightful details of her grandma’s personality. No one, but no one, writes a song like Brandy Clark.
JAMIE FLOYD / “I Never Want to See You Again”
Writers: Jamie Floyd/Jimmy Thow/Madi Diaz; Producers: Jamie Floyd /Jimmy Thow; Label: JF
– Floyd is a veteran Nashville songwriter who has penned tunes for Kelly Clarkson, Kesha, Ingrid Andress, Brian Wilson, Sturgill Simpson, Ronnie Dunn, Ashley Monroe, Miranda Lambert, Cassadee Pope, Ty Herndon and more. This bopping, danceable ditty is ear candy on several levels. The melody is enchanting. The production shines like crystal beads. Her soprano-leaping vocal is a delight. The songwriting is stellar: “I never want to see you again, until I see you again,” she warbles as she contemplates an up-and-down relationship while notes sparkle like glitter around her. A lovely record.
MELONIE CANNON / “Way Down Deep”
Writers: Max D. Barnes/Max T. Barnes; Producers: Buddy Cannon/Butch Carr; Label: MC
– Those breathtaking harmony vocalists surrounding Cannon belong to those hillbilly angels, Doyle Lawson and Jamey Johnson. If that isn’t enough to make you listen, dig this: It’s part of a tribute album to the late, great Vern Gosdin. Stop what you’re doing and cleanse your country-loving soul with a listen to this mini masterpiece. The album also includes contributions from Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Cody Jinks, Jim Lauderdale, Sidney Cox and more. Sign me up for a copy.
ROBYN OTTOLINI / “Match for My Memory”
Writers: Robyn Ottolini/Emily Reid; Producers: Mark Schroor/Erik Fintelman; Label: Empire
– Ottolini issues a new collection tomorrow that she’ll be promoting on the road with Shania Twain this summer. Its advance track is a passionate, throbbing vocal performance that soars on the choruses, and is just as potent on the verses, thanks to a pulsing rhythmic undertow. She’s cautioning her ex that he’ll never escape the pull of his memories of her.
DANIELLE BRADBERY / “Monster”
Writers: Danielle Bradbery/Lauren LaRue/Sam De Jong; Producer: Nathan Chapman/Derek Wells; Label: Big Machine
– We all have fears and anxieties we keep hidden. Bradbery takes hers out into the open in this moody, vulnerable song. Both the therapeutic song and the layered production are complex, which makes repeated listening all the more rewarding. A winner. And if you haven’t done so yet, go ahead and be totally charmed by her feisty single “A Special Place.”
K. MICHELLE & JUSTIN CHAMPAGNE / “Country Love Song”
Writers: Andrew P. Jackson Jr/Brooke Payne/Jeff Dyson/Justin Tyler Champagne/Kimberly Pate/Tredell Rener; Producer: none listed; Label: Justin Champagne
– He’s a hip hopper. She’s an R&B hit maker (and former cast member of VH-1’s Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta). They’re both “going country” on this outing. He is top billed, but the record really comes alive when she sings. In the “who wore it best” contest, she’s the country winner. I understand that we are to expect more to come from K. Michelle as a nouveau-country artist.
ERIN KINSEY / “Always Never”
Writers: Erin Kinsey/Sarah Buxton/Josh Kerr; Producer: Josh Kerr; Label: RECORDS Nashville
– The sound of young heartbreak: kinda innocent, kinda wounded, kinda sweet. Pretty, but not terribly memorable. For a fuller realization of what this artist is about, check out last year’s upbeat single “I Got You.”