SINGLE REVIEW: Ashley Monroe – ‘Hands On You’

After the immense success of previous Grammy nominated album ‘The Blade’ in 2015, Monroe has kept herself busy out of the limelight, by becoming a first-time mother. If anything, by the release of her new single ‘Hands on You’, this seems to have brought out Monroe’s even sexier, sultry side. After 3 looong years without any music from Monroe, she has stepped effortlessly back into our ears and seems as if she has a lot to say. With that voice, she’s got everyone captured.

‘Hands on You’ has an immediate effect on you due to the connection you feel when you hear Ashley’s voice. Drawn in by the raw tone you just melt within the Southern echo of each note. Knowingly so, the track starts with the acapella bite of the lyric “I wish I would’ve laid my hands on you.” Only to be joined by a smoky, promiscuous bass line which is as prominent in the song as Ashley’s vocal is. Metaphorically speaking, these two instruments could be taking the role of the protagonists in the song, fighting against the lust and desire they have for one another. The string arrangement throughout gives off a mysterious, conspicuous feel, which, accompanied with the second verse lyric “forbidden company” could be a signal that the song’s narrative is in fact adultery.

It’s these kinds of songs that make me proud to be a woman. ‘Hands on You’ is something we haven’t heard from the country music genre in years, be it slightly in Little Big Town’s, ‘Girl Crush’. Women have been hushed to speak about so called ‘taboo’ topics, well, Monroe is not hushing I tell ya. She is flying the flag for female empowerment high and dry. ‘Hands on You’, co-written with outstanding songwriter Jon Randall (Whiskey Lullaby, Tin Man), is a song so clearly about sexual desire. Evident with lyrics such as “I wish I would’ve pushed you against the wall, lock the door and bathroom stall”, it results in the song being ever so womanly and makes me feel some sort of mighty confidence.

Now, you don’t have to tell me to listen Ashley’s new album entitled ‘Sparrow,’ due for release on 20th April 2018; Monroe changed the way I look at country music and song writing in general (fan girl alert). After listening to ‘Hands on You,’ if you’re still not convinced that you’ll be listening to a magical corner of country music, with a huge sense of individuality in Monroe’s lyrical stories, well… just listen again peeps!

Shannon Hynes