Georgia Native Lauren Alaina is a shining star in the country music world and has long had the ability to transform a song with her powerful voice. Currently flying high on the radio charts with her guest appearance on HARDY’s ‘One Beer’, she’s back with more new music of her own. After a few more years of life experience, including breakups and a global pandemic, Alaina serves up six songs that draw directly from her personal experience. The new EP truly showcases Alaina’s strength as both an artist and a songwriter.
The EP’s opener, ‘Run’, is an honest song that has really connected with me as a young woman finding my place in the world. It’s about the rat-race of life, covering topics like drinking too much, breakups and simply going too fast. This is paired with some fabulous instrumentation from acoustic and electric guitars, which perfectly encapsulates Alaina’s country-pop sound.
The EP also covers some more specific themes in Alaina’s life, as seen on ‘Seen You in Your Hometown’. On this number, we hear the affection for someone who acts differently in their hometown. The individual in the song isn’t seen as a a ‘setting-down’ type, however when he returns home he turns into a more sensitive person. This is a story I haven’t really heard, and the lyrics tell a really rich story.
“There is something really interesting about seeing a person around their family and where they came from because you get to see the core of them. There is something really endearing about seeing their roots and who they are – the truth in them.”
Lyrically this is Alaina’s best work yet, and she does not just have sentimental songs but also tongue-in-cheek, feisty belters! This is best exemplified by ‘If I Was A Beer’. Using the common country metaphor, the song has Alaina praising her self-worth, as she compares herself to a ‘fine wine’, rather than a ’30 from a grocery store’. This is a fun one, with some great fiddle that adds a flair of traditionalism.
The following track, ‘Bar Back’, also follows a theme of self-worth and alcohol. In this slower, but still fearless number, Alaina declares that she is taking her ‘bar back’ from her ex, insisting that it is her territory. Sassy and wonderful in equal measure.
Closer, ‘What Do You Think Of’, tells the heart-breaking tale of a recent break-up and the subsequent emotions, told with incredible vulnerability.
“This song comes from a really broken place, but it’s part of who I am and part of what I went though, so if I’m going to be honest in my music, I have to share songs like this too. Plus,” she adds, “Lukas’ vocal on this is ridiculous.”
On this duet with Lukas Graham (of ‘7 Years Old’ fame), both voices really shine through. An interesting piano melody, common in Graham’s music, is a fine addition to the song too, further bringing out the raw emotion of the song.
The EP’s duet highlight comes from lead single, ‘Getting Over Him’, which I hope garners extensive country radio play. The heavy use of a guitar riff to build melody draws influence from Jason Aldean and Eric Church, whilst Jon Pardi’s signature traditional sound creates a wonderful blend. Alaina and Pardi combine their one-of-a-kind voices to make this song ridiculously infectious.
Overall, this is Alaina’s best work yet, and features some real stand-out songs in ‘Getting Over Him’ and ‘Run’. In the UK, Alaina already has a formidable fan base, and I trust this EP will only develop that further.