Carly Pearce - Every Little Thing
By: Megan Holley
Carly Pearce’s future is shining bright. The Kentucky native was just named People’s “One’s to Watch 2017: The New Voice of Country” as well as being the only female on Billboard’s Country Top 10 with her smash hit “Every Little Thing”.
This year has been full of success for Pearce from signing her record deal with Big Machine Records to the release of her anxiously awaited debut album later this week. The album “Every Little Thing” notably produced by Busbee, who has worked with other country acts, including Keith Urban and Maren Morris, is a standout. But Carly’s success didn’t come overnight. From moving to Dollywood at 16 to a failed record deal, she has experienced the ups and downs of the music industry. Even with these setbacks, she hasn’t given up which makes this album all the more special.
Like any good country album, vivid storytelling is the cornerstone of “Every Little Thing” as are the themes of love and heartbreak.
Pearce co-wrote 8 songs on the record, giving much-appreciated authenticity and showcasing her talented songwriting skills. Her soulful and strong vocals shine. Pearce comes from a bluegrass background. Some of her musical influences include Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, and Sara Evans. All talented and trailblazing women in the country music industry and Carly Pearce’s name belongs with them.
She opens the album with the fun and sassy song “Hide the Wine”. This song was originally going to be recorded by another artist, but by chance or fate they ended up not putting it on their album. Her bluegrass background is evident in the beat and instrumentation of this track, a perfect opening song.
The second track, “Careless” is about being taken for granted in a relationship and moving forward. The clever play on words “I could care less” to the powerful line “I know you, and all the empty breath of your promises, I know it ain’t nothing new, the only thing different is me…” gives listeners insight into Pearce’s songwriting talent here and throughout the rest of the album. This song reads more country/pop, rather than traditional. It is emotional and well written.
Next is the title track of the album. “Every Little Thing” is a haunting ballad of heartache and loss. The sparse instrumentation makes it all the more powerful, putting nearly all of the focus on her vocals. There is a very strong Alison Krauss influence on this track. This song is fearless in its vulnerability and personal in its message. As CEO of Big Machine Records Scott Borchetta said: “It comes from a very real place of life experience”. This song has been so successful because it is different from other songs on the radio, and most importantly it is relatable.
The tone of the album shifts in “Everybody Gonna Talk”. It is upbeat and fun. Carly’s vocals shine. While “Catch Fire” is reminiscent of 1990’s era country, almost Shania Twain-like and paints a picture of the start of a relationship.
Next is "If My Name Was Whiskey". It is a particularly powerful ballad and a stand out on the album. This song is about feeling second best in a relationship, knowing that no matter what you can’t compete with x,y,z, or in this case whiskey. The compelling line “Maybe if I was your last call my heart wouldn’t be like glass all over the floor” encompasses the pain and heartache of such a relationship perfectly.
"Color" is a different kind of love song. It’s unique in that it’s about admitting being wrong and no longer fighting being in love. Sometimes opposites attract and you need both the steady and the wild. This song is clever songwriting personified while remaining feel-good and hopeful.
Another stand out is “I Need A Ride Home”. This ballad shows Carly’s vocals are pure, impressive, and dynamic. A very personal song for Pearce, this song will resonate with everyone and make you feel nostalgic for home. It is an excellent example of the powerful ability of country music to resonate with heart and soul.
Again showcasing her songwriting skills in this sassy song, “Doin’ It Right” is about that guy who doesn’t quite live up to his word and is set on relationship self-sabotage. The line “Yeah boy, I’m calling your bluff, if your dead set on messing this up, you’re doing it right” sums up the frustration of a relationship like this and draws from her own personal experience.
Next is one of my personal favorites, “Feel Somethin’ definitely has some pop influence and the phrasing in the verses is reminiscent of Darius Rucker’s “If I Told You”. The lyrics are poignant such as this line, “I don’t know where you stand ‘cause you’re too afraid to share anything”.
The most beautiful love song on the album is "You Know Where To Find Me" and showcases Carly’s ability to craft meaningful lyrics. This song paints a picture of steadfast and dependable love, through all of life’s obstacles.
“Honeysuckle” is upbeat but nostalgic about good memories and bittersweet first love, to me this song is reminiscent of early Carrie Underwood, which is always a good thing.
Last but not least is “Dare Ya”. The instrumental on this song is particularly unique. Carly released “Dare Ya” to Sirius XM around a year and a half ago, a fan favorite. “It’s a thank you to the fans, who have been there for me since day one,” says Pearce.
It’s a fitting end to a stellar debut album.
It’s hard to pick a favorite on this album. Each song resonates in its own way and in my opinion, there is no “dud”.
In an interview with the Country Music Hall of Fame Pearce states, “I hope that as I continue to grow in my career that I can push boundaries and really be a voice that stands alone.”
And it’s safe to say Carly Pearce will have a strong impact on country music in years to come. And we can’t wait for her career to progress.
Her debut album “Every Little Thing” is released October 13th.
Carly Pearce will be joining Brett Young on the CALIVILLE TOUR kicking off October 14th in Charlottesville, VA.