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Ashley McBryde – Girl Going Nowhere album review

The rising star is finally having her moment and she’s delivered one of the best albums of the year so far.

Ashley McBryde
Credit: Warner Music Nashville

Ashley McBryde - Girl Going Nowhere

Credit: Warner Music Nashville

For an ‘overnight success’ Ashley McBryde has spent the last 11 years trying to make it. Over that time she’s moved to Nashville, taken part in and won Country Showdown, and self-released albums and EPs. Now signed to Warner Music Nashville, McBryde is finally having her moment and following her incredible performances at C2C: Country to Country 2018 it looks as if McBryde’s breakthrough is on an international scale. Today her major label debut album, Girl Going Nowhere, is released.

Over the last few months, McBryde has been drip feeding fans with tracks from Girl Going Nowhere. Ahead of the album’s release we’ve been treated to Girl Goin’ Nowhere, Radioland, American Scandal and breakthrough single A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega. The four tracks perfectly showcase the versatility of McBryde and they showcase the incredible emotional connection she’s able to form with her listeners. At C2C she performed a mix of tracks from the album and material from across her career, and she had the audience in fits of laughter and tears.

Girl Going Nowhere opens with the title track and it’s a moment of triumph that sticks two fingers up to those who never believed in McBryde. As she sings, ‘where they said I’d never be, is exactly where I stand’ you can’t help but feel the shivers down your spine as she packs an incredible amount of emotion into her delivery. It’s the perfect introduction to McBryde for those new to her music showcasing not only her incredible vocals but also her honest approach to her lyrics.

As the record moves on to Radioland, it’s clear that McBryde is no one-trick pony. The rockier feel of the track recalls Sheryl Crow at her best and it showcases a completely different side to McBryde. It becomes clear as you work your way through the record that McBryde isn’t an artist that likes to repeat herself. No two songs here sound the same and there’s a lot to unpack.

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The sweeping American Scandal tells a story of an epic love story, the beat-driven The Jacket explores the life of McBryde’s father, and Andy (I Can’t Live Without You) is an acoustic moment that looks at the irritations that come with a relationship, ultimately concluding that love ultimately cancels them out.

One of the standout moments on the record is the bluesy Babylon, which sounds like nothing anything you’ve heard from McBryde before. Her voice is more restrained with a gruffer tone and the lyrics explore the idea of being unable to escape from your calling in life. It’s a superb track and I can’t wait to hear her perform it live.

Elsewhere on the record the tempo picks up on the rockier El Dorado, the naughty Tired of Being Happy is a contemplation of being the other woman, and album closer Home Sweet Highway is about coming back to something you just can’t leave behind.

At the end of 2018 McBryde’s Girl Going Nowhere is going to be making a lot of Top 10 albums of the year lists. It’s been a long time coming for McBryde but this is only the beginning of the success she’s going to have. If you like your music honest, bold, emotional and with its heart on its sleeve, then there’s a lot to love here. McBryde is seizing her moment and I can’t wait to see just how far she goes over the coming years.

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Track list: 1. Girl Goin’ Nowhere 2. Radioland 3. American Scandal 4. Southern Babylon 5. The Jacket 6. Livin’ Next to LeRoy 7. A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega 8. Andy (I Can’t Live Without You) 9. El Dorado 10. Tired Of Being Happy 11. Home Sweet Highway Record label: Warner Music Nashville Release date: 30th March 2018

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