Release Date: July 15th 2022 / October 7th 2022
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Reason For Leaving
Since Jon and I have started our blog series about most influential artists of all time, I’ve been listening more and more to different genres of music. I’ve discovered that not all mainstream music is bad, and I’ve grown to appreciate, love and also anticipate albums from mainstream artists. And… let me tell you, the genre that I have since grown to love is the country genre. Isn’t that ironic? I don’t’ live in America, yet music about American culture and living in the ‘sticks’ and being patriotic for America and hanging out in Texas… resonates with me. How weird is that? Well, I’ve found that country music has that certain level of honesty, emotion, vulnerability, authenticity as well as relatability; and it seems that other genres seem to be lacking in those qualities just a bit. Yep, I reckon country music is even more honest than CCM music or worship music. You can call me a heretic or blasphemous, but I’m just outlining what I’ve observed. From artists like Maddie & Tae, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban, Gabby Barrett, Carly Pearce, Blake Shelton and Walker Hayes, to others like Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, Lindsay Ell, Cassadee Pope, Little Big Town, Lady A, Rascal Flatts, The McClymonts, Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Stapleton, Ingrid Andress, Mickey Guyton, Jimmie Allen and Russell Dickerson… and even Taylor Swift; the list goes on and on as to who has wormed their way into my heart and soul over the past few years. Enter in Erin Kinsey, who is a rising star in country music. In March this year, she released her debut EP 40 East (which I reviewed here), and since then, Erin has dropped two more singles- “Vegas” and “Reason For Leaving”.
When I reviewed Erin’s debut EP… it was while I wasn’t that knowledgeable about Erin’s life in general. I stumbled across the EP a while ago when it was on Apple Music for pre-order on my phone- I was searching for something new to listen to, and lo and behold, there it was. I’ve since listened to Erin’s music… and boy, can I say that it’s a joy to listen to and be immersed in Erin’s positivity, optimism, joy, and passion for life in general. There isn’t much known about Erin except what is on her website and on social media (and there still isn’t much information aside from interviews here and there!), so you can google her if you want to. But 40 East and listening to that project even while not knowing much about Erin, if at all; well that kinda opens the door to her life a bit, and these melodies is like being invited into a personal area of her space and her heart- and for us all, it should be an honour and a pleasure to be considered worthy to hear Erin’s inner-most thoughts and her heart for what she believes in.
It’s [Vegas] a song about just loving someone so much that you are ready to start forever tomorrow. When we went in the writing room, I had this idea about just getting married in Vegas. I had started on the melody, which ended up being the chorus. And by the time it was done, it turned into one of the most fun writing sessions I’ve ever been a part of. I’ve never been in a studio like that, where you went from one backdrop to the other one that looks completely different. The ones we used mostly were these ones that had a ton of metallic things behind them. It ended up looking like we were in a million different places, but really, all the video scenes were shot all in the same room. It was so cool. Tik Tok is all about instant honesty. So, I had shared ‘Vegas’ on there and I was actually shocked that ‘Vegas’ was one of the ones that got the better responses. I mean, it’s really country, and Tik Tok is typically a younger audience. I didn’t know how people would feel about it.
‘Reason for Leaving’ is the first song and video I’ve ever done that wasn’t simply ‘pretty’. Every lyric is true and that made this entire experience quite scary and emotional for me at first, but being on the other side of recording, I feel such a freedom in speaking the truth. I may not have gotten this all right, but I’m not worried anymore about getting it wrong.
With both songs lyrically and thematically being polar opposites of each other, Erin powerfully and elegantly relays to us the feelings of both the start of a burgeoning relationship and the end of a relationship. With “Vegas” being a poppy track presumably sung about her current relationship, and about the euphoric highs of loving someone so much that you’re willing to marry them right now (even if it is a quick wedding in Vegas!); “Reason For Leaving” beautifully juxtaposes this melody quite beautifully. Erin reminds us that even if love is all sunshine and rainbows at the beginning; it can indeed quickly turn sour and both people can resent each other if they aren’t entering into the marriage with the same motives or even from the same place emotionally. One person wants one thing and expects another while the other person has different needs and expectations and wants and desires. That’s usually how people drift apart even if they still love each other on some level; and this heartbreaking and emotional melody speaks about people in a holding pattern and people who are holding onto some kind of ‘love’ and ‘relationship’ when they should really let go instead of being half-hearted and stuck in a relationship that neither of them want. “Reason For Leaving” is very vulnerable, honest, and emotional- and the fact that it’s a true story and Erin is singing this melody about her ex… is extremely brave and courageous of Erin to undertake.
Erin Kinsey’s 40 East is an EP that isn’t particularly inventive or creative musically. But it has heart and soul and passion and encouragement and inspiration- and for that I’m glad I listened to this EP and I’m glad I voiced my thoughts. Likewise, both “Vegas” and “Reason For Leaving” aren’t particularly inventive in a musical sense- but Erin is so likeable, so it’s hard to hate on these songs at all. Erin is a country star in the making- so watch out world because she is coming and taking the world by storm! Well done, Erin, I can’t wait to hear what your full-length debut album sounds like!
RIYL: Gabby Barrett, Tenille Arts, Kelsea Ballerini, Carly Pearce, Lainey Wilson