Release Date: July 1st 2022
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Independent With You
- If He Wanted To He Would
- Love Like We’re Drunk
- Country Anyway (feat. Walker Hayes)
- Over A Redneck
- Mean Girls
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. In times of the ever-present COVID-19 and the most recent new wave of the Omicron variant sweeping the world; we all need encouragement, inspiration, and assurances that we’ll be ok, and that people are by our sides no matter what. We all need hope, and something to cling onto. We all need to be provided with media that challenges us but also delivers positivity and optimism. I’ve lately found that positivity and optimism… in country music, and the sheer vulnerability, honesty and raw emotion found in a number of songs and albums I have listened to and reviewed in the past. It’s not that the hope and emotion aren’t present within other music genres- it’s just that I’ve heard it more in country albums. Which brings me to an artist and project that has tugged at my heart and buried its way into my head for all the right reasons- within the past week. This sense of realness and vulnerability is all the more apparent in up-and-coming artist Kylie Morgan’s sophomore EP P.S.; and it is Kylie’s EP that has resonated and hit hard of late. I was first introduced to Kylie’s music from my home Youtube page while I was listening to other country artists and reviewing their albums; but after I heard “Break Things” in 2021, I was hooked. Kylie’s debut project released last year (and we reviewed it here!), and for those of you who are on the fence about the country genre, I reckon Love, Kylie is a best place to start- and from there you can check out P.S. I guarantee that you’ll find something to cheer about from these heartfelt songs in both EP’s.
With my debut EP, Love, Kylie, I finally got to tell the world over a decade’s worth of stories I had only told my guitar, in six songs. But that was just the first few chapters. I am so excited to finish sharing this book of love letters from me to my fans with my new EP, P.S. I’ve been so blessed to have a lot of answered prayers and pinch me moments in my career, but getting to play my first stadium this weekend – and debut my next single off this project – in my current home of Nashville will be hard to beat. I’ve been coming to CMA Fest as a fan since I was 15, and now I’m playing the stage I waited in line for and sat in the nose bleeds so I could see my favorite artists. God is so dang good.
Dear you. Yes, I’m talking to you. If you’ve ever been in love, dared to dream, been told you’re not good enough, gotten your heart broken or just want to let your hair down and let it all go – I wrote this record for you. I know a lot of you don’t know me personally, but my songs are about as personal as you can get. And, can I be honest with you? Being an artist that writes your own songs is scary, terrifying actually. Cause I am my art, and my art is me. With every no, I’ve let you in on every feeling I’ve ever felt- good or bad. But the scariness of vulnerability is the magical thing about it. Because if I could reach or help just one of you with these songs, it makes all of the self-doubt and the anxiety worth it. So, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for loaning me your ears and helping me fulfil my purpose God gave me. Thanks to all of you, I get to be me. Because when you do press play, you give my heart, my stories, and my dreams a place to call home. So, welcome home. P.S. close your eyes, get comfortable, and pour yourself something strong, cause we’re just getting started. Love, Kylie.
With Kylie’s debut EP being full of fun, joy, inspiration, honesty, and immense power; P.S. follows in the footsteps of Kylie’s debut project, and the EP doesn’t put a step wrong. Opening with the emotional, moving and reflective piano ballad “Independent With You”, the lead single reminds us all that we shouldn’t really change who we are as people in order for others to like us more. The song speaks about a relationship- and a woman who wants to be independent yet also wanting her man to love the fact that she is independent and to support her and to ultimately have her back and to be loyal and faithful to her no matter what. It’s a concept that these days is quite rare. It’s someone wanting to be progressive and conservative at the same time in their relationship; it’s someone who sees the value to being independent as well as seeing the value of relying on someone else. And so, this song voices what we sometimes think: that we want to be able to stand on our own two feet, but we also love to have people by our side and we love to be connected to people. It’s a conundrum- yet it’s an issue that never might be resolved. God designed us for companionship- yet being with someone shouldn’t mean that our own voice and our own identity is stifled and repressed. That, my friends, is an unhealthy relationship, and we need to get our now if that is the case.
The rest of P.S. reveals to us Kylie’s heart and her raw emotions; as we are further glimpsed into her psyche and her feelings about every up and down she has experienced throughout the past year or so. “If He Wanted To He Would”, a powerful and stirring melody, speaks about how men in particular should place their partners, spouses and girlfriends as the highest priority. It’s a song that reminds us that people in general make time for what and who they deem as important. If they don’t find you important, they won’t treat you well and they will find excuses not to hang out with you. This song may be a wake-up call for women- in that some men won’t value you no matter what and so you should find someone who loves you and treats you right; this melody might also be suitable for friendships also, reminding us all that if ever there is a friendship that could be perceived to be one-sided, then that’s when we should hang back and downgrade the relationship and friendship. I won’t say ‘terminate the friendship or relationship’ because there is always hope and there is always a way forward; but this melody reminds us that some people can’t ever be redeemed. You should give people the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes you should get out, and that’s more than ok. “Love Like We’re Drunk”, a 2-minute pop melody, speaks about wanting the world to be a bit more united and calmer, as Kylie declares that being drunk with your friends is the answer to solve the world’s problems. In no way though is drinking going to solve the world’s problems, but this tongue-in-cheek melody reminds us that sometimes if good to let your hair down, relax and just wish your worries away: I wrote this feel good, summer song as a hope to bring this divided world back together again. A hope that we can all treat people with the love and happiness so many of us get after a couple cocktails. Whether we’re buzzed or sober, in a bar or on the street. It’s just a light-hearted reminder to love one another.
“Gucci”, a 2 minute pop/country melody, has Kylie reminding us all that everything in her life is going good and that she is feeling happy the way she is right now, that ‘…it’s all Gucci, baby, mood is fancy, can’t a girl just get dressed up, little heavy on the liquor and the make-up, vibes expensive, even if the tags say different, state of mind is everything, and it’s all Gucci, baby…’. Kylie is essentially relaying that she feels good even if everything in her life seems chaotic and out of control; as she also sings about having a good time, or about feeling content and satisfied in the middle of calamity and hardship. “Country Anyway”, a hard-hitting mid-tempo melody with Walker Hayes, speaks about the downfall of a relationship… but with a twist: the song is about a naive girl who moves to Nashville with her boyfriend and then gets dumped but can’t get rid of him! It’s the story of co-writer Elaina Jones but Morgan relates: When she moved to Music City at 19 years old, her boyfriend followed her there, only to later break up with her! With this melody being one of the most emotional, vulnerable and honest songs on the EP, the song does feel authentic and relatable- as we are reminded that two people hopefully should be on the same page about a lot of their shared values, morals and dreams before making any life-changing decisions together. “Over A Redneck”, a heartbreaking, emotional guitar led ballad about two people breaking up, has Kylie cleverly using colour imagery (specifically the colour red) in order to drive home a point that she is still no over her ex. As a song this melody is pretty clever lyrically; and as Kylie reminds us about how this guy hurt her, we are encouraged to hold our hearts close to our chest, and only open them up when we feel like the other person respects us and loves us fully. “Mean Girls” ends P.S., and is a thematic and spiritual sequel to Leanna Crawford’s song of the same name– Kylie thanks Jesus for ‘mean girls’ because of the fact that she knows her worth is more than the words the girls have said about her, and she also declares ‘…thank God for mean girls, that showed me how bad words can hurt, and if my first love never broke my heart, I wouldn’t know what I deserve, and for the ones who tried to break me down, it’s all because of them, I got Jesus, whiskey, guitars, and good friends, and thick skin…’.
While every little girl was planning her wedding, I was a little girl that was planning my career. I was planning on signing my record deal. That was my wedding to me, like the first EP. The ironic part was I released my debut EP and got engaged in the same week. I think for the first time, God was like, ‘Kylie girl, you know, you could have both.’
It was such an exhale [when the single “Independent With You” was released] because I was just getting so frustrated with the pace of everything. I just was working my ass off and still just like walking on a treadmill. So for movement to finally happen and for so many people to discover ‘Independent With You,’ and all my other music, it’s just been like, ‘Oh my God. It’s finally all coming together. They continue to say build your story. Finally, the story is getting built and told. I’m just like so happy about it.
My wide-eyed self… had no idea that dreams took so long. When they say this is a 10-year town, they are not joking, and we’re on year like 12 now. Thank God no one told me that it was gonna take this long because I don’t know if I would’ve done it or at least had the same attitude about it.
Apart from both EP’s P.S. and Love, Kylie; Kylie Morgan has only released a handful of singles. Her debut full length album has released yet. And so, there’s not that much to go on in regards to whether she will make it big or not in the industry. But Kylie’s passion and enthusiasm for life is sure to keep her on the road to stardom, popularity, and future influence in 10+ years, I reckon. Of this I am convinced. And I do believe that the future is bright in country music with her recording songs- and so there’s not much for me to say other than to listen to this EP and Kylie’s debut EP as well. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you resonate with these songs, and deeper still with the messages the songs impart to us.
3 songs to listen to: Love Like We’re Drunk, Over A Redneck, Mean Girls
RIYL: Maddie & Tae, Jana Kramer, Ingrid Andress, Lady A, Rascal Flatts, Lindsay Ell, Caylee Hammack