In the past couple of weeks, the most talked about topic in country music has been the bro country response songs. There have been four of these songs that have surfaced over this span. There’s Maddie & Tae’s “Girl In A Country Song,” which frowns upon and pokes fun of bro country songs. Then there’s Maggie Rose’s “Girl In Your Truck Song,” which prompted a rant from yours truly. And don’t forget RaeLynn’s “God Made Girls,” which also made me hot under the collar. This has also brought up back up the ongoing debate within country music about the portrayal and representation of females in country music. I find that Rose and RaeLynn are hurting the cause for more female country artists in the genre and getting more radio time for women with their latest singles. Luckily there are some female country artists that are doing it right and making quality music. These ladies are making songs that are helping the cause and advancing the genre forward. I present to you five great songs by female country artists in 2014 (in no particular order)…
You will be able to tell right away that “The Way I’m Livin’” is an acoustic song rooted in the traditions of country music. This song is a traditional country song without a doubt, but it feels fresh and new still. This is the kind of sound all country artists need to be striving for, which is honoring tradition and brining new elements in to make it fresh. The song itself is about a woman living a life of sin. This sin is brought into the woman’s life by a man who offers her a drink and would later represent the “devil” ruining her life. Even though the woman knows she is living the life of sin, it’s just feels too right to give it up. Yet she seems to pleads to her mom for help. The emotion of the song is split between desperation and satisfaction and the songwriting perfectly gets this across. One of the best lines in the song is: “You know I’d change if I could/But being bad it feels so good.” Adam Wright’s writing is fantastic.
“Cedar Lane” is one of the softer tracks on Stay Gold. It’s a song about reflecting on past love and hoping that love returns again. “Cedar Lane” is the deepest song on the album and what really makes it one of the standouts is how the little things all come together. Everything is cohesive and paints a picture in the listener’s head, while also evoking that same emotion from them.
Musgravess sassy attitude is front and center in “The Trailer Song.” It’s about living next to a nosy, judgmental neighbor and how she should basically just mind her own damn business. I think we can all relate to this. The attitude of this song is established right off the bat with the first line: “Say you’re watching the birds out the window/Well I got a bird you can watch.” Funny and poignant! This is like Musgrave’s “Follow Your Arrow” meeting Pistol Annies’ “Hush Hush” and throwing in even more attitude.
“Bad Girl Phase” is a good example of what a bra country song should be. This song is essentially about being a powerful woman and not taking shit from anybody. The woman in this song isn’t some girl sitting on the tailgate by the river bank, doing whatever he wants to do and basically being portrayed as a bimbo puppet. No, this is a woman who does what she wants, when she wants and isn’t anybody’s girl. And it’s the kind of powerful woman song that doesn’t have “violent towards men” themes, like Lambert and Underwood seem to have in many of their songs. This is the kind of song that country music needs right now.
“My Little Black Wedding Dress” is a song about a woman always being the bridesmaid and never being the bride. This song has a lot of depth and symbolism in the lyrics. The woman talks about her black dress “fits like a glove” and how she wishes it were white instead of black. The choice of an organ in this song is great and gives it more of a country feel than the rest of the album. “My Little Black Wedding Dress” is an all-around great song that is relatable to many women.