Category Archives: EP Review



New EP Ascends To #2 iTunes Country / Top 10 iTunes All Genres

Nashville, TN (March 24, 2017) – Rising star Lindsay Ell’s highly-anticipated debut EP WORTH THE WAIT is available today (3/24) via Stoney Creek Records. Produced by celebrated GRAMMY-winning musician Kristian Bush (of Sugarland), fans and critics alike are buzzing over the budding star’s debut project as it quickly ascended to #2 on iTunes Country. Worth The Wait also rose to #7 on iTunes All Genres (at press time).


Buy and stream Worth The Wait here:

Ell celebrated the career milestone on the eve of her debut (3/23), with an at-capacity crowd of fans, industry and tastemakers at Nashville venue Back Corner. With a rollicking full-band in tow, she previewed all six tracks from the EP to a fervent applause.  

Happy Release Day!! #worththewait 😍 #celebrate

A post shared by Lindsay Ell (@lindsayell) on


Worth The Wait is stacked with vulnerability and is deliberate in its sequence, giving listeners a front row seat to a deeply personal narrative. Opening with the flirtatious “Waiting on You,” Ell breezily croons, “I’m a July sky / You’re a bottle rocket / I’m waiting on you…”  

“Criminal” then marks a cascading mood shift in an undefined relationship, capturing Ell’s tantalizing vocals over punchy guitar lines. “Space” and “Standing Here” are instantly relatable emotional stand-outs, featuring contributions from heavy-hitting songwriters including Caitlyn Smith and Ryan Hurd, respectively.  

The EP’s title track “Worth The Wait” begins to break down walls and sees a relationship come full-circle with its heartfelt lyrics and sweeping melody. Finally, Ell reimagines John Mayer’s “Stop This Train,” which not only concludes the project thematically, but also reconfirms the young talent’s capacity for guitar riffs knows no boundaries. 

Ell has even painted guitars to go along with each track! The first one has been revealed and you can even enter to win it!


Ell, who praised as having “all the makings to be a superstar” and The Calgary Herald lauded as “the complete package” thrives in a lane of her own as a multi-instrumentalist and lead guitar player, a rarity amongst females in the mainstream country music format. The Stoney Creek Records artist is currently performing nationally on superstar and fellow guitar shredder Brad Paisley’sLIFE AMPLIFIED WORLD TOUR. For a full list of tour dates, please visit:


1) “Waiting on You” (Lindsay Ell, Adam Hambrick, Andrew DeRoberts)
2) “Criminal” (Lindsay Ell, Chris Stevens, Fred Wilhelm)
3) “Space” (Caitlyn Smith, Heather Morgan, Maggie Chapman)
4) “Standing Here” (Melissa Peirce, Ryan Hurd, Chase McGill)
5) “Worth The Wait” (Lindsay Ell, Travis Meadows)
6) “Stop This Train” (John Mayer, Pino Palladino)


Named one of The Huffington Post’s “Top Country Artists to Watch,” Lindsay Ell is a triple threat:  accomplished musician, unique vocalist and songwriter. The young Calgary native learned to play guitar while traveling with her father to country-bluegrass camps as a young girl. Ell honed her craft as a musical stylist and songwriter after being discovered by BTO and The Guess Who’s Randy Bachman (“American Woman” / “Taking Care of Business”) who discovered her at the age of 13.  The multi-instrumentalist was soon touring alongside the likes of Luke Bryan, Buddy Guy, The Band Perry and Keith Urban as well as wowing audiences as Carrie Underwood’s guitar player live on the 50th Annual CMA Awards and holding her own alongside icon Melissa Etheridge on Skyville Live.

A 2016 CMT Music Award and Canadian Country Music Award nominee, Ell exhilarated audiences from coast-to-coast as part of the 2016 CMT Next Women of Country Tour and is featured on Brad Paisley’s 2017 LIFE AMPLIFIED WORLD TOUR. Ell’s highly anticipated debut EP, WORTH THE WAIT (produced by GRAMMY winner Kristian Bush of Sugarland), is available now. For more information visit:  


Snapchat: @LindsayEll


Kalie Shorr ‘Slingshots’ Into 2017 With Her Brand New EP

Back in 2016, Kalie Shorr released her debut EP that was crowdfunded last year and is looking to breakthrough in 2017. Shorr had a successful 2016 with her debut single, “Fight Like A Girl,” which received significant airplay on Sirius XM’s The Highway. Shorr was also featured as a Highway Find and earned a spot to play at the CMA Music Festival Kick Off Concert during CMA Fest in 2016. Shorr is currently playing every Monday night at Song Suffragettes along with other female songwriters in Nashville. Today, Shorr has just released her second EP titled, Slingshot, which features Shorr’s undeniable talent along with songs that listeners will be playing over and over.

Slingshot EP Review



Slingshot features two singles; “Fight Like A Girl” and “He’s Just Not That Into You,” along with three new songs. The first new song on the EP is titled, “Nothin’ New.” Shorr co-wrote the song with Emily Landis and Lacy Green in a unique way. Back in the summer of 2016, the three were randomly paired up during a Song Suffragettes event with YouTube, where they had to write a song with one another under a time crunch. What came from this was a raw and emotional song about a breakup that just always seems to linger around no matter what you try to do. The chorus echos these thoughts into song form:

Since the beginning / Since the world started spinning / It’s just a matter of fact / Girls want boys that don’t want them back / I’m just being honest, don’t matter what you call it / The sun still shines the sky’s still blue / You don’t want me and I love you / But that ain’t nothing new

Watch The “He’s Just Not That Into You” Music Video


Shorr’s strong vocals tie together the lyrics with the meaning behind the song, which will leave listeners with everlasting impression. The next song on the EP is titled, “Love Like That,” which Shorr co-wrote with Jason Afable and Eric Mallon. The song is inspired from an old relationship Shorr had back in high school where the guy was totally clueless on what it means to love someone. This leaves Shorr with the question, where did you learn to love like that?

Where you learn to break apart, somebody’s heart / Take the piece you want right off / Where you learn to make them fall and never call / Only want to get yours and get lost


The song is not one of those sad breakup songs, but one about that one (or many) relationships where the guy doesn’t seem to understand the relationship. The song itself is upbeat and is not meant to be a dreary song, but instead questions the guy’s understanding of love and who taught him how to express it. It is a song that many will be able to connect with and can share similar stories.

The final song on the EP is titled, “Odds Are.” This song is the most country-pop infused track on the EP, but it is done in a way where the lyrics and message are still authentic. The chorus explains:

The odds are that we probably will be alright / I doubt we gonna be alright / I doubt we gonna be alright tonight / The odds are that we will probably be alright / I doubt we gonna be alright / I doubt we gonna be alright for another night


“Odds Are” you will be blaring this song through the speakers every chance you get, singing along with Shorr to the best of your ability. The clever lyrics describe situations of high-odds like being struck by lightning or a meteorite and explaining that even if the situation that you are in seams grim, odds are it will be alright. The song showcases Shorr’s dynamic vocal versatility to be able to sing any type of song without sacrificing any of her talent and what is born is a pop track transformed into a country song.


Altogether, Shorr’s latest EP is one that will bring in new fans with her unforgettable sound and lyrical quality that sets her a part from other artists. Shorr’s personality shines through each and every song, which allows them to more easily connect with fans. Shorr’s vocals are also top-notch and noticeably different from anyone else, creating her own unique sound with her personal twist on each song. Shorr, for sure, will be on everyone’s playlist and music libraries and keep them wanting more and she is well on her way on making 2017 her biggest year yet. Be sure to keep up with Shorr on social media and be on the look out for when she is in an area near you.

Purchase Slingshot on iTunes

Kalie Shorr – Slingshot EP

Lauren Davidson is on a Mission With Her Debut EP ‘Hear Me’ – Listen

But there’s a Fire burning in me / A heat that only I feel / And I’m creating a path of my own to build a life that feels real 

That set of lyrics from Lauren Davidson‘s new song “Don’t Stop” sets the tone for her entire EP, titled Hear Me. “Don’t Stop” is the first track off the EP Hear Me available now! The song is about chasing what you want in life and never letting it go. Davidson is no stranger to chasing dreams and what it take to achieve them. Her father is also a songwriter and a frequent collaborator with his daughter. They co-wrote four of the five  songs on Hear Me together!

Happy Birthday to my #1 – love ya Dad!!! Pre-show #tailgate at @starlandballroom when I opened for @justincolemoore

A post shared by Lauren Davidson Music (@laurendavidsonmusic) on


The EP consists of 5 songs and is Davidson’s debut EP! It has a theme of independence and along with a drive to achieve goals and dreams. Davidson told Variety Beat about why she chose to name the EP Hear Me and why this EP is so important to her!

“Hear Me is my debut EP – it’s my introduction to the world as an artist, my way of saying “here I am” and “hear my voice, hear what I have to say.”It is also a track off of the EP and coincidentally the first song I ever wrote. This EP is so special to me for so many reasons and only one being that it’s the first of much to come. I’ve waited a long time to get this music out and I couldn’t be happier to share it with all of you!”

The EP shows diversity in songwriting and artist ability. “It’s You” takes a different spin on the phrase “It’s not you, it’s me” and directly says how it was in fact the other person that lead to the end of the relationship. It’s sung and presented in both and empowering and honest way that will ring true with many people struggling in relationships.

“Hear Me” takes up the country twang and sound while speaking about the need to be independent, strong and let one’s voice be heard.


“Sometimes” brings back a beautiful classic sound while being honest about the struggles and confusion of life in the most melodic way.

The EP ends on the song “Right Here With Me” which is the perfect ode to that special someone. Life with them is simply better and seems to make even the dark times in life sunnier.

Davidson has put out an EP she can be proud of and told Variety Beat about finding her voice:

“I have finally found my voice and my sound which I think really came to light during the recording process. There are so many talented women who I look up to and admire including Alanis Morisette, Grace Potter, Carrie Underwood that influence my music but I am also very influenced by my emotions and experiences when I write.”

The EP Hear Me is available for listening and downloading now!

Try and “Act Like You Don’t” Love Brooke Eden’s Debut EP “Welcome To The Weekend”

It has been a long time coming, but today we finally have Brooke Eden‘s debut EP, Welcome To The Weekend. Eden is a part of the CMT’s Next Women of Country and is well on her way to stardom. She has a dynamic and powerful voice that will instantly turn heads wherever she is performing.

Welcome To The Weekend is Eden’s first EP after signing with RED BOW Records. Eden co-penned all four songs on the EP while Jacob Durrett and Nick Brophy produced the project.

”Welcome To The Weekend” EP Review

The first track on the EP is titled, “Diamonds,” which sets the tone for the EP and is also the lead single. “Diamonds” gives us a glimpse into a time in Eden’s life when everything was so simple but so magical at the same time.

Shining like diamonds, dancing in the headlights / All the boys are watching us right now / Welcome to the weekend, everybody’s drinkin’ / Everybody’s here to throw it down

Y'allll. My new single #Diamonds is available everywhere and I couldn't be more pumped!! 💎💃 Link in bio.

A post shared by Brooke Eden (@brookeedenmusic) on


Eden co-wrote the song with Chris DeStefano and Brett James, two of Nashville’s most sought after songwriters. “Diamonds” shows off Eden’s vocal range and the ability to effortlessly blend pop into a country anthem. The lyrics stay true to Eden’s upbringing and is song that will resonate with many.

“Act Like You Don’t” (co-written by Cary Barlowe and Jesse Frasure)  is about missing your ex and him possibly missing you too, but needing him to act like he doesn’t. It can be hard to let go of a relationship that might not be the best for you, but it doesn’t make missing that person any easier.

So when you wanna have a late night drive-by / Drunk dial my phone ’round midnight / Say you miss me waking up by your side / Act like you don’t / Like you don’t 

“Act Like You Don’t” is certainly a song many will listen to after a break up, when they are still missing their ex, but know it’s for the best they are no longer together. “We’re better apart, we’re not what we need.” This is one of those upbeat and catchy songs that will surely have you singing along with the windows down and give you the strength to leave the past in the past.


“Silence Speaks” was co-written by Ingrid Andress and Will Weatherly and it is one of the most personal songs by Eden. “Silence Speaks” is a song about an ex of Eden’s who wanted to go on a “break,” but ended up with a new girlfriend a few days later.

Eden shares “’Silence Speaks” is a song I wrote to vent my emotions when I found out my ex had a new girlfriend.”

‘Cause I ain’t crazy / I’m a classy lady / And I ain’t wasting no more time on you / I bet you’re expecting / Some psycho ex girlfriend /  But I  don’t need words / Since silence speaks louder than / I hate you, I never want to see you again

The song is a play on the phrase “Silence speaks louder than words” and the lyrics are created from it. Eden shows that you do not always have to speak to get a clear message across. The track features a catchy melody with a strumming banjo to go along with, which creates a stomp your feet feeling to it. Eden vividly creates the image to the story with memorable lyrics and a soulful vocal performance that will leave you wanting more.

Rounding off the EP is the final track titled, “Sunday Mornin'” which was co-written by Justin Wilson. “Sunday Mornin'” has a punchy melody that is always a fan favorite at Eden’s shows. The song is about Eden not wanting to be just your Saturday night.

But boys like you don’t know girls like me / Girls like me / Ain’t just some pretty little thing, baby / Hey if I’m going to be your Saturday night / I’m going to be your Sunday mornin’

From one listen through it is clear to see why this is a fan favorite. It is an in your face attitude with guitars riffs that will have you up off your feet and dancing around. The lyrics show confidence that she’s more than just a fling and you have to give to get. Eden’s rock edge is in full force in this song and it is infused well with her pure country talent. “Sunday Mornin'” is the perfect “ending” to Eden’s weekend and will leave you wondering what happens during the week.

Overall, Welcome To The Weekend showcases almost every side of Eden and has something that everyone will love. With Eden’s raw raspiness to her voice, it is clear to see how she stands out on her own. Each song builds off one another and paints together what a “weekend” could be full of. Eden’s personality comes alive on each of the songs that will teach you a little about herself. Eden is one artist that you will NOT want to miss. Through Eden’s infectious personality and flare on stage, it is one live show that you will not want to miss. Eden is also working hard on her debut album that is scheduled to be released sometime in the following year.

Listen to “Welcome to the Weekend” on Spotify!

Purchase “Welcome to the Weekend” on iTunes!

Brooke Eden – Welcome to the Weekend EP

Marit Larsen Opens Up About Her New EP ‘Joni Was Right II’ and Writing With Joy Williams – Listen

Norwegian, singer, songwriter Marit Larsen has just released her latest EP, Joni Was Right II. This is a follow up EP from her independent release, Joni Was Right, which amassed over 1.6 million streams on Spotify.  You may remember Larsen from the duo, M2M, whose debut single, “Don’t Say You Love Me” became a global hit.

Larsen was featured as “Songwriter of the Week” on American Songwriter and her album, When the Morning Comes,  received rave reviews in Norway and earned her two nominations for the Norwegian Grammy, “Spellemansprisen,” in the categories Best Lyricist and Best Composer.


Joni was right II features five songs all produced and arranged by Larsen. The EP features the track, “Winter Never Lasts Forever.” “Winter Never Lasts Forever” was co-written by Joy Williams, formerly of The Civil Wars. The song features a powerful vocal performance by Larsen, with a soothing, melodic backing track. This perfectly embellishes the lyrical content of the song:

Set your little heart on fire / Go on / Step into the dark / You will never lose your way / No matter how far you stray

'Winter never lasts forever', track number four. #jwrpt2

A post shared by Marit Larsen (@larsenmarit) on


The rest of the tracks each tell their own story, with Larsen’s voice bringing them to life. Listening to the EP is a refreshing journey as Larsen proves to not only have strong vocals but a long lost sound of raw, talented vocals that aren’t drowned out by production. Joni Was Right II is filled with songs that tell stories in a way that will take listeners on a visual journey.  We got to interview Larsen about her EP, check out the interview below!

Variety Beat: How would you describe the overall feeling of your new EP Joni Was Right II?

Marit Larsen: To me, this EP sounds like September. Bittersweet, longing, hopeful, sun drenched, dwelling, ever-changing September. My favorite. It is filled with little hints and nods to Joni Mitchell both lyrically and musically. 

Variety Beat: Were there certain instances that happened that inspired some of the songs on Joni Was Right II

Larsen: Like every other song I’ve written, sparks stood out from the rest and slowly materialized into something more interesting. «Joni was right» is a lyric about childhood, about changing perspectives, excitement and eventually growing up. «Bluebelle mountain» is a metaphor about friendship and a tribute to my new favorite pastime.

Variety Beat: How did your co-write with Joy Williams come about and what was it like writing with her?

Larsen: We met through a mutual friend who is also a brilliant songwriter. The three of us collaborated beautifully; she has a unique presence and is a wandering poet. 

Variety Beat: What’s the most important part about making music to you?

Larsen: I’m in love with the whole journey of it. Getting an idea, struggling to let it unfold, deciding when it’s complete, then arranging, imagining and producing it and leaving something in the world that would not have existed had it not been for that spark and moment in time. It’s definitely got a magical flair to it.

Variety Beat: What’s in store for you following the release of your EP?

Larsen: We’re wrapping up a tour in Norway, then I’m flying out to Brooklyn, NY to spend some time in my new home there. Meanwhile, I’ll keep spreading the word about ‘Joni was right’ online through my little indie label. This is such a wild year for us. 

Variety Beat: What’s something you want fans to know about you?

Larsen: My home is where my music is, and even if I may not have been to your city for a while, I keep you in mind when I create new things and adore all the feedback I get on my socials. I’m so thankful for all the devoted ears and hearts out there.

Listen to Marit Larsen’s EP!