Hailey Whitters Makes a Case for Country Stardom on The Dream

February 28, 2020

Alongside greats like Brandy Clark & Lori McKenna, Whitters showcases her heartfelt style on second LP

Last year, the Iowa-raised, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Hailey Whitters released “Ten Year Town,” an emotional number about something country artists have been moaning about for the entirety of the genre’s existence: small towns, how they trap us and how they’re always there waiting, even if you’re lucky enough to make it out.

But “Ten Year Town,” now the opener on Whitters’ new album The Dream—which she fully funded herself with money she earned waiting tables and plucked from her savings—doesn’t feel sorry for itself, or bemoan a geographical situation. Co-written by country great Brandy Clark, “Ten Year Town” doesn’t just long for escape, it actually manifests Whitters’ departure. In the first verse, she admits, “thought I’d be a big star now,” but she’s still wasting away in a home that wasn’t supposed to be permanent. Yet, her outlook remains overwhelmingly positive. “Dreams come true and I think mine will,” Whitters sings.

As if “Ten Year Town” was some miraculous vehicle to will her success into existence, Whitters began steadily gathering acclaim last year, securing a coveted number two spot on Rolling Stone’s list of 2019’s best country songs and touring with Maren Morris and Brent Cobb. This year, she adds Tanya Tucker and Jordan Davis to that list. It’s just the right amount of clout to draw attention to the follow-up to her giddy-up 2015 debut Black Sheep. The resulting album, The Dream, proves there’s so much more wisdom where “Ten Year Town” came from. Whitters has continued to one-up herself with each single’s release. With this album, she graduates from Dream-er to doer.

Read the full article: https://www.pastemagazine.com/music/hailey-whitters/hailey-whitters-the-dream-review/

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