Erin Kinsey: ’40 East’ – EP Review

Erin Kinsey’s debut EP, 40 East featuring the viral hit, “Just Drive,” is out today, March 25th on all streaming platforms. 40 East is sure to be the soundtrack to all your summer road trips. Listen to the brand new music below and check out our full review.

Drawing inspirations from the likes of Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift, rising singer-songwriter Erin Kinsey is determined to make a splash in country music. For the 21-year-old Texas native, her debut EP, 40 East, is about showing listeners who she is, as both an artist and a person.

“Naming this debut EP ‘40 East’ is very special to me,” shares Kinsey in a statement. “Highway 40 East is the road that gets me most of the way from Texas to Nashville, and it’s a road I’ve driven many times since I started coming to town with my family, my boyfriend, my friends, and Chewy (my dog). All of these songs, and this project, are a reflection of my life up until now, and one of the biggest parts of my story is chasing this crazy dream of mine. What I didn’t know, is that 40 East was taking me to so many of my dreams coming true, including this EP.”

Kinsey moved to Nashville at the age of 17 and began working on her craft. It paid off quickly with the viral hit and first release from the EP, “Just Drive.” The twangy and romantic mid-tempo tells the tale of a girl and a boy who don’t need to do anything fancy except drive around and listen to music. Inspired by a situation with her longtime boyfriend, Kinsey told Country Swag about her inspiration for that song in an exclusive interview. “He made a playlist and we were listening to it together,” she began of her longtime boyfriend on their way to a fancy date, “I remember about halfway there, a thought came into my mind of just like I wish it was further away because I’m having so much fun with him driving around.”

Likewise, “This Ain’t Heaven” talks about finding solace in someone’s arms. On the up-tempo, she admits that she’s “so caught up in the way, your arms wrapped around me,” that she’s convinced she’s found heaven on Earth. Meanwhile, she finds home with someone special on the airy and ethereal “I Got You.”

And I got the Texas sky // When I look into your eyes // It’s like I never left,” She sings. “If home is where the heart is // I can’t lose // ‘Cause I got you // Boy, I got you // Turns out it doesn’t matter where we are // The best part of home // Still holds my heart.”

On “Hate This Hometown,” Kinsey wants to leave her hometown behind her, but she just can’t. Once again, her special someone is tied to every street and every moment in this town in a way that just brings back the best memories. While most songs about hometowns are filled with nostalgia or bad memories, Kinsey offers a clever twist on the usual trope. She can’t hate her hometown because he’s so intimately tied to it. She admits that she was ready to fly and leave the place in her rearview, but it’s impossible.

“It’s amazing what a little time and space can do to a place // When I drive down these roads // See you and me at 16 // When I never could know // Coming back would be so sweet // Every chance I wanna go now // Every memory makes me slow down // You make it hard // To hate this hometown”

“Better On Me” is the EP’s penultimate track, showing Kinsey’s sassy, moving-on-from-an-ex side. She may be returning his stuff here, but she’s feeling a tad bit petty in the best way possible.

“It looked better on me // You said that that faded green // Sure did bring out my eyes // And boy, I hate to agree // But it looked better on me // Hey, if it helps you sleep // Then I’m glad you got it back // Even though we both know that It looked better on me”

The 40 East EP is bookended with a radio edit of “Just Drive,” and we can’t wait to hear it on our favorite country stations. Erin Kinsey, a 2022 Country Swag Artist to Watch, is certainly a rising star, and we suspect that “Just Drive” is about to be her first of many hits, and the perfect soundtrack to all your summer road trips.

40 East EP Tracklist:

  1. “Just Drive” (Erin Kinsey, Michael August, Josh Ronen)
  2. “This Ain’t Heaven” (Erin Kinsey, Michael August, Josh Ronen)
  3. “I Got You” (Erin Kinsey, Barrett Baber, Lonnie Fowler)
  4. “Hate This Hometown” (Erin Kinsey, Dave Cohen, Kathleen Higgins)
  5. “Better On Me” (Erin Kinsey, Michael August, Josh Ronen)
  6. “Just Drive” (Radio Edit) (Erin Kinsey, Michael August, Josh Ronen)

Erin Kinsey’s debut EP ’40 East’ is officially here!

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40 East EP is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.