HunterGirl: ‘Tennessee Girl’ – Debut EP Review

HunterGirl shares her debut EP, Tennessee Girl, out now, June 7th, on all streaming platforms. Listen to the brand new project below.

After coming in second on Season 20 of American Idol and making her Grand Ole Opry debut earlier this year, country starlet HunterGirl is ready to make a statement with her debut label EP, Tennessee Girl, out now. Released through 19 Recordings/BBR Music Group/BMG Nashville, the EP features six new tracks written or co-written by the rising star.

For the project, HunterGirl, née Tristyn Hunter Wolkonowski, enlisted co-writers that included Lindsay Rimes, Joybeth Taylor, David Fanning, Andy Sheridan, and more. The collection is inspired by the likes of Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson, and P!NK, showing the young singer-songwriter’s versatility and range as she effortlessly floats between the rocking uptempo of “Bad Boy” to the vulnerability of her first single, “Ain’t About You.”

Tennessee Girl shows the different sides of my personality. I separate songs into two categories in my head, Blue Jean and Leather Jacket songs. Blue Jean songs are the ones I write in my bedroom opening my diary to the world. Leather Jacket songs are where I want to feel tougher and have fun,” She shares in a statement. “Most people have only seen the Blue Jean side of my personality, but with this 6-song EP, I have the chance to show the full picture of me as an artist.”  

“Bad Decisions” kicks off the album, leaning more leather jacket than blue jean as the singer admits that, like most twenty-somethings, she’s great at making bad decisions. Whether it’s having a few too many or choosing the wrong guy, it’s an utterly relatable anthem for any girl who’s ever been there. “I guess I’m good at making bad decisions,” she muses over roaring guitars and catchy pop beats. “Raise it up if you’re with me, let’s make a memory we might forget.”

Similarly, “Bad Boy” finds her dealing with those bad decisions, this time in the form of men. She’s looking for a tattooed, guitar-slinging bad boy that her daddy won’t approve of. It’s driving pop-rock-country that finds the Tennessee native attracted to guys who are no good and no good for her. With Kelly Clarkson-meets-PINK sensibilities, the track is a roaring gem of a crowd pleaser. 

“Yeah I know my daddy’s gonna really hate this song // Yeah I got it bad for someone bad for me // You can really kiss // I can barely breathe // Only kind of crazy // I could  ever need // And it’ll only be good, only be good to me… I really got it bad for a bad boy”

While HunterGirl can rock and roar with the best of them, the singer-songwriter truly shines on her more vulnerable ballads. Case in point: her single, “Ain’t About You.” Here, she deals with her own insecurities faced in the pursuit of her dreams, contemplating if she should give up. “It was the most honest and vulnerable I’d ever been in a song,” she reveals to Billboard. “I wrote it in my bedroom and never thought anyone would hear it. That song and people’s reception to it changed my songwriting because I realized people needed to hear the not-so-pretty parts of your life, the really hard things I was scared to say. After that it made choosing [songs for] the EP so much easier, because I’m like, ‘I’m just going to be myself and hopefully, it touches somebody else out there.’”

Likewise, “Clockworks” is a clear standout, a special and introspective ballad about the passage of time, and how you can never get it back. Do you hear that? There goes another second that you can’t get back, take it from me, She begins, immediately grabbing a listener’s attention as she sings about her grandfather as he battles with memory loss. “It’s like waking up one day full grown, and all you want is to put time in reverse, but that ain’t how the clock works.”

The EP ends with another clear standout, “Pretty Much,” which finds her grappling with the insecurities that are common among many women of all ages. Here, she ponders “If pretty is as pretty does/then who the hell decided what pretty was? And if perfect’s in, then count me out, ‘Cause I got better things that I can think about, there are days in the mirror when I don’t feel like enough, but I’m getting pretty good at not thinking ‘bout… pretty much.” Much like “Ain’t About You,” “Pretty Much” is an empowering anthem that once again finds her dealing with self-doubt and overcoming.

For HunterGirl, her new EP, Tennessee Girl, truly allows the rising star to showcase all sides of her personality from feisty firecracker to vulnerable chanteuse, and everything in between.

Tennessee Girl EP Track List:

  1. Bad Decisions (Tristyn Hunter Wolkonowski, Lindsay Rimes, Joybeth Taylor)
  2. Clockworks (Tristyn Hunter Wolkonowski, Lindsay Rimes, Joybeth Taylor)
  3. Weather in Tennessee (Tristyn Hunter Wolkonowski, Warren Garrett, Joybeth Taylor, Gabe Foust)
  4. Ain’t About You (Tristyn Hunter Wolkonowski)
  5. Bad Boy (Tristyn Hunter Wolkonowski, Lindsay Rimes, Greg Bates)
  6. Pretty Much (Tristyn Hunter Wolkonowski, David Fanning, Josh Kear, Andy Sheridan)

HunterGirl shares her debut EP, ‘Tennessee Girl,’ out now on all streaming platforms.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future HunterGirl releases.

Check her website for tour dates, including with Luke Bryan on his Mind of a Country Boy Tour 2024.

To keep up with the singer-songwriter, follow her on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook.

Tennessee Girl 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.