NYCS First Impression: Caylee Hammack ‘If It Wasn’t For You’
Today marks the debut of a star in the making! Critics and fans alike may notice Caylee Hammack’s fiery red hair right away, but it’s her voice, her attitude, her talent, and her undeniable charm that declares her staying power. Her brand new debut record If It Wasn’t For You is her story, and boy is it a good one.
Unexpectedly, Hammack begins her record with a song called “Just Friends.” In the beginning, the song appears to be a vocal-based performance with a simple backing, but then the song opens up and explodes into a powerhouse introduction. Just from the first song, fans know that they are in for something special with this project.
Hammack keeps the energy up with previously released tunes “Redhead” and “Preciatcha.” “Redhead” is the song we all needed. Featuring megastar, Reba McEntire, the two ladies jam about all the characteristics that badass redhead chicks possess “Oh, they got their hands full, trying to tame a pistol / Spitfire, freckles that could run among the dead.” Of course, “Preciatcha” has a quieter energy, but still hits just as hard metaphorically. The song is about Hammack heeding her mother’s advice, and holding on to the valuable lessons learned from pain and heartache.
Songs like “Just Like You” and “King Size Bed” showcase the sassy side of the singer-songwriter’s personality. “Just Like You” focuses on getting revenge on an ex-lover, similar to the vibe of Carrie Underwood’s smash hit “Before He Cheats.” On the other hand, “King Size Bed” is a sensual and cheeky jam about a romantic interest.
Family is clearly a central theme on the new record too. In “Family Tree,” Hammack’s debut song, the singer lets her fans in on the good, the bad, and the weird in her family. This type of humble honesty is refreshing in such a young talent. Similarly, in “Sister,” Hammack pays homage to her sibling, expressing the privilege of having a sister to look up to, cry with, and celebrate the good times with.
Hammack continues to hit her sweet spot on personal, yet relatable songs, where she divulges her truth. “Looking For A Lighter,” one of our favorites is a clever tale about heartbreak. The singer’s vocals shine on this track, but it is her creative way of personifying and comparing fire, smoke, and lighters with the painful demise of a push-pull relationship. Lyrics like “Spark up a memory / I’m burning for you so bad” are laced throughout the entire song.
“Forged In A Fire” is another personal anecdote that was put to music. Hammack finds inspiration in life’s journey throughout this song. She eventually draws the conclusion that she was meant to be a fighter. The song conveys a quiet sense of strength, which is refreshing. Hammack continues her story-telling with “Small Town Hypocrite,” a sonically pleasing song inspired by the singer’s move to Nashville and subsequent break-up. Although heartbreaking, the song is one of her best.
Similarly, the spectacular song, “Mean Something,” which features incredible fellow artists Ashley McBryde and Tenille Townes, paints the picture of women trying their best to find their footing in life through all the adversity. The song is an anthem in the making, and completely relevant to the battle females in the industry are enduring in country music right now.
“Ain’t we all just trying to mean something, mean something / AIn’t we all just trying to be something, be something”
Ending with the song “New Level of Life,” Hammack seems to have made it full circle. She acknowledges her trials and tribulations in love and life but manages to come out the other side stronger, brighter, and happier. The uplifting and creative tune is the perfect way to end such a strong debut.
Hammack’s first full project was the perfect introduction to her talent. She truly created something that is unique to her and aesthetically pleasing in every area. This particular collection of songs is going to resonate with fans across the genre and beyond. Hammack is on fire, and we cannot wait to hear these songs live!
To keep up with Caylee Hammack follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
- “Mean Something”
- “New Level of Life”
- “Small Town Hypocrite”
- “Looking For A Lighter”
If It Wasn’t For You Tracklist:
- Just Friends
- Redhead (featuring Reba McEntire)
- Looking For A Lighter
- Just Like You
- King Size Bed
- Forged In The Fire
- Family Tree
- Mean Something (featuring Ashley McBryde and Tenille Townes)
- Small Town Hypocrite
- New Level Of Life
If It Wasn’t For You 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.
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