Back in September, rising singer-songwriter and former Swag Spotlight artist, Hailey Whitters released her EP The Days, a project that featured six of the songstress’ most profound songs. Flash forward to today, the undeniably talented singer dropped her full-length debut album, The Dream, which combines her EP with five other honest, authentic, and inspiring songs.
The record begins with her prolific single, “Ten Year Town,” a song that paints the picture of what it was like for Whitters, as she was trying to figure out if she should continue to try to ‘make it’ in Nashville. Written with the exceptional Brandy Clark, the track is one that will be a staple for Whitters for a long time coming.
Another song that is arguably the best on the new project is the previously released “Janice at the Hotel Bar.” Reminiscent of Lori McKenna’s awe-inspiring, “Humble and Kind”, Whitters combined forces with McKenna to express a real-life tale about an encounter with a wise woman named Janice. The song offers advice on how to live a good life, suggesting simple lessons like “get on the pill if you ain’t ready to start a family” and “make good love, good company.”
As soon as the song was released, fans took to it, and lifestyle blogger and local Nashville businesswoman and personality, Lanydn Hutchinson (Living with Landyn) who originally met Janice and told her story, started encouraging her followers to tag #WomenLikeJanice on whoever inspired them the way Landyn was inspired. Those photos made it into the lyric video below.
Whitters’ shared in a press release, “We get so consumed with the next achievement and accomplishment […] and what’s next that you forget something you’re living right now,” adding, “don’t forget this is also the dream.” We wonder if this revelation had anything to do with what she decided to call the album.
The songstress continues to remind us to be appreciative of life’s little moments in “The Days,” while expressing her truth in the breathtaking “Loose Strings,” a song about both love and loss. In “Heartland,” Whitters once again sings about life not going the way she thought it would, but alas, she knows she can always fall back on her Midwestern roots. “Heart – land in the middle of nowhere.”
The record also features “Happy People”, a song that Whitters wrote and was recorded by Little Big Town on their album, The Breaker. This new version is a mid-tempo jam that is laced with authenticity, gritty lyrics, and a traditional-country rooted instrumental. It focuses on the simple, yet complex concept of happiness and how to obtain it. Whitters’ sings “You are never gonna be it / By taking someone else’s away / Never take it for granted / You ain’t gotta understand it / But here’s to whatever puts a smile on your face / Whatever makes you happy, people.”
Like in the slow-jam “Red Wine & Blue,” Whitter’s relies on a sultry vocal with bluesy instrumentation to convey the message of her rendition of Chris Stapleton’s “The Devil Always Made Me Think Twice.” On the other hand, “All The Cool Girls” portrays a secretly vulnerable character, a character that many girls can relate to in today’s day in age.
Finally, the record closes with another standout on the project, a song entitled “Livin’ The Dream.” Whitters inspires people to look at every step, every trial, and every hardship as part of ‘The Dream.’ For the songstress, her grind in Nashville, which included waiting on tables and living in a small apartment are all important parts of her journey, her story, and ultimately, her dream.
“Oh the one thing I’ve learned is that the world keeps on spinning / Love is the only thing that makes it go round / I’ve given it all with the time I’ve been given / I’m out here livin / Yeah we all just livin / The dream”
Whitters is an artist that is done trying to fit whatever mold the industry tries to push female singers into. She wants to introduce her fans to real her, which means conveying her truth and open dialogue in her music. Her artistry rivals that of any established superstar in country music, but it is her infectious vocals, stellar songwriter, and pure talent and perseverance that is going to take her far. Congratulations to Hailey on making ‘The Dream’ a reality.
The Dream Tracklist:
1. “Ten Year Town”
2. “The Days”
3. “Red Wine & Blue”
4. “Dream Girl”
5. “Loose Strings”
7. “Janice at the Hotel Bar”
8. “Happy People”
9. “The Devil Always Made Me Think Twice”
10. “All The Cool Girls”
11. “Livin’ The Dream”
NYCountry Swag Picks:
1. “Janice at the Hotel Bar”
2. “Ten Year Town”
3. “Livin’ The Dream”
The Dream 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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