NYCS First Impression: Lauren Jenkins ‘No Saint’
Almost 3 years after releasing her debut EP, Lauren Jenkins: The Nashville Sessions, Big Machine Records recording artist Lauren Jenkins released her debut studio album today entitled, No Saint. The Texas-born, Carolina raised singer-songwriter has been named an artist to watch by The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Billboard, and was also chosen as a member of the ‘Class of 2019’ by influential radio DJ Bobby Bones. Jenkins co-wrote on each of the 10 tracks with a variety of songwriters, including some of Nashville’s biggest names, Ross Copperman, Liz Rose, and Shane McAnally. She also co-produced on 6 out of 10 tracks on the record.
That’s not all, she recently debuted her original short film titled ‘Running Out Of Road’ at Sundance, in which she wrote, co-produced and starred in to accompany the release of her debut album. The country newcomer has a passion for storytelling, putting out a record that gives you all the feels. Showing that she not only has the radio-friendly singles but the songs that have raw emotion exposing herself completely to her audience. She combines traditional country roots with Americana influences while showing off her unique vocals and powerful lyrics, giving everyone a well-balanced breakup album.
The record opens to a strong start with the lead single, “Give Up The Ghost,” giving off the ultimate rock vibe while telling the story about her lover’s former flame interfering with their present relationship. “You wanna be my future, I see it in your eyes / But the past still haunts you, even after all this time / She’s drivin’ you crazy and it’s makin’ me lose my mind” She then moves into a fun uptempo song about unrequited love called, “You’ll Never Know.” It’s a song we can all relate to, liking someone from afar without them ever knowing.
After, she slows it down to one of the songs she had previously released, “Maker’s Mark And You.” Her raspy vocals and unfiltered lyrics tell a story about the lows in life, singing about the three things she gravitates to, to make her feel better, “Maker’s Mark, Marlboros, and you,” before realizing it’s not the best decision and having to quit once again. The next track, “Payday” brings out her traditional country roots, creating a radio-friendly tune about hitting the bar to make the pain go away. “All this whiskey in my veins / No more heartache / No more heartbreak / I’ll be okay / Drinkin’ my payday away”
Slowing it down once again, the next two songs on the record are ones she had released in anticipation of the album coming out. The fifth song is her title track, “No Saint.” Her grainy whispers to smooth vocals set the tone for this track. Making it her most honest and vulnerable song yet, not holding back while she is grappling with forgiveness. Jenkins is telling a story confessing her flaw of not being able to forgive someone in a past relationship while at the same time saying it is okay not to be perfect. “If there’s a cure for bein’ pure again / I can’t find it anywhere / And I don’t wanna hate you / Heaven says I need to forgive you / But I ain’t no saint”
The next song is the title track of her original short film, “Running Out Of Road.” Keeping the pace from the last song, this is a mid-tempo ballad once again showing off her gritty vocals and her songwriting. Telling a story about persistence, that memories will follow you wherever you go but you have to keep going even when there is no road left to be traveled. “I keep tryin’ to find the place where I won’t find your ghost / But I keep runnin’, I keep runnin’ / Runnin’ out of road”
The last four songs on the album have been out since 2016, originally debuting on her EP. Being reintroduced on her first full-length album, the seventh song is called “Cadillac.” This track is a breath of fresh air with its easy-going melody and soft vocals. It’s a song about hitting the road and taking life as it goes. The next song, “My Bar” switches it up with its catchy upbeat tune with a rocker edge to it. It’s a song about being invaded by your ex with their new girlfriend, taking over the one space they know is yours. “You got the girl, you got your car / You get to say you broke my heart / Baby, now you have gone too far / Ain’t gonna let you take my bar”
Nearing the end of the album the ninth song “All Good Things” is sure to be a hit. She joined forces with co-writers, Ross Copperman, Blair Daly, and Shane McAnally to create a positive song about not letting anyone take your happiness anyway. The songs entrancing melody brings together all three co-writers to sing back up, their voices harmonizing perfectly. Jenkins then closes out the record with the ballad “Blood”, slowing it down to show off her authentic musicianship and songwriting. She sings about watching someone close to her fall victim to drugs and alcohol. “Rippin’ all your veins out won’t change a thing / Paintin’ angels black won’t wash away your pain / Dyin’s no way to prove we’re not the same / The blood in you is the blood in me”
For Jenkins first full-length studio album she did not hold back. No Saint showcases her unbelievable creativity and passionate storytelling while capturing her unique vocals. No Saint is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Make sure to take a listen below and to keep up on all things Lauren Jenkins, follow her on Instagram.
No Saint 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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