NYCS First Impression: Kelleigh Bannen ‘Favorite Colors’
If you’re searching for a record that is emotional, raw, fierce, honest, and impactful, look no further than Kelleigh Bannen’s debut record Favorite Colors. The independent artist showcases true artistry in all of her music, but this record is all her. She throws caution to the wind, and delivers an album that is authentic to who she is as a person.
All co-written by Bannen, the record consists of fourteen well-rounded and vulnerable tracks. All reflective in nature, the songstress leans on themes of love, love lost, empowerment, and story-telling. Beginning with, “Damn I Still Love You,” the singer-songwriter reflects about running into an old flame, surprising herself with the revelation that she’s still in love. On the contrary, “Sleeping Alone” is reflective and a tad melancholy, but ultimately, it is a powerful song about being on the other side of things, overcoming the heartache.
Both “Happy Birthday” and “Time Machine” are songs that revisit the past, leaning on the nostalgia that is laced throughout the entire project. The former shows off Bannen’s vocals as she reminisces about all the birthdays she spent with her ex. She just calls to say “Happy Birthday.” The latter skews towards a more general wondering, eventually transitioning into remembering memories with an old lover. She cleverly calls songs, a “stranger’s perfume,” and landmarks- time machines that bring you back to those exact moments.
Like “Happy Birthday,” Bannen included the two other songs off her EP on this record, “John Who” and “The Joneses.” The first song is smooth, soulful, and thoughtful. It is inspired by a whirlwind romance with a man named John, who Bannen is seemingly trying to get over after he just up and leaves. She sings “I need a clean slate from this heartache / I need a reason to forget,” later adding “I need a don’t look back / Kiss that stops me in my tracks.” In “The Joneses” Bannen uses quick, impactful lyrics to describe the old age adage that there’s no point in trying to “keep up with Joneses.” Like with her music, Bannen refuses to fit in and continues to blaze her own path and create her own mold. To learn more about these songs, check out our Swag Spotlight with the singer-songwriter from earlier this year.
Four of the songs were pre-released, including “Deluxe,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Diamonds,” and “Faith in You.” Although all different in nature, the group of songs are all inspiring and hopeful. “Deluxe” is inspired by an extravagant type of love. She compares a man’s advances to high-end luxury in the sonically-pleasing song. “Boys Don’t Cry” is a plea to girls who are going through a break-up, not to compare themselves to how guys go through a break-up. She encourages the ladies to “pull yourself together,” and of course to “get to getting over.” Finally, both “Diamonds” and “Faith In You” pay tribute to having someone to lean on, when times get tough, describing long-term commitment as the holy grail.
Favorite Colors boasts two true-blue upbeat tunes with “Suit” and “Haters.” The songs are on the opposite side of the spectrum, when it comes to context and instrumentals; however, they are both indicative of passion and truth-telling. “Suit” is a romantic, flirty track, where Bannen daydreams about her wedding day, cheek-fully singing “I can see you in a suit and tie / I can see you at the end of an aisle.” On the other hand, “Haters” confronts the social media monsters, calling out the trolls that hide behind their technology to bring others down. Both of these songs prove that no topic is off-limits.
Finally, “Your Favorite Colors” and the closing track, “Long Shadow” may be the best of the beautiful collection of songs on this project. Both showcase her songwriting chops, projecting the brutally-honest vulnerability that is so important in great story-telling. “Your Favorite Colors” depicts the ebbs and flows of getting through heartbreak. She admits the truth that “I don’t know where love goes when it’s gone.” In the later, “Long Shadow” the singer contemplates her thoughts, ultimately realizing that the ones we loved and lost, never really leave us.
Overall Bannen’s body of work is innovative and pleasing to listen to. It’s safe to say that Bannen’s goal of “telling stories and bringing people together” has been accomplished, as her record far exceeded expectations.
To keep up with Kelleigh Bannen follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Favorite Colors 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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