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Carly Pearce Wears Her Heart On Her Sleeve On '29'!

Carly Pearce wears her heart on her sleeve in this latest collection of songs. The songstress who has had a tough year as she suffered the loss of friend and collaborator Busbee as well as getting divorced from fellow Country star Michael Ray, leaves nothing unsaid in the 7 track album, ’29’, which came out today. The album features the previously released tribute to the late Busbee, ‘Show Me Around’ which Pearce co-wrote with Emily Shackleton and Ben West. She has always been honest with her fans through her music and written about what she knows. However, the events of this past year have allowed Pearce to hone in on the therapeutic nature of songwriting and have shone a light on her ability to write the most compelling lyrics.

The way we listen to music these days encourages us to pop an album on shuffle, but there is a clear journey that this record takes you on if you listen from start to finish. It’s a journey of loss, of learning and of finding yourself again. In a recent interview, Pearce spoke candidly about how therapeutic songwriting is to her and about how she shared these feelings with her closest friends - her co-writers. Together they craft some of Pearce’s most personal songs to date whilst still making them relatable to her fans. There are two main tear-jerkers within the seven song collection; the title track and ‘Show Me Around’. On ’29’ Carly swoons in the chorus “29 is the year that I got married and divorced/held on for dear life but I still fell off the horse/from a Miss to a Mrs then the other way around/the year I was going to live it up now I’m never going to live it down”. The intricate details of her personal life are woven carefully into a hard hitting chorus. The verses speak more broadly about where you expect to be at different stages of your life and where society expects you to be - a universal topic that many in their 20’s fret about.

Credit: Allister Ann
Credit: Allister Ann

In ‘Show Me Around’ Pearce and co-writers Ben West and Emily Shackleton craft a beautiful metaphor around the idea of life after death; “I heard you got a brand new place, feels like a million miles away, I hope I get to meet you there someday” the song begins. It’s a wonderfully written song, again, that many can relate to and take comfort from. The journey of the record finishes with ‘Day One’ a song that discusses the different stages of moving on and how it can all become much clearer after day one. Pearce spoke about how, when she wrote this, she hadn’t got through day one but looking back now, that last verse is where she feels she’s at; “There’ll come a time when waking up on your side of the bed won’t feel so strange”. Concluding on this track gives the listener hope for the future, though could quite easily lead you back into the first track again. It leaves the listener feeling satisfied, full of positivity after the rollercoaster of emotion that came before it on the record.

Much of Pearce’s previous releases have leant slightly more towards the pop side of country music, partly due to producer, Busbee. Pearce’s songs still have that pop sensibility within the melodic hooks but production and arrangement wise its deep seated in Pearce’s Country roots. Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne produced six of the seven tracks. In ‘Next Girl’ for example, there’s a clear Country instrumentation - banjo’s, mandolin’s and slide/pedal steel guitars - but melodically it has a pop feel to it. From the way the last word in a lyrical phrase lands on the down beat of the next bar in the verses to the simplicity of the hook in the chorus, it leans into that country-pop vibe. Whereas the ballads are deep seated in their Country arrangement, with strings giving space for the cleverly written lyrics to breathe.

This record is Carly Pearce at her most vulnerable; the honesty and integrity she displays within these songs is inspiring. She truly wears her heart on her sleeve, which is something to be admired. It is her most mature album to date and a must listen - just remember to have some tissues handy for those tear-jerking moments!

'29' is available to buy and stream now!


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