By Aaron Wagner
Mickey Guyton has had one of the best voices in country music for the past five plus years. Save for a few early breakout moments, she wasn’t getting the credit she so deserved. But, it appears that with her latest EP Bridges, she’s ready to take off in a big way.
This EP touches on some deep topics that isn’t covered too frequently in country music. It’s not just one song either, it’s the theme of the EP that she properly titled Bridges.
While some artists release songs with a deep message that seem forced and awkward, it comes naturally to Mickey on this project. Where some songs from others come across as overly-self help or a preachy life-coach, Mickey sings from the perspective of that close friend and an ally. Most importantly from a lyrical and production standpoint, there’s no cheesy elements or cheesy phrases like “we’re all in this together” that are PR clickbait. These songs all sound like they could be radio hits.
“Heaven Down Here” is what she opens the EP with and it’s my favorite on the entire project. Her soaring vocals during the chorus is one of the best in the business and “We can use, we can use, we can use” is a catchy rift to conclude the chorus. She then sings the title track “Bridges.” As the title suggests, Mickey wants to empower people to listen to each other, come to the middle and have conversations to break down barriers. It’s such a catchy and uplifting song that has Mickey reaching her higher octave.
Of all the important messages on this album, “What Are You Gonna Tell Her” might be the song that’s the sharpest emotionally. This song will hit you like a ton of bricks. It makes you stop in your tracks when you listen closely to the lyrics. She will be performing this tonight at the ACM Awards.
“Rose” is a fun and light song that is a nice change of pace from the serious and important messages of the first few songs. It’s a great soundtrack to that sunny day drinking excursion with friends. She then gets a bit mysterious on “Salt.” It’s a story that has one listening intently to the lyrics to see how the storyline unfolds.
She wraps up the EP with the power anthem I had hoped would be her performance at tonight’s ACM’s, “Black Like Me.” Radio stations picked this up on their own this summer with all of the attention and focus on social justice reforms. But again, it’s not a cheap or cheesy song; it packs a punch with the lyrics and leaves you with an identifiable hook that you’ll listen to on repeat.
I’m not only glad that we get new music from Mickey Guyton with this EP, but that finally…it appears like she’s getting the recognition for her voice that is long overdue.