By Aaron Wagner
Hailing from Colorado, former The Voice contestant Kristi Hoopes is making her formal introduction into country music with the release of her debut EP, Life of the Party.
Life of the Party is a six-song EP that has Kristi giving fans and country listeners an authentic and vulnerable glimpse into who she is as an artist.
I personally hadn’t listened to Kristi’s music prior to this EP, but I can confidently say that I understand who she is as an artist. By being a songwriter on each of the six songs, you not only know these stories come from her, but you genuinely believe the stories she shares and feel the same emotions that she’s singing about.
Adding to the strength of this EP is that it was produced by Nashville icon Paul Worley. (For context, he’s produced everyone from Lady A and The Chicks to Martina McBride and Sara Evans.)
While it’s not country-pop, I struggle to accurately put the sound of the project in a box, because quite frankly….it’s just good country music to listen to.
“Not Yet” is the perfect introduction to the EP. The harmonica filled song has Kristi singing about taking on life on her own timeline, dealing with the highs and lows, the celebrations and heartache, and everything else that comes her way, which she sings about on the rest of the project.
One of my favorite songs on the EP is “Don’t Worry Mama.” It’s one of the realest, hit-you-in-the-feels songs about chasing your dreams and saying goodbye to home and family. Her approach eloquently balances missing home and being happy chasing her dreams, which is how a lot of people in this town feel.
“What Comes Next” is a fun song about being in love and head over heels, wondering how those moments could ever be topped but I really love when a song title throws you a curveball and that’s the case with “Life of the Party.” It’s a hauntingly, beautiful song about how even those that appear to be having the time of their life, as the ‘life of the party’, are oftentimes hurting themselves.
Then there’s “Complicated”, a groovy little number acknowledging that life and love can be complicated, but with the upbeat personality of the song, Kristi is taking it head on anyways. She wraps up the project with “Ghosts of the Greats” and gives listeners a bluegrass vibe as she showcases her soaring vocals on the final track of the EP.
Simply put, I really enjoyed listening to these six songs and appreciate that Kristi wore her emotions on her sleeve and gave listeners a true glimpse into who she is as an artist. She’s just getting started but she’s off to a great start.