Relative Nashville newcomer Bailey Bryan proves she’s wise beyond her 19 years in her debut EP So Far, out today. The Sequim, Washington, native has an undeniable pop sound, which makes sense with one glance at her list of influences: Taylor Swift, Chance The Rapper, Drake. While her lyrics and sound definitely capture her generation, a certain maturity is present in her songwriting. She’s also catching the eye of some of Nashville’s hottest stars – Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott nominated Bryan as a Grammy Artist of Tomorrow in December of last year. Bryan was also recently selected as one of 15 artists to take part in Musical.ly’s “Next Wave April” event on Sunday, April 16th at 2:00pm CT.
Bryan’s connection to her young audience is evident in the video for her debut single “Own It.” Cleverly filmed using current popular social media platforms, Bailey sings about owning her character and her imperfections: “Own your coolness, own your crazy, own your story in the making / Own your passion, own your style / Own your stupid, own your brave, and own your wins and your mistakes / Own your passion, own your smile.” It’s a lesson on loving yourself, backed by bright, layered pop production and tech-savvy visuals.
In her video “Behind the Song – Own It” Bryan explains that the song is “basically just a list of quirks and little things that make me who I am – things that I thought were negative at one point or things that I really love about myself with the underlying message of just being proud of who you are and owning that despite whether or not other people may approve.”
The remainder of the EP also marks a strong debut effort. “Hard Drive Home” is a heartbreaker, dealing with the emotional loss of someone you love. “Life Goes On” picks up the pieces of a broken heart and urges you to continue pushing forward, not giving up.
The standout track is “Scars,” written by Bryan, Tom Douglas and producer Dennis Matkosky. It was inspired by the giant scar stretching across Bryan’s back, the result of back surgery to correct scoliosis. She sings: “Not a stain on my complexion, but a beautiful imperfection / Like a wound on my guitar, show you how I got this far / Been rocking, been reeling / I’m broken, but I’m healing / I am who I am, we wouldn’t be who we are … without our scars.” Bryan embraces her scars and instead of letting them be a sign of weakness, she uses them as sources of empowerment.
The final track on the EP, “Used To,” is a heavy hitter, reflecting on her own personal struggle of moving across the country to pursue a career in the often-volatile music industry. Honesty and positivity exude from each track, all co-written by Bryan. The soulful EP invites listeners to join her on a very personal journey, allowing the world to see exactly who she is as a person and an artist. Bryan is currently out on tour with Kane Brown after finishing up a run of shows with Dan + Shay earlier this year. On May 6, Bryan makes her Opry debut, and she’s been added to main stage lineups for several spring and summer festivals, including Stagecoach and Watershed.
Follow Bryan on her social media accounts: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. So Far is available on iTunes now.