It’s early in the year, but I’ll go out on a limb to say that 2015 is the year that women in country music reclaim the top of the charts, and that Mickey Guyton will play a huge role in forging this new path.
The Capitol Records signee makes a bold step onto the scene with her anthemic single “Better Than You Left Me,” which impacted radio today. The song tells the story of gaining strength in the time that has passed since being jilted by a former lover, and refusing to allow him back into her life. She sings, I’m stronger than the woman/The one that you knew back then/So don’t you think I’ll take you back/Like every time before.
One reason the song will do well is because of the relatable way in which it communicates a sense of female empowerment–a historically key ingredient in songs by female artists that have seen chart success.
The genre’s current reigning females, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, each have multiple staple hits that convey a sense of power through revenge tales; Underwood had “Before He Cheats,” “Undo It” and “Two Black Cadillacs” while Lambert had “Kerosene,” “Gun Powder and Lead,” and “White Liar.” Guyton’s “Better Than You Left Me” captures the sense of strength that contributed to Underwood and Lambert’s successes without using an over-the-top statement to send the message, giving the track a unique realistic edge.
Message aside, “Better Than You Left Me” showcases Guyton’s incredibly powerful gospel-meets-country voice. She grew up singing gospel hymns in church and listening to some of the biggest voices that the music industry had to offer, including Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston, and LeAnn Rimes. Those influences are quite evident on the release, as she holds nothing back and reaches the top of her range with incredible ease.