New City Blues Aubrie Sellers
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- 1Light of Day04:10
- 2Sit Here and Cry02:42
- 3Liar Liar03:42
- 4Paper Doll03:06
- 5Losing Ground03:07
- 7Dreaming in the Day03:10
- 8Humming Song04:29
- 9Just to Be with You03:23
- 10People Talking03:22
- 11Something Special03:26
- 12Loveless Rolling Stone02:31
- 13Like the Rain03:48
- 14Living Is Killing Me02:44
- 15In My Room (Live Studio Version Bonus Track)02:31
- 16The Way I Feel Inside (Live Studio Version Bonus Track)02:17
Info for New City Blues
Acclaimed singer, songwriter and performer Aubrie Sellers made her Bonnaroo and CMA Fest debuts last week. One of only a select group of crossover artists to grace both stages, Sellers brought her acclaimed “garage country” to audiences in both Manchester, TN and downtown Nashville.
Of her performance at Bonnaroo, the Nashville Scene praises, “…you wouldn’t know she’s a newbie from the band…or from Sellers’ stage presence. With original songs as good as the best that have come from Music Row in the past few years, the only trouble we predict for Sellers is resisting the temptation to polish her sound too much,” while fuse included her set as one of their “11 Coolest Things You Might Have Missed on Friday” asserting, “In the hot afternoon sun, Nashville native Aubrie Sellers…walked the line between country and rock in the New Music on Tap lounge. Self-professed to be on the ‘little bit country’ side, her ‘Losing Ground” proved a highlight that lit up the dark tent.'
Additionally, Rolling Stone featured Sellers as one of their “30 Must-See Acts” during CMA Fest, declaring, “…blending country with a little taste of Sixties garage-rock and electrifying flashes of cool confidence,” while The Tennessean named her one of their “5 under the radar acts” stating, “[Sellers’] self-described ‘garage country’ sound draws on eclectic influences ranging from bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley to rock icons Led Zeppelin.”
The performances celebrate Sellers’ breakthrough debut album, New City Blues, which continues to receive overwhelming acclaim…
„a blend of fuzzed-out electric guitars, high-energy rock ‘n’ roll and Sellers’ country vocals and songwriting” (Associated Press)
“One of the most-talked-about artists in Music City.” (Billboard)
“Never before have I heard a debut album from an artist take so many creative risks.” (Country Perspective)
“Breaking Big” (Entertainment Weekly)
“…a country coming-out party, complete with foot-stomping declarations of rebellion and a grand entrance from someone who's already looming as an up-and-coming star.” (Nashville Scene)
“Aubrie Sellers puts Southern-rock muscle behind her gentle voice.” (The New York Times)
“35 Most Anticipated Country Albums of 2016” (Rolling Stone)
“With her distinctive debut New City Blues, she was able to create a sound that represents her wide range of influences, from traditional country to classic rock. As a songwriter, Sellers brings the ability to infuse a confident and strength that usually takes years to hone.” (Wide Open Country)
Produced by Frank Liddell
“I prefer to create friction,” post-country chanteuse Aubrie Sellers offers. “Because if you’re not pushing buttons, you’re just making something pleasant, it’s probably been done before... and it’s not making anyone feel anything.”
In this world of pretty little girls who are seen and not heard and reality stars who are famous for nothing, the 24 year old songwriter ain’t buying in. Laughing, she continues, “I’d rather my music be polarizing than everyone like it, because they rarely do. I think passion is a lot deeper than that. I want to go deeper, and be honest that life isn’t just some party and going out. I mean, don’t people feel anything?”
Not that New City Blues is some kind of morbid, maudlin affair. From the cutlery in the blender indictment of surface beauty “Paper Doll” to the Lone Star drive of “Just To Be With You” and the tumbledown melody of “Sit Here and Cry,” this is a high energy box cutter of emotion: 14 songs marked by the bite and punch of smart girls who know there’s more to life than a cold beer and cut-offs.
“I tell people there’s not a lot of happy songs,” the Texas/Nashville hybrid cautions. “But they’re not unhappy songs, either. It’s life... the way it is, and what’s wrong with that?”
There’s a definite viscerality to New City Blues. From the yearning title track to the slow-building “Loveless Rolling Stone,” the sense of displacement marking so many young people uncertain about the future tempers the pools of guitar lines, the way her voice has just the slightest ache when she finds a note’s center.
“My influences are all over the place: the Kinks, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Buddy and Julie Miller, Creedence, even Ricky Skaggs. Patty Griffin, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, some acoustic things. Led Zeppelin is my biggest rock influence – and that goes right straight, for me, to Ralph Stanley. That raw bluegrass, the banjo, that’s the same energy and intensity you get in punk.
It’s all music that’s driven, that’s haunted, that cuts and moves.”
To try to put a label on Sellers’ sound is tricky. If there’s a slight drawl when she sings, it’s where she comes from. But the sound – “I love trashy drums and telecaster guitars, but then that dreamy atmospheric Daniel Lanois kind of effect” – has an immediacy and an urgency, as well as a porous jagged edge that could only be described as “garage country.”
“It’s so much more like more garage rock, that raw raging stuff. It’s Ryan Adams and Dwight Yoakam, who are merciless and just keep coming – even when they’re quiet. So that fits... in a weird way. It’s better than anything else I can call it.”
And never underestimate how important melody is to the woman raised on the road with her mother critically acclaimed progressive traditionalist Lee Ann Womack. “The kinds of melodies I’m drawn to I don’t see coming from anywhere else. The feeling under a song comes from the notes and how they move from one to another; that’s the real essence of a song. That’s why I like a lot of bluegrass and Robert Johnson, the melody tells you as much as the words do.”
Sellers was basted in music before she was even born. Her father Jason Sellers, now a top songwriter, was on the road with Ricky Skaggs, then had his own solo deal. The Grammy-winning Womack is a singer’s singer, who’s performed with or for Willie Nelson, Buddy Miller, the Fairfield Four, Steve Earle and Maya Angelou.
“All my memories are sitting on the bus, listening to my Mom play and sing. Always being on the way to somewhere else... and I loved it.”
The rootlessness comes honest. As does a perspective that in some ways outstrips her years. “The way I grew up, I look at certain situations differently, see how motivations change. I didn’t love seeing how people behaved when my Mom was in a room and how they behaved when she wasn’t but it gave me perspective.”
It also taught the dark-haired introspective the importance of holding the music above all else. Though she’d written since she was young, “I didn’t consider myself a songwriter ‘til I started writing for this album. Then I couldn’t imagine not writing all my songs. When you’ve been playing your whole life, you want to know the songs are as true as you can make them. Who’s truer to my life than me?”
Certainly no one has a take like Miss Aubrie Sellers. From the pointed impaling of sensationalism of “Magazines” to the emergence from petty backstabbing of the meandering “People Talking,” the whirling reality check “Living Is Killing Me” to the lothario-slashing noir “Liar Liar,” there’s no flinching or apologies given. Instead the record thrashes, lurches and exorcises much of what she finds annoying.
“That’s how it really feels: that frustration, that jagged, raucous stuff…I mean, when you see all this stuff around you – hypocrisy, insincerity, vanity for vanity’s sake. You can own it and laugh, or buy in and I’m just…not…buying…in.”
“We are all looking for the same kinds of things,” she concedes. “But I feel disconnected a lot from people my age, whether it’s the lack of direction or focus…or the idea the goal is to be famous, not for something, but just famous.
“Is the party culture as good as it gets? That’s what we’re supposed to want? Really? This hyper-extroversion is almost it’s own pathology. And if you’re not that, it’s not okay? I think it’s okay to be a thinker, to be quiet and explore things like music, books, conversations. When you’re like that, it makes the songs richer, really, and not so all-the-same.
“There’s that line ‘Are you here to stay? Where’d you get those shoes? Why you walking around with new city blues?’ that says it all for me. It’s why I called the album New City Blues. For me it encompasses a perpetual feeling of loneliness, and of not fitting in…feeling like everyone’s always looking and judging and feeling insecure.
“But I also liked it as a title because I felt it reflects the subject matter on this record, the same kind of “blues” people have always sung about, just in a new way, and with a new sound. Most of the songs have those dark undertones, so it seemed honest and appropriate.”
And real. If the world according to Aubrie Lee Sellers isn’t party 24/7, there’s time to ponder, to reflect, to fall in love instead of lust and to experience the glorious pain of heartbreak before moving on. World-wise, she knows the score – and isn’t afraid to speak the truth; but she’s young enough to still have hope tempered with a wicked wit and true discernment. Maybe that’s the best news of all.
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