On the other side, you can get artists like Dustin Lynch who release dynamite lead singles like “Cowboys and Angels” only to end up being disappointing. Safe to say, lead singles are crucial for an artist.
So why do I bring all of this up anyway? Well, because Arista Nashville recording artist Seth Ennis has an interesting debut single. You see, in the slow lull of these fall and winter months, radio is starting to embrace songs that are a little slower and may not be reliant on solely some loud wall of sound technique. In addition, they also usually embrace songs that may some something beyond just having a good time.
Now look, I’m not going to oversell this song. Seth’s debut single, “Woke Up In Nashville” isn’t some super traditional country song like we’ve seen re-emerge in mainstream country. It’s a piano ballad that features some modern touches in places, and you should know that going in. All of that being said, is “Woke Up In Nashville” a good song?
Well, to my surprise, yes! Like I said, it’s a ballad, and I appreciate the decision to lead off his career with a ballad. I’m not sure if it’s necessarily a risk to release it during this time of year, but at the same time, it’s not something you see often.
As for the song itself, it’s a song about this male narrator who packs it all up to pursue a career in music in Nashville only to realize that the girl he left behind is who he really wanted instead. Later, he calls her to tell her how his new life won’t be complete without her. I’m not good at describing songs, and admittedly I probably made this out to be some cheesy love song, but really the writing here is definitely very solid and actually nuanced.
Vocally, I’m reminded most of an older Hunter Hayes. Now, I won’t say Seth is the strongest singer out there, but he makes up for it here with an earnest emotional investment. He does a pretty good job of selling some actual regret and sadness here. Hey, I’ve always said I appreciate sincerity more than power and that rings true here.
Now, if I were to nitpick with any area of this song, it would be in the production. There’s a couple of unnecessary production techniques that creep up as the song progresses. Elsewhere, I would say that the tempo moves a little too fast, not really giving time for the song to develop into something more. Now, I did say the writing here was solid, and that’s still true, but I also can’t help but feel like the somewhat rushed tempo takes away from possible avenues for where the song could head next. Does he eventually reconnect with her? Does she tell him to forget it and move in? We really only hear from his side, and that’s alright, but I feel like a just little bit of a push in the writing could have turned this into a great song rather than just a really good song.
That’s the whole thing though, this is a really good song. In addition, it’s a solid start for Seth Ennis. I’ll reserve opinions for his artistic abilities until I can hear some more songs from him, but with “Woke Up In Nashville”, he’s off to a solid start. Keep it up, Seth.
Listen: “Woke Up In Nashville”
Author: Zackary Kephart