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Amanda Barrett comes out swinging hard in her single “Where I Stand”

BBC MUSIC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/tracks/n5dn5n

Canadian country crooner Amanda Barrett comes out swinging hard in her single “Where I Stand” and effectively introduces a world hungry for a solid new sound to her richly textured skillset. Right from the start of the track, the vintage tonality of the strings accompanying her smoky vocal is captivating, unvarnished and full of a raw tenacity that speaks to the organic quality of the song’s composer. This is starting to look like a big year for country artists everywhere, but Amanda Barrett is positioning herself at the front of the pack with the release of this stunning new single.

The production quality here is unequivocally top notch, but it’s not the plastic pop minimalism that a lot of country fans have unfortunately come to expect out of the American establishment in recent years. Every subtly crafted intricacy in the vocal track is given the VIP treatment next to the unwaveringly brash fretwork driving the main riff in the song. “Where I Stand” is balanced by its vivacious instrumentation, but there’s never any question as to who the real star of the show is here. Even if she were being backed by Lynyrd Skynyrd in this track, Barrett’s seductive serenade is simply too potent to be overshadowed by anything going on in the background.

It should be said that Amanda Barrett’s swagger only slightly borrows from the American country music model as it currently sounds today. There’s a lot more old school Nashville present in “Where I Stand” than there is anything from the contemporary scene, but the unfiltered emotionality in the lyrics is a far cry from most everything that we’re hearing in the States at the moment. She’s not afraid to get vulnerable with us here while still attacking these melodies with as much spirit as you would find in a hard partying rock n’ roll single.

Instrumentally, “Where I Stand” is just as strong an offering to country enthusiasts as it is from a lyrical perspective, and that’s really something when you look at the competition that she’s facing in her own scene and abroad. While the poetry here is pristine and sharply delivered by Barrett, the string arrangement is what makes the mood created by her words plausible to the audience. There’s a lot of layers working in perfect synchronicity here, but despite the complex framework of the material, this song is hardly inaccessible to serious country fans and more casual listeners alike.

If this new track from Amanda Barrett is on par with the caliber of content that we should anticipate hearing from her camp as she embarks on her musical career, then she’s definitely got a long and exciting road ahead of her moving forward. All of our senses are stimulated by this affectionately stylized power ballad, but we’re never overwhelmed by all of the sonic intensity being throttled at us with little to slow its increasing momentum aside from our control of the volume knob. If this single is a statement piece, it’s announcing to the country music world at large that there’s a new sheriff in town – and her name is Amanda Barrett.

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2Hr2EmkmvORz3auQdqiFeo

Mindy McCall

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