Iowa native Hailey Whitters is back with new music and yesterday announced the release of both a single and a long-awaited second album in the coming weeks, her first “Black Sheep”, coming out back in 2015.
Since then Hailey has undergone a period of intense soul searching, reflecting on her time in Nashville and realising she was ” atering myself down to try to fit in with what this town was doing” instead of focusing on creating music that I love on my own terms” . She went back to basics and re evaluated the essence of the dream she was chasing, the result being her six track EP “The Days” released last year which included the incredibly honest song “Ten Year Town” written about her experiences in music city since relocating there twelve years ago.
The EP captured the attention of (among others! ) Maren Morris who invited Hailey to open for her on several dates, and it will form half of her sophomore album “The Dream” due for release all platforms on February 28th. Hailey fully funded the album herself, selling a guitar, waiting tables and using royalties from cuts by the likes of Martina McBride, Alan Jackson and Little Big Town… her own version of “Happy People” is among the track listing.
The album is split into two acts, the aforementioned “The Days” looks at where she came from, while the remaining six songs and second act, “The Dream” explores where she’s going. All but two of the twelve tracks were co-written by Hailey alongside some names you are sure to recognise including Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsay, Brandy Clark and Nicolle Galyon, with Hailey describing it as “the first record that feels 100 percent me“. She adds that “we get so consumed with the next achievement and accomplishment that sometimes you forget that you’re living right now. And that’s what I want listeners to take away from this album and its two parts. Be happy where you are in the present moment, because your dreams have to be worth it.”
We will get a further taste of the album on January 24th with the release of the single “Janice In The Hotel Bar” (co-written with Lori McKenna), a track that apparently ties the entire album together and is about a real-life 80 something woman who shared her pearls of wisdom with a friend of Lori’s, advice that the two writers turned into a story song about things a mother would tell her daughter over the years… the track is available to pre-save here http://smarturl.it/vs9dne
2020 Is already shaping up to be a busy one out on the road for Hailey, she’s opening for both Jordan Davis and Tanya Tucker on several tour dates as well as playing both the prestigious Stagecoach and Country Boom Music Festivals Stateside. Definitely an exciting year ahead for her and her fans.
You can find out more about Hailey in our recent interview – https://www.bellesandgals.com/2019/07/01/interview-with-hailey-whitters/
Article written by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)