Who doesn’t love a revenge story when it comes to country music? Female artists have come up with some great ones over the years and now we have another to add to that list as that is exactly what Arkansas badass Ashley McBryde has given us with her newest music… except hers is a story in three parts, just to heighten the tension!
Her 2019 single “One Night Standards” set the scene…. elicit liaisons in seedy motel rooms which receptionist Ashley was all too familiar with and which weren’t going to hurt anyone, just be a lot of fun for the couples concerned according to the lyrics which are sung from the viewpoint of the female checking in for her night of passion.
However the track’s accompanying official video hinted otherwise, Ashley raising her eyebrows when she recognises one of the “guests” as a friend’s father. Picking up the telephone she let her know…”It’s your Dad. He’s about to make a mistake” . But I don’t think she realised exactly what that call would trigger! Let’s just say there was a spade involved… and the dad wasn’t at the receiving end much to Ashley’s surprise.
“To Be Continued” the video teased at the end, and we can all finally get the next instalment of the story in the form of her new song “Martha Divine”, co-written by Ashley and well established Nashville songwriter Jeremy Spillman, who’s cuts read like a who’s who of country music. It has a totally different vibe to its predecessor, an uptempo track with some hilarious lyrics (be warned if you haven’t heard it yet, I literally spat out my coffee on first listen!) sung from the perspective of the afore mentioned friend. By now we have already realised she has absolutely no qualms about turning up at the motel and showing Martha what she thinks of her… a jezebel who is evidently bound for hell, seemingly going at least part of the way in the boot of a car! And of course, Ashley being the good friend that she is lends a hand!! A modern day Thelma and Louise for sure.
I love how the videos to both songs (credits go to Reid Long by the way) are identical in many ways while also each revealing important details in order to move the story along and paint a fuller picture… like pieces of the same jigsaw puzzle. And while the songs each stand alone as brilliant tracks, listening to them and watching the videos back-to-back definitely brings an added dimension. Ashley told NPR that the idea behind the concept was to create a story that” surrounds the most delightful trollop of a human being and gets down underneath the fingernails to the uncomfortable truth about family dynamics”.
Well I’d say that’s “mission accomplished” already and of course we still have the final part of the trilogy to come! How will this all pan out? Are this song’s brilliant closing lines a clue? Will we get to hear from one of the other characters involved? Let’s hope we aren’t kept on tenter hooks for too long!
“To Be Concluded”…
Article written by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)