The Lemonade Stand’ is the debut album from Tenille Townes, following her well received ‘Road to the Lemonade Stand’ EP, released earlier this year. Tenille first came to the attention of the UK audience when she toured in late 2018, as part of the CMA Songwriters series, which provided the perfect opportunity for her to showcase her exceptional songwriting. Combining a powerful message with a memorable and anthemic chorus, stand out track in a strong set of self penned songs ‘Somebody’s Daughter’ announced a major talent emerging on the contemporary country scene. Telling the story she imagined of the life of the young woman she saw regularly from her car on a street corner she revealed herself to be a great story teller both through her songs and as a raconteur, combining empathy for her subject with imagery drawing the listener in, and that powerful and moving chorus. It was no surprise that the song soon got regular airplay, and achieved Platinum status in her native Canada.
Hailing from Grand Prairie in Alberta, Townes realised even as a young teenager that song writing and performing was her vocation, becoming a regular visitor to Nashville, before settling there permanently four years ago, aged just 19. Crafting her songwriting and performing regularly she signed a publishing deal with Big Yellow Dog, joining a roster with such luminaries as Meghan Trainor and Jessie James Decker.
The twelve tracks on ‘The Lemonade Stand’ — including five featured on her earlier EP — show that early promise realised in style. Produced by Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town) the album showcases her powerful and characterful vocals, her songs showing a breadth of styles, ranging from the up tempo country pop of ‘Holding Out For The One’, with echoes of Cyndi Lauper, to the similarly paced but reflective ‘Jersey On The Wall (I’m Just Asking)‘, her second chart topping single, exploring the nature of faith and doubt, where she sings “If I ever get to heaven/I’ve got a long list of questions/How do you make the snowflakes/Are you angry when the earth quakes/How does the sky change in a minute/How do you keep this big rock spinning/And why can’t you keep the car from crashing/Forgive me I’m just asking”.
Townes shows herself to be equally at home with sensitive ballads, piano led closing track ‘The Most Beautiful Things’ featuring the contemplative chorus with the moving line “Maybe the most beautiful things/are felt not seen“, while the haunting and meditative ‘When I Meet My Maker’ features a stripped back sound, with acoustic guitar backed by strings and synth which come in as the song progresses, low down in the mix, the song another highlight of her UK shows, which she dedicated to her great grandmother.
The up-tempo songs feature varied arrangements, from the breezy and bright ‘Where You Are’ which blends a Celtic feel in the intro and chorus with reggaeton verses, to ‘Come As You Are’ which has funk undertones, and a memorable chorus and post chorus, all the while driven by her potent vocals, which summon up the swagger of her publishing house-mate Meghan Trainor.
With recognition from her peers reflected in two nominations for New Female Artist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year (for ‘Fooled Around and Fell in Love’ with Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Caylee Hammack and Elle King) at the Academy of Country Music Awards taking place in Nashville in September this year, Townes is a shining new talent on the country music scene, and her debut full length release is a must listen, and already a contender for one of the best albums of the year.
1. Holding Out For The One
2. Where You Are
3. Jersey On The Wall (I’m Just Asking)
5. White Horse
6. I Kept The Roses
7. When I Meet My Maker
8. Come As you Are
9. The Way You Look Tonight
10. Find You
11. Somebody’s Daughter
12. The Most Beautiful Things