Carly Pearce

Every Little Thing

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Carly Pearce grew up singing country music, heading to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee at the age of 16 so she could sing at Dollywood. Every Little Thing, her 2017 debut album, bears echoes not only of this polished professionalism but also the bluegrass of Pearce's native Kentucky, but it's all wrapped up in a shiny production courtesy of busbee. He performed a similar trick in 2016 when he gave Maren Morris' Hero a sterling progressive production, and if Pearce is a more conservative songwriter than Morris -- she's less likely to explicitly play with R&B and hip-hop, for one -- Every Little Thing still bears all the hallmarks of contemporary country production. It's crisp and nimble, using electronic and R&B as flair that accentuates the songs. So appealing is busbee's gleaming sound that the craft of Every Little Thing may be difficult to acknowledge at first. Working with a variety of heavy-hitters -- including Natalie Hemby, Emily Shackelton, and Shane McAnally -- Pearce co-wrote over half the album, and these songs, along with their companions, feel fresh in their melodies and observations. As appealing as the individual songs are, Every Little Thing works as well as it does because of its expert sequencing. Sliding from the woozy grooves of "Hide the Wine" to the urgent romance of "Careless" with ease, the album takes time for delicate ballads and stops at the precise moment for the stomping blues "Catch Fire." Through it all, Pearce establishes her own identity: her showbiz and country roots are inextricably entangled, a singer with a feel for the past but an eye for the present.

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