Holler Country Music
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Premiere: Gabrielle Metz - 'Mixtape'

By Jof Owen

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Oh my God! Do you remember mixtapes?! Like actual cassette tapes. Not what everyone calls a mixtape now. Nowadays mixtapes aren’t actually tapes at all. It’s usually just a bunch of half arsed songs that whoever it is has sung on a bit and got their mates to sing on a bit too because they couldn’t be bothered to record an actual album but they still had to release something contractually. Not those sorts of mixtapes! We’re talking about the sort of mixtapes that people used to make for each other, lovingly curated and recorded on a home cassette recorder deep into the night before school the next day.

There would be the hours that you would spend working out the perfect running order and then writing in your tiniest handwriting so that you could fit all the song titles on the inlay card; sitting there watching the machine heads spinning round and the tape getting smaller and smaller as you tried to imagine whoever it was you were making it for listening back to it and all the things they’d be feeling when they heard those songs, knowing that you’d put them all on a cassette especially for them.

There was something truly magical about mixtapes back then. Making a playlist for someone just isn’t the same. It’s too easy. Romance or friendship or whatever it is always deserves a little bit of effort. That’s when you know someone really cares.

On her wonderful new single Gabrille Metz imagines that she herself is one of those old school mixtapes, complete with all its unpredictability and surprises and heartfelt moments, as well as presumably those really short songs you always had to put at the end because there wasn’t enough room left on the tape to fit in a full song.

“I’m a little bit country, I’m a little bit rock n roll / light on the R&B but heavy on the soul”, she sings. “You’ll wanna rewind when I walk away”.

A box fresh slice of delicious country pop that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Speak Now and brings to mind contemporaries like Catherine McGrath or Kelsea Ballerini as she playfully spins out the mixtape metaphor to take in all the different sides to her own personality.

She’s the Temptations’ ‘Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone’ running into Tom Petty then Tim McGraw’s ‘Live Like You Were Dying’ before she flips into Chicago and Taylor Swift via the Bee Gees’ ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ and ‘Every Breath You Take’ by The Police before ending on ‘Wrecking Ball’ (she doesn’t say if it’s Miley or Emmylou). To be honest, it sounds like she’d be an absolutely amazing mixtape!

Growing up in the small, southern city of Gadsden, Alabama, the 22-year-old singer moved to Nashville when she finished high school in 2018 and she’s been making a name for herself all over music city ever since with an almost perfect string of singles running from ‘Checkered Flag’ through to last year’s ‘I Forgot To Fall In Love’ and ‘Masks’ from earlier on this year.

Listen to the exclusive premiere of Mixtape on Holler below

‘Mixtape’ is released on 29th July across all streaming platforms. Click here to presave it.