Southern country music with rebellion & heart best describes Elvie Shane’s unique take on the genre.
Last month, the rising country artist released his debut full-length album via Wheelhouse Records, “Backslider”. As Shane defines the title in a recent Instagram post, “To be a backslider is to simply be… Human.” A clever title for an album which shares his own personal stories of trial and tribulation, love and loss, mistakes and amends in the album— all things that make us well, human. Something in a world dominated by social media perceived perfection and #cancelculture, many have seemed to have forgotten. Thus, the album also opens up the floor to self-reflection, as well as gives listeners permission to make mistakes and encourages them to embrace the good, the bad and the grey moments in-between that are a natural part of life.
With a credit on every song, the 15-track album exhibits Shane’s exceptional songwriting skills. It also includes his debut hit single “My Boy”, which through heartfelt lyrics expresses Shane’s love for his stepson. The song recently reached No.1 on US country radio and currently ranks amongst the top 30 at Canadian country radio, an impressive feat for a new artist on the scene. “My Boy” also surpassed 22 M+ digital streams on Spotify alone, a clear indicator that the family-goes-beyond-blood anthem resonates with so many country fans.
Part country & rock n’ roll, a bit Gospel, a dash of R & B and all melody, Backslider is an album with something for everyone on it. As the UTA signed artist shares in a press release,
“I believe music should hurt ya, heal ya, or make ya wanna cut loose,” shared Shane. “Now that Backslider is out in the wild, I hope it accomplishes all three. Kick back with the ones you LOVE, enjoy some COLD BEER or CHEAP SMOKE. However you listen to music, just turn it on and turn it up!”
And this album does just that, through Shane’s personal anecdotes and the hard-hitting lessons he learnt over the years. In listening to the LP, you can really get a sense of the raw vulnerability that he shares through honest lyrics.
Three standout tracks on the album are “I Will Run”, “Love, Cold Beer, Cheap Smoke (The Mile Markers)” and “Keep on Strummin”.
I Will Run is the first track on the album and speaks about running away instead of stocking things through. Two of those things are love and faith, but the artist expresses how he found a way back to both. The song’s lyrics will resonate with many, as we’ve all ran from things that were good for us out of our own fears, doubts and reckless youthfulness. Melodically, it features more subdued tones and soul, easily making it a song you won’t tire of listening to.
With a faster tempo, a pop-country melody and gritty vocals is Love, Cold Beer, Cheap Smoke (The Mile Markers). This catchy tune embodies what it means to be a small town, American country boy. The song highlights the mundane, small town life in a refreshing yet nostalgic way– the country clichés, the small town limits and young love. Evidently, it’s one of the more typical country tracks on the whole album, making it a solid contender for country radio.
With Keep On Strummin’, you can really hear the influence Gospel and singing in the church choir has had on Shane’s music. It’s vibrant and soulful melodies and positive message will easily get your spirits up and have you singing along before the chorus hits. As for it’s narrative, the song speaks of the importance of getting back up and moving forward, no matter how many times you fall. It’s a song of resilience, country grit and that all-too-American “never give up or die trying” attitude.
Overall, the album features stellar songwriting, with highly detailed lyrics that convey vivid imagery and emotion. This makes for many memorable lines, including some pretty catchy hooks! Not to mention the stories of highs and lows Shane shares come at a time when we need to hear it most, as we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a way, the album spreads hope that things will get better in due time, even if the world backslides an time or two first.
Moving forward in the New Year, Elvie Shane will definitely be an artist to watch.
“Elvie Shane’s Debut Album Backslider Is Available Now″. Oct 29 2021. Press Release.
Stewart, Jeremy. “Featured: Rising Country Star Elvie Shane.” Photo courtesy of PR Team. Accessed Nov 29 2021.
Unknown. “Official cover art for Elvie Shane’s Debut Full-Length Album, ‘Backslider’.” Photo courtesy of PR Team. Accessed Nov 29 2021.