Rising country star, Harper Grae, has just released her debut album, Break Your Crowns, and country fans will surely be left in awe at this Nashville singer’s sound. Grae, born Shanna Henderson, hails from the deep south in Alabama. Her sound has that classic southern twang combined with fun and funky pop/country energy. Grae is her own person with her own style, and Break Your Crowns is clearly the work of a true storyteller par excellence.
The album opens with Grae’s “Young Blood,” which starts off slow and then quickly picks up tempo for an exciting chorus that will leave listeners feeling like the singer is a rebel princess leading the charge on the battlefield. It is very much a real-life fantasy, with Grae saying “we love who we love” and “it’s time to lead.” Encouraging listeners to follow their heart and break those chains that are holding them back. We are then brought down a level with the powerful, emotional “Dear Daddy,” which tells a sad story that is also so real and so relatable that you might just be moved to tears.
The overall sound of the album is very simple, but strong acoustics coupled with Grae’s amazing vocals delivering emotionally charged lyrics, make the messages come through well.
There are tracks like “Blame It On You”—a great duet with a country/rock vibe—where we see Grae allowing herself to be sweet and sassy; or “Good In Your Goodbye” where she is reflective with sadness but ultimately overcomes and is so much stronger for it. Common themes for this album are relationships, the human experience, taking risks, breaking borders, and being free. Harper seems to very much be in love with love, and her smart and sensitive lyrics take you to that place with her.
Listeners will quickly recognize “Thunder Rolls,” as it is one of Garth Brooks’ greatest hits. But in her cover, Grae has definitively made that song her own. Grae’s heavy, haunting voice with a vibrato that will give you chills is mixed with a faster pace that is just right to tell this tale in a way that is completely different than the original. It is, again, a very classic country sound that shows some grit at the song’s climax, leaving listeners feeling like they are watching it play out in front of them.
The title track, “Break Your Crowns,” plays like a country version of a song off of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album, with lyrics so loaded that you just know there is a story behind it. That seems to be the dominant feel of the whole album and it just works. Harper Grae has the vocal range and aesthetic that could leave you feeling like you have just heard Patsy Cline reborn. She takes you for a fast ride through the South that really gets your blood pumping. Grae is everything good about country, and Break Your Crowns is sure to give fans of all genres something fresh to sink their teeth into.
- Young Blood- 3:11
- Dear Daddy- 3:52
- Blame It On You- 3:08
- Thunder Rolls- 3:57
- 7 Years- 3:11
- Good In Your Goodbye- 3:21
- True Love- 3:23
- Break Your Crowns- 3:58
- Free- 3:05
- Where My Heart Has Been- 3:38