On her website, Kelsey Waldon has a photo of her sitting on an old trunk in her Nashville home, a picture of Hank over her right shoulder. If this is the place from where the six songs on Fixin’ It Up come from, then it all makes sense.
Fixin’ It Up doesn’t attempt to imitate the glory days of country, or try to reword honky-tonk motifs cleverly enough to be passed off as an ode, or a tribute to the greats—it comes from somewhere between her heart and her hands, with her heroes in the background instead of on her sleeve.
“Who Do You Love?,” the opener, is bashful and openly naive in the first two verses. Waldon admits her vulnerability throughout the shuffle, trying to find solace in her setting, until that setting breaks her down; she asks in the chorus “My heart’s beating still, since you left me here / Who do you love when you’re gone?” The song builds itself up to the final verse, where the instrumentation slims down to just an acoustic guitar, hi-hat, and a hushed bass line, Waldon admitting the harsh familiarity of her man’s actions.
Her songs grow into themselves, change, so much so that it’s hard for me to listen to Fixin’ It Up straight through. I keep finding myself replaying the same song over and over (“Try and Pretend” hit me so hard I must’ve played it back seven times in a row) not because I can’t connect with them upon first listen, but because of the many different angles I can take as a listener. Her ability to construct a hook that genuinely digs into you is something special, something I haven’t experienced in a long time.
Fixin’ It Up was released back in October, but I couldn’t help writing about it after listening so obsessively this week. Please, set aside half an hour tomorrow morning, make a pot of coffee, and give Fixin’ It Up a close listen.
Originally posted on Solid Stated