SOUND ‘ROUND: Country gals do it their way


WHITNEY ROSE — SOUTH TEXAS SUITE (Six Shooter/Thirty Tigers)

Her well-enunciated soprano is pure maple syrup. The songs go heavy on schmaltz and her brand of neo-honky-tonk prefers rhinestones and Chardenet to camouflage and beer kegs. Timid, charming, innocuous. Think Kacey Musgraves if she ditched open mic at Starbucks for karaoke night at Applebee’s (How much that sentence offends you depends on your love for half price mozzarella sticks). This six-song EP has garnered more attention than the pair of full-length records that preceded it, the byproduct of a burgeoning market for diminutive country-pop reminiscent of Patsy Cline and Marty Robbins — folk sympathies sprinkled with lap steel and accordion straight out the bayou. Part of me wants to resent her for pandering. “Analog” and its sepia-toned lyrics disparaging of modern technology appeal to those addicted to nostalgia but render her and old fogy. Dissing Spotify is one thing (you can stream her entire discography there, btw), but averting GMOs is the kind of anti-science paranoia befitting of these terrible times. As a proud Canadian, she should know better. Her spirited individuality serves her better elsewhere. “Three Minute Love Affair” actually clocks in at 3:32, and she dresses down on “My Boots,” adorning second hand attire the day she meets her future mother-in-law. In Canada, that’s called punk rock. GRADE: A-

Key Tracks: “My Boots”/ “Three minute love affair”/ “Lookin’ Back on Luckenbach”


Whitney Rose was born and raised in Canada, but moved to Austin in 2015 to be closer to the city’s historic music scene. “I’m getting to be quite familiar with (Texas) now, but when I wrote most of the songs (for my second album), at the beginning, it was when I first moved there, so it’s from a newbie or an outsiders’ perspective,” she told the Amarillo Globe-News. “It’s still pretty romanticized in my head, but I’m fully aware of that.”


The longer humanity goes without another Pistol Annies record, the more they turn into the high-powered lark my gut tells me they should remain. For the rest of our tedious and brief lives, there’s a far worse fate than accepting Angaleena Presley as a damn fine substitute. Her whiskey warm alto and sharp wit are the perfect instruments to bemoan the plight of blue collar America and the women wrangled in blue collar hell. The title track paraphrases 1 Timothy 2:11 (look it up) to protest biblical and institutional sexism, and God’s instrument meets his maker on “Only Blood,” wherein an abusive preacher receives swift retribution from a bullet delivered by his wife (take that, Timothy). But women are persecuted here beyond the pulpit. The teen mom of “High School” is hated by both genders — “Girls can be mean / Boys don’t want the mom-to-be / They want the prom queen.” Presley’s preoccupation with disaffected ladies stems from her own struggles in a genre reluctant to let women have a seat at the table. That’s why she aspires to join the Nashville hit parade on “Outlaw,” and why she she’s stuck in Georgia selling T-shirts after a gig on “Groundswell.” Here’s hoping she strikes pay dirt. GRADE: A-

Key Tracks: “Outlaw” / “Wrangled” / “Groundswell”


Angaleena Presley’s struggle to break through in country music is a prevailing theme of “Wrangled,” and she spoke to the genre’s struggle to promote women during an interview with Taste of Country. “You can’t fix things until you admit they are broken and on this record I am admitting I am broken. The system is broken… It’s doesn’t make sense. Making the decision to be the whistleblower for country radio lunacy is either going to sink me or allow me to fly. But at least I’ll know I’ve been honest. Which is what I’m good at.”

A+ Rare masterwork

A Near flawless

A- Run-of-the-mill good

B+ Flawed but notable

Whitney Rose on Spotify

Angaleena on Spotify

Whitney Rose on YouTUbe

Angaleena Presley on YouTube