EP Review: Kalie Shorr’s ‘Awake’

Whether it be outlets such as Rolling Stone, Radio Disney, Teen Vogue, or even Sounds Like Nashville, America is standing up and taking notice of Maine native Kalie Shorr. When you listen to her music, you will no doubt be charmed and impressed by the vocal acrobatics that she displays throughout her sophomore EP, Awake. Heavily inspired by many of today’s top artists from a wide variety of formats, ranging from Jason Aldean to The Foo Fighters. That’s not particularly impressive, we will admit. After all, few of today’s new artists lay claim to just one style or genre as far as their influence goes. But, what sets Shorr apart is her ability to weave a story into her music, and make the emotions relatable to people in her target demo – but also out of it, something that is very much a rarity these days.

Shorr kicks off the disc with the dreamy vibe of the title track, which starts off with some strong guitar work. On the track, her voice has somewhat of a similar tone to that of Dolly Parton – not necessarily in sound, but in the fact that in spite of her young age, she can make a song sound equal parts sweet and also lived in. Vocally, she holds nothing back on the track, proving her place on many of the “Ones To Watch” lists for 2018 is well deserved. The same can be said for her performance on “Damn Sky,” which shows that she is a vocalist to be reckoned with. Perhaps the strongest performance on the album, it’s the one that she seems to firmly have the strongest sense of her own strength as a vocalist. There’s simply no one to compare her to on that track, as she soars into the vocal stratosphere!

From a lyrical standpoint, “Cool Kids” might very well be the ace in the hole here. There’s a definite sense of empowerment to be gained from this song – as the lyrics speak of being accepted for who you are. It’s a message that either gender could learn from, but with Shorr being the youngest of seven children from a single mother – as well as her role in The Song Suffragettes, a group that highlights the work of talented female singer/songwriters in Nashville, the song will no doubt find a voice among her female fans, as well as the current single, “Two Hands,” in which the singer tells her significant other to hold on tight if they are going to keep up with her, as she only knows one speed in which to live life – and that’s full blast!

At the same time, there’s a definite bounce and fun feel to this record. “Candy” isn’t going to win any Song of the Year trophies, but it’s incredibly infectious – and she carries the personality of the song in a fun and fearless kind of way, and she hits a grand slam out of the ballpark with the melodic feel of “Who What When Where Why,” which oozes with charisma and personality – and could very likely be the hit from this album.

Alas, we don’t think it’s going to be the only hit single from this talented vocalist, who will continue to grow as a singer and a writer – and could very well wind up being one of the spokespeople for her generation. In the music business, there are no ‘sure things,’ but with talent and material this strong – 2018 could very well be the year of Kalie Shorr!

Awake is available for streaming or purchase now.