Carly Pearce: Country Music’s New It-Girl

Country music is known to have some powerhouse female artists; Trisha Yearwood, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood and now, Carly Pearce. With her platinum-certified title track from her debut album, Every Little Thing, Carly is one of only three females in the past fourteen years to have her debut single hit number one on the charts.Celebrating the release of her self-titled sophomore album, Carly is showing country music fans that she is a force not to be forgotten.

At the Sir Henri Rooftop Penthouse Bar at Hotel Henri in New York City, Pearce shares that her new album is a reflection of her growth and the journey it took to get here, both professionally and personally, since the release of her first album three years ago.“I found a confidence, a voice and just the truest most pure version of myself.” When discussing the differences between the two albums, Pearce explains “For my first record I was searching, insecure and scared, and with this one I’m very confident in what I put out.”

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That journey included dating her now husband and fellow country music star Michael Ray, who appears on the new album in their first official track released together, “Finish Your Sentences.” Pearce explains, “When I was making this album, I knew that once we get engaged, he needed to be a part of it. I felt like the song was the truest to what was happening when we were making this album, which was we were falling in love.” The duo fell in love over their love for country music and celebrated their nuptials in October 2019 which was officiated by Bill Cody, a country radio DJ and announcer at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry.

Also making an appearance on Pearce’s album is two-time CMA/ACM/Grammy Song of the Year nominee, Lee Brice, with their hit “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” Pearce wrote the song with Luke Combs and it is an apology to someone Pearce once dated. “I think sometimes in relationships we get confused with what’s comfortable and what’s actually true love.” Having Brice sing on this album was a really big ‘nod of confidence’ for Pearce as he is an artist she truly admires.

It Won’t Always Be Like This” is one of the most personal songs Pearce has ever written. Pearce explains, “We all go through hard times, we go through struggles, and we go through things that we don’t understand or that we take for granted.” The phrase ‘It Won’t always Be Like This’ attaches itself to all of those things that Pearce experienced while realizing what’s ‘most important in life.’

One of the hardest working women in country, Pearce started her career at sixteen years old having moved to Tennessee with her mother to work at Dollywood. One of the youngest performers there, Pearce performed six shows a day, five days a week. “That kind of schedule helped me to understand that somebody seeing your third show on Thursday, it may be the first time they ever saw you, so you have to give them the same energy that you would give when you are at the top of your game.”

Growing up, Pearce idolized the Dixie Chicks, so much so that her dream was to perform “Cowboy Take Me Away” to a crowd of thousands of bystanders.”  Pearce explained, “There are very few songs in country music that I personally feel are timeless and this is one of those songs to me. Every time you put on “Cowboy Take Me Away,”it sounds so perfect and so beautiful.”  Pearce’s dream recently manifested itself as she recently released an exclusive cover track to it through Amazon. “I hope that I made Natalie proud. It’s hard to recreate somebody who is just one of the best vocalists ever to me,” Pearce said.

To her younger fans, Pearce shares that it’s important to be good to yourself through the midst of life. “I think that when you pursue a dream that is so pointed, you can easily feel like a failure if you haven’t hit certain points at certain times in your life. I encourage people to love themselves through the process, even though people will tell you no. Just remain true to who you are and don’t lose yourself just for the approval of other people.”

When asked to play a fun game of This or That, Pearce responded:

Shania or Faith? “<Oh my god> Faith.”

NSYNC or Backstreet? “NSYNC.”

Kentucky orTennessee? “Kentucky.”

Opry or Ryman?  “Opry.”

Old Town Road or The Git Up? “The Git Up.”

Karaoke or line dancing? “Line dancing.”

Glitter or leather? “How about glittered leather?”

By: Jenna Guarneri

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