Seth Ennis says that he “Woke Up In Nashville and it felt just like a dream,” but we beg to differ. Right now, that dream seems most certainly like a far cry from a chimera.
The 24-year-old is fresh from radio tour (a right of passage if you will for new artists in this genre) and has just come off his tour with country’s hottest chart-topping duo, Florida Georgia Line.
Called the “entire package” by his record label, Sony Music Nashville, it is no surprise that Ennis will be getting on more tours. In the next few weeks and months, the talented singer-songwriter will join country megastars Luke Bryan, Billy Currington, Little Big Town and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their respective headlining tours.
Also poised as the next big thing by the industry, he appeared on Rolling Stone Country’s “10 New Country Artists You Need To Know” list in November 2016, Sirius XM’s “Future Five for 2017” and was named by CMT as one of their “17 for 2017” artists, alongside the likes of Luke Combs, Devin Dawson, Caitlyn Smith, Runaway June, Maggie Rose and several others.
With so much hype built around the Georgia native, you’d wonder if his music is really that good, or if he’s just another “manufactured type” by the suits and ties of music row. Well, let’s just say Mabelle is no fluff at all. Produced by Corey Crowder this, genre-blending album is one you’ll want to listen to, if you haven’t. Fun fact: Ennis co-wrote all 4 tracks.
1. “Play It Cool”
This groovy uptempo track is reminiscent of a Thomas Rhett track, with undeniable influences from the pop and R&B world. It won’t be long till you start singing the “Mmmm’s” and “Oooo’s” of this song. Let this be an invitation for you to not play it cool, and just sing along to the hooks as loud as you want to (without being a public nuisance of course, ha!).
*3 Chords & The Truth*: “If I told you everything I wanna say, would you listen to me babe, and tell me if you feel the same way?”
2. “Think & Drive”
While this ballad receives a good amount of production touches, unlike most heavily-produced tracks, it doesn’t drown the essence and meaning of this lugubrious song. Instead, it bolsters the hurt the protagonist feels so incredibly well, that’s it’s almost tangible.
The undeniably good soulful harmonies come from Emily Shackleton. In case you’re unfamiliar with that name, she had a hand in penning Mickey Guyton’s heart-wrenching ballad, “Why Baby Why“, and co-wrote this song too, with Ennis and Jonny Price. Emily’s passionate harmonies impeccably augments the track to be a true standout, and paints a beautiful picture of a broken relationship that’s grueling to let go. And like all temptations, the protagonist’s only thinks straight after giving in to this romantic addiction, day after day. Whether you’ve just gone through a breakup or yearn for the what-was’s in life, “one thought will lead to another” as you hit play, and it won’t “take much reminiscing till it eats you out of nowhere”. That’s the power of this plaintive, ruminative track. My personal favorite.
*3 Chords & The Truth*: “One thought leads to another shot in the dark. Another swallow my pride and I’m wondering how you are. And it don’t take much reminiscing ’til it’s eating me out of nowhere. No, it don’t take much to get me there.”
3. “Fast Girl”
Another track with undeniable grooves that molds the song to be a laid-back track as Ennis sings about a girl who has moved on faster than he expected and starts questioning if he really knew her well. We never quite get the girl’s name, except that she’s now called, “Fast Girl“.
It’s quite an unusual yet refreshing spin on a heartbreak. The eupeptic production and tune will also find you singing along to the “Ohhhh’s” of this song.
*3 Chords & The Truth*: “Next day, on to another dude, you’re doing things I thought you’d never do like a fast girl. You got over me fast girl, fast girl”
4. “Woke Up In Nashville”
Wrapping up the Mabelle EP is Ennis’s debut single to country radio. A glance at the title and you’d think it’s a typical song about chasing one’s dreams as a musician in Nashville. But, as the song progresses, you soon realize it has a strong romantic element to it. This one sees a gradual realization of the individual; that his romantic relationship outweighs the importance of his musical aspirations and success by leaps and bounds.
What impressed us was the fact that the multi-instrumentalist put his talent to work as he played every single instrument on this track, did his own background vocals and co-wrote it with Phil Barton and Femke. Yes, we see your jaw dropping in shock and awe as you ask, “how is that possible?!” Well, if those facts alone blew you away, wait till you hear this piano-driven piece. Ennis knocks the chorus and heart-racing bridge out of the park as he takes listeners soaring on a tumultuous romantic flight to wake up in Nashville with their loved one by their side. Check out the monochrome music video if you can too. Its artistic creativity bolsters and intensifies the palpability of the lost love in Nashville.
*3 chords & the truth*: “I woke up in Nashville and it felt just like a dream. The one I’ve been chasing, since the day I played my dad’s six-string. / I thought everything I needed was in this town, but you were all that I need all along…it took me long enough.”
Seth has a talent like no other for ballads, whether it’s writing or singing one. Just look at “Three,” a critic and industry favorite on Lauren Alaina’s sophomore album, Road Less Travelled. He penned the emotional ballad with the American Idol runner-up and Jordan Reynolds. Honest and heartfelt, it narrates a musician’s dream and the inevitable sacrifices that come with it- all for what she believes is worth it. Y’all, that’s songwriting taken to a whole new level!
So, if there’s one request we have for his debut full-length album (hey Sony and Seth, we hope you see this!), it’ll be for more ballads, please!
Get ready Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and other male staples in country music. (OK Chris Stapleton, you don’t have to get ready anytime soon- your star-power time in country has only begun and we’re so excited!) It’s time to make way for a new generation of insanely talented singers in the format; and Seth Ennis is on that train, all ready to alight in a few to dominate the charts and country radio.
I got a feeling, however, Seth will not be able to wake up in Nashville much longer. Because, he’ll probably be waking up and catching the sunrise in a brand new city every day as he tours across the country and heck, maybe even the world!