No one has burst onto the scene quite the way Erin Kinsey has over the past several months. What started as a few viral Tiktoks has morphed into what ought to be Country Music’s best thing. From her impeccable, tightly woven lyrics to the unmatched smoothness of her vocal, Erin Kinsey has cemented and even furthered her status as a premiere artist to watch with her debut EP ’40 East.’
Featuring five unique tracks, the project has a whole has a distinctive sweetness to it, with just a dash of sass to keep things interesting. Just Drive, the project opener and Kinsey’s breakout hit, kicks the project off as Kinsey expresses her desire to ditch “the five star reservation downtown” for the opportunity to spend a no frills night with her boyfriend “driving 90 down 40” as Paramore blares through the speakers of her “White Toyota.” Just Drive has a definite rock edge to it, paying homage to the Paramore reference found in the chorus.
This Ain’t Heaven is a sweeter than honey track, as Kinsey is caught up in the bliss of true love and wonders how life can get any better than it is right now. The tenderness of Kinsey’s vocal in the verses before the sonic boom of the powerful chorus is truly remarkable, and the contrast between the two is musical magic. I Got You continues the theme of wholesome sweetness as Kinsey notes how incredibly grateful she has that she’s gotten to take the best part of her hometown, her boyfriend, with her as she chases down her musical dreams. The imagery of “the Texas sky” and the allusions to the “magnolia tree” paint a clear and lovely picture for listeners to grab onto as the listen to Kinsey beautifully deliver the masterfully penned track.
Hate This Hometown shows off a more vulnerable side of Kinsey, while sticking to the theme of love. Kinsey reminisces on her mad scramble to leave to home immediately following her high school graduation, with plans to never return. However, Kinsey finds it increasingly difficult to Hate This Hometown as she begins to reminisce on all of the memories her and her boyfriend made together on the streets of the hometown Kinsey tried so hard to hate. The piano backed track and lighter production show off another side of Kinsey’s voice, allowing listeners to hear more of what makes her so special.
Better On Me, the project closer, is where the tinge of sass comes into play. Following a breakup, Kinsey sees her ex out donning the shirt she uses to sleep in. Stunned by this sight, Kinsey leans into her confidence and remembers just how much better that shirt used to look when she was the one wearing it, even though it “might have been two sizes too big.” By his own admission Kinsey’s ex has acknowledged that the shirt did in fact look better on her, even if now he’s trying to save face.
From start to finish ’40 East’ is one of the year’s WOW project’s to date, and if you’re not on the Erin Kinsey train yet now’s the time because the train is leaving the station at rapid speeds with visions for the top of the charts.
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