Kylie Morgan, a recent addition to Shane McAnally’s SMACKsongs, recently released hit single, “Break Things.” Since its release on February 28th, the anthemic song has continued to climb, most recently reaching Spotify’s global viral chart. Based on the initial reaction, her upcoming album is anticipated to bring her dreams into fruition. Today, she shares the story of her road from Oklahoma to Nashville with an exclusive video premiere on American Songwriter.
According to Shane, the song has expanded overseas for the simple fact that Kylie’s talent is “undeniable.” “It’s a tone that cannot be taught,” the multi-talented songwriter explained. “It doesn’t matter how good, technically, of a singer you are. It’s a sound. I’ve never heard a voice that sounds like Kylie’s. And that’s undeniable.”
For a Nashville-newcomer, Shane’s status is as good as it gets. Their co-admiration is a critical component of their successful musical partnership. Kylie explained that beyond his talent that is out of this world, it’s Shane’s heart that makes working with him so special. “The way he genuinely has cared for me and my dreams is the most God-sent thing that could have happened to me and my career. To know that someone like that, someone who is on a whole other level, believes in me,” she continued, “I still can’t believe it sometimes.”
Kylie, a natural-born storyteller, discovered that her talent was more of a calling than a hobby at a young age. “Songwriting was my therapy, truly,” she offered. “Every day after school, I would go lock myself in my room and write about how I was feeling. It became something I needed not just wanted to do.”
Her vocational aptitude for songwriting initially drew Shane to Kylie. It was the authenticity of her voice, her storytelling, and her songs that deeply rooted his faith in her career. He acknowledged the rarity in artists writing their own songs and cited Kacey Musgraves, along with Kylie, as examples of those who do and should. “I’ve never heard anyone tell it like she does,” Shane admitted of Kylie’s work as a solo-writer.
Shane fumbled over his words, looking for the specific indicator of Kylie’s next-level stardom. “There’s a light around stars that sometimes people don’t have when they get started,” he implied. “They develop that. People that grow into being a star. And then there are people like Taylor Swift who always had that light. Garth Brooks, Reba – people that even if you look at old footage of them, if you see them long before they were stars, there was no denying it. I have felt that since the moment I met her.”
Though she is young, she is unwilling to compromise her integrity because someone in the room has more experience. Behind her talent is both a musician and a producer’s ear. According to Shane, she knows how her record should sound. Shane’s role has shifted into that of a translator in the studio so that she feels comfortable conveying when things don’t sound like she has them mapped out in her head.
“Break Things” is written as a warning label. It’s an apathetic approach to romance, a liability waiver that does not promise safe-handling of fragile hearts. The punchy single offers a light-hearted, yet deep self-reflection. With equal parts wit and candor, Kylie waves her red flags for all potential suitors to see.
“I was shopping with one of my girlfriends when I saw a wine glass that said, I break things,’ on it,” Kylie recalled about the inspiration behind the song. “My first thought was to buy it; my next thought was to write it. When I brought the title into the room the next day, it literally spilled out on the page. Every line was so honest, and so me.”
“Break Things,’ really sets the tone for the record,” admitted Kylie. “It’s upbeat and honest, it’s what I’m all about. But I want a song for every emotion on this record. I want you to have a tune to turn to no matter how your feeling or what you’re going through. I want to give a perspective and a feeling of not being alone for every emotion.”
Kylie shared she has plans to get back in the studio very soon with producers and songwriters Shane McAnally and Ben Johnson. They will cut a few more songs before deciding on her next release, but she is ready for the world to hear them all.
“Maybe 25 years isn’t a long life to a lot of people, but when you’ve just been focusing on something like this, that long, she’s put her time in,” Shane shared. “And I’m just excited for that stuff to come to fruition for her and that she gets to live her dreams. That’s what makes me the happiest is seeing someone live their dreams because I’m living mine, and I want her to get to live hers too.”
Hear more from Shane and Kylie below about how she got here and what fans can expect going forward.