Review: Hailey Whitters Serves Up Strength and Heart with ‘I’m In Love’ EP

Hailey Whitters
I’m In Love (EP)
(Pigasus/Songs & Daughters/Big Loud)
4 out of 5

Videos by American Songwriter

Thanks to the success of her irresistible 2022 single “Everything She Ain’t,” Hailey Whitters is now often labeled as one of country music’s most exciting new artists. In reality, the Iowa native had spent more than a decade in Nashville, pushing forward even when her dreams of success as an artist seemed far out of reach.

That sentiment was at the heart of songs like the raw, autobiographical “Ten Year Town” from Whitters’ breakout 2020 record, The Dream, along with her most recent album, Raised, released in 2022.

With her new EP, I’m In Love, out today (July 28), Whitters once again shows the breadth and depth of her gifts as a vocalist and songwriter. The project features six tracks, including a re-release of her Top 20 hit “Everything She Ain’t,” and supplies a perfect melding of polished pop-country production and thoughtful, relatable lyricism.

Whitters starts things off with “Tie’r Down,” which uses familiar small-town imagery to celebrate the intelligent, complex women who call those rural areas home. She puts a slightly different spin on that same theme with the playful “Countryside Chick,” which finds Whitters requesting lasting love and commitment without hesitation.

Part of Whitters’ brilliance and accessibility in the country music realm centers around her ability to use name-drops (“Mellencamp”) and country-themed imagery (Head’s in the clouds, diamond’s in the rough / He’s in a Chevy and I’m in love) in a way that doesn’t feel cheap or stereotypical.

I’m In Love comes to a close with the aforementioned “Everything She Ain’t,” The Chicks-esque anthem that bubbles with sweet but stern confidence, serving as the refreshing common thread throughout the EP’s track list.

The lasting influence that female artists like Shania Twain and Trisha Yearwood, who dominated country radio during the 1990s, left on the 33-year-old talent is apparent when listening to her music. But Whitters’ genius doesn’t come from simply siphoning nostalgia—she shines by offering up songs that tell women’s stories in a way that’s still rarely heard on today’s male-dominated country stations.

Short but sweet, I’m In Love is another fun and engaging offering from Whitters, filled with summer anthems that will stick with you for the long haul.

Photo by Harper Smith

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