Harper Grae has been a success story across many aspects of her life that releasing her first single in over 12 months seems like it may be just another checked box in her path to stardom, even if it could also been seen as a detour from the path she thought she would take.
The track, “Wanna Wear a Dress,” is an empowering song that speaks to women on many fronts. It marks the first release in some time from the country songstress, and though the song comes out tomorrow, the gifted songwriter is premiering the track today exclusively for American Songwriter readers.
“Wanna Wear A Dress is a special song to me,” she said. “Not only is it my first release in over a year, but it’s also the most honest I have been about myself – who I am as a person, but also who I am as an artist.”
Driven by the risk of vulnerability, Wanna Wear A Dress speaks bravery into the hearts of those that hear it, as Grae make the bold decision to ‘put herself out there’ – regardless of the response she receives.
The purposefully sparse production makes way for a powerfully intentional vocal that is reminiscent of Martina McBride or Trisha Yearwood, delivering the musically balanced message of self-love – and, with that, having the courage to assert what you want and deserve.
“It was important to me for my vocals to feel as vulnerable as the lyrics,” Grae said.
This most recent effort isn’t Grae’s first: she released single “Monster” in 2018, detailing her own mother’s struggle with drug abuse.
Her brazenly honest storytelling caught the attention of national radio personality Bobby Bones, whose past mirrors Grae’s. In 2017, she launched The Look Up Foundation, which provides services to children and adolescents who have been neglected or abandoned by loved ones.
She was a contestant on season 2 of Oxygen’s The Glee Project (under the name Shanna Henderson), and has since found herself an integral part of Music City’s country scene. This month she’ll be performing at the Iron Bowl as the official halftime performance — she’s a huge Auburn fan.
Wanna Wear a Dress is being billed as the first attempt to completely presenting Grae authentically to the country audience and it is one that feels like it will be a successful attempt.