Earlier this month, Nashville singer-songwriter Laura Mae Socks released her debut album Where You Go, a long-gestating collection of hardcore honky-tonk numbers that was partly inspired by her rough-and-tumble childhood in West Virginia.
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Socks comes by her country bona fides honestly. She grew up in a trailer without running water amid the economic desolation of Appalachia. Her father was a hay farmer and her mother was the “queen of the town weirdos,” a friend of Patsy Cline’s, and dogged by mental illness most of her life. Before reaching the age of 17 Socks had lived in a whopping 17 different houses and was at one point even taken away by social services.
It wasn’t until the death of her mother and her move to the Cajun country of Louisiana that she began writing songs. Those efforts continued with her move to Nashville years later and reached full flower this month with the release of Where You Go.
You can get a taste of the album below with the song “Truer Sound.” Here’s what Socks had to say about the tune’s formation:
“I am obsessed with the song ‘Windfall’ from Son Volt’s Trace. It reminds me of when I lived in Louisiana but I kept feeling drawn back to home, touring out of where I’m from in West Virginia half the time. I was living in my friend’s house and I began thinking about leaving Louisiana and moving back to the mountains. Growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the second there would be a chill in the air, I’d drive through the mountains all night with all the windows down and soak up that first bite of fall. I listened to ‘Windfall’ on repeat while I danced alone in the room until I wrote this song. I’m the kinda girl who plays songs till I wear them out.
I wanted to capture that nostalgic emotion of how “it’s unsettling to feel so unsettled and alone” — being somewhere physically, and somewhere completely different emotionally. When I wrote this song, I was dancing in “my room that’s not mine” at my friend’s house, yet my heart was driving through the mountains, breathing in that first taste of fall. I wrote, “Even my phone corrects ‘home’ to ‘gone.’” That just really resonated with me and I hope it does with everyone who listens.