Abby Bryant and Bailey Faulkner’s simpatico dates back to their childhood. They began playing music together as kids in Gastonia, North Carolina. After a few challenging years of learning the ropes as touring musicians and struggling to make their way in a tough industry under Downtown Abby & The Echoes, the pair re-introduces themselves as Abby Bryant & The Echoes through their realized collection of soulful soft-rock with undeniably Southern overtones.
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On Thursday (September 16), the band is premiering “Tried —a simmering new track from their forthcoming album project, Not Your Little Girl.
Recorded in the band’s new home base of Asheville, North Carolina, the album features Anthony Dorion on bass, John Ginty (Robert Randolph & The Family Band, The Allman Betts Band) on Hammond organ and keys, Jeff Sipe (Col. Bruce Hampton, Leftover Salmon, Susan Tedeschi) on drums, and The Naughty Horns (Nick Ellman, John Culbreth, Ian Bowman) in addition to Faulkner on guitars and Bryant on vocals.
Singing on her front porch one day, Bryant came up with a catchy melodic tune that eventually fed into the chorus of her new song. “I had the idea in mind about giving my all and as much as invested time and emotion as possible, and feeling continually let down,” says Bryant. Though admittedly cynical, the artist insists the lyrics are broadly relatable and expand beyond the bounds of a romantic relationship.
“It could be a parent or friend, a coworker or even a dog,” she continues. “It’s a universal human emotion to feel you’re pure in heart and enthusiastically bringing everything you can to the table, but sometimes it’s not enough.”
Bryant took this broad sentiment and transformed it into a sassy breakup anthem. Infusing soul into the track with her spell-binding vocals, Bryant highlights the stressors in a broken relationship scenario with brazen lyricism.
Tell your friends what you want / And I’ll be fine / Here’s what I’m gonna tell mine, she sings.
“A big part of falling out with a person or having to choose to kind of go your own way and set those boundaries is that it’s stressful to feel you’re being misrepresented by them,” shares Bryant. “Feeling like their people, or whoever they’re choosing to speak to, about it are getting like a one-sided story and you might not come across as the bigger person if you try to set things straight. Sometimes the only thing you can do is let your life and your work and your intent speak for itself after something like that, and try not to worry about it. But it’s tough.”
Coming up on the two-year mark of the project, Bryant marvels at the transformation of the project under unprecedented circumstances. Even with hard lessons learned and plenty of money lost, the band is not discouraged by the rocky road to this upcoming release. Shifting perspective, she feels these presented challenges led them to an arrival point in their artistry.
“This album is very intentional. And that’s what we wanted for this album—something mature,” says Bryant. “Downtown Abby, that was cute. But now this is us saying `We’re adults and we’ve been in this industry and worked for this for some time and made something we are really proud of.”
Ahead of the anticipated album release, “Tried” sets an assertive tone for the project. They channel their experience as an emerging band and Bryant’s perspective as a woman navigating the music industry into a track that conjures up the uncomfortable moments throughout their process that allowed them to grow.
“Not to throw anyone under the bus, but we felt like you know their project, sometimes,” she shares. “There were times we didn’t feel like we were given the room to speak freely. There’s definitely a vibe working bunch of older guys of ‘Don’t question me.’ There are certain guys in this scene that don’t want you to speak up with questions or concern. It’s not ‘What if we did this differently?’ It’s like, ‘Hey little girl, I’ve been doing this for years.’”
This was a frightening first for Bryant, who was admittedly a “people-pleaser” before completing the album project. Listening now, the artist hears breakthrough career moments in what was once a breakup anthem. “I like to keep everybody happy. I like to be sweet little Abby. It’s nice, it feels comfortable. And then I realized there were a lot of situations where I had to rise to the occasion. And if I wanted any type of success, I couldn’t do that at all,” she shares.
“‘Tried’ captures the tough part of this sentiment that I’ve absolutely had to discover as a part of myself to be in this industry at all,” she adds.
Listen to the exclusive premiere of Abby Bryant & The Echoes new song “Tried,” below.