Jenn Bostic’s song ‘Love You’ was featured yesterday as song of the day at the website Belles and Gals. Bostic’s music and her success as an indie are dealing critics a powerful blow.
Note the critics didn’t diss her talent. They simply didn’t know how to categorize her. Her bio recounts one newspaper reviewer’s take:
“[I]n 2009, she was dubbed “too pop for country and too country for pop,” by Music City’s power brokers.”
After a couple experiences with Music City’s power brokers, this resonated with me. It’s all about formula nowadays, with an eye on branding and profits. Somewhere along the way, the music gets lost. Did Bostic pack up and leave music behind? Quite the contrary.
“Undeterred, Bostic performed several self-booked tours, and in 2012, released Jealous, which featured “Jealous of the Angels.” On a shoestring budget, she shot a video for the song and posted it on YouTube. Unknown to Jenn, a fan found the video and sent it to veteran DJ Simon Bates, who debuted the song on Smooth Radio. The response was enormous, and shortly after the song was playlisted at BBC Radio 2, Jenn performed the song on BBC Breakfast, and that day the song reached #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart in the UK. “
Stop right there. The UK?
Yes. As a matter of fact, had it not been for the UK-based website Belles and Gals, I probably wouldn’t have known about the song “Love You”, a soulful ballad speaking to the universal human condition of true love and commitment. With Bostic doing keyboard and vocals, some guitar and soft percussion thrown in, the song stopped me in my tracks. Some of the nuances evoked Loretta Lynn. Bostic has a powerful voice, and if you review her videos, you’ll see how she’s come to control it like the instrument it is.
Belles and Gals credited their team member Astrid for selecting “Love You” as song of the day. Personally, I appreciate Astrid too. She’s from Norway. Listening to that song was a bright moment in my morning.
The Belles and Gals website promotes females in country music. The fact they’re UK-based is sad commentary on what’s happening in Music City right now to a genre misunderstood by so many.
Bostic tours widely, and she’s won a number of awards. As best I can tell, she’s self-released her work, and I think you can sum up her success simply. Her music touches the heart, and it’s well-delivered.
“Too pop for country and too country for pop?” Not. She’s a talented individualist taking her music directly to her fans sans gatekeeper. Sad that I had to find her via a UK-based site when the US is the home of what we used to call country music. Glad she’s defied the odds with her successes.
(Kay B. Day/April 26, 2018)
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