If things keep going this way, the women of country are going to have to find a new target to throw their tomatoes at. Ever since SaladGate erupted, it does appear a concerted effort is underway to be more inclusive of females in country music, however plodding the progress may feel, or even if a few rotten tomatoes may be slipping through in the process.
When the CMA’s announced their performers for the presentation in November, they started with the women, and made sure to include a fair portion. The Country Radio Seminar coming up in February seems to be making an effort to be inclusive as well. Meanwhile Cam’s “Burning House” can’t slip out of the Top 10 to save it’s life, Jana Kramer’s fairly strong “I Got The Boy” has also outperformed expectations, and a slew of new singles from Carrie Underwood and Maddie & Tae have put country’s ladies at least in competition again with the boys.
Lurking out there as another potential breakout single is a song called “Faint of Heart” by a group named Sister C, and just like “Burning House” and “I Got The Boy,” it’s not just a good song for country’s women, it’s a good song for country. Made up of three sisters whose names all start with ‘C’ (Cirby, Carli and Celbi), the group got their start on Simon Cowell’s X Factor show, but their music, harmonies, and the song “Faint of Heart” evidence much more seasoning than you might expect from previous reality show contestants.
Originally from a small town just east of Houston called Mont Belvieu, the sisters now reside in Nashville, and are trying to make it as performers and songwriters. “Faint of Heart” comes from their own pens, and awakens the country music tradition started by Loretta Lynn, Jeannie C. Riley, and others of pointing out they inherent hypocrisy women face in society. Not only does “Faint of Heart” carry a message that is both poignant and timeless, it is delivered in a markedly authentic country manner, with a hammering bass drum beat, and eloquent three part harmonies that make you want to listen no matter how receptive you might be to the message.
There are some more modern accouterments to the song as well, but consider this an asset to assuage the country audience to listen. It’s fair to call “Faint of Heart” well-written, and even better produced, though at times the message can feel a little trite. The “double ‘X’ chromosome” line may take it a little to far for example, and I was a little frustrated that the title doesn’t better describe the spirit embodied in the song. But “Faint of Heart” is a pleasurable listen that you can see gaining some traction with country fans, possibly by walking through the door opened by Kacey Musgraves and Maddie & Tae recently. Call it “Merry Go ‘Round” mixed with “Girl in a Country Song” if you must, but with a sweeter vocal track than either.
“Faint of Heart” is the lead single and bonus track on an upcoming EP from the sister trio in 2016, and has found some warm reception on the mighty KSCS in Dallas and SiriusXM. Who knows where it’s headed from here, but “Faint of Heart,” despite it’s title, is brave and ambitious. Let’s hope there’s some brave folks in country’s seats of power to push this song where it belongs.
1 3/4 of 2 Guns Up (8/10)