The first Ashley McBryde song I ever heard was “Girl Goin’ Nowhere”, and I was instantly taken by her soulful voice, eloquent songwriting, and inspirational message. That’s why I was ecstatic to hear that she would be releasing a full album under the same name. Girl Going Nowhere dropped on March 31st, and my expectations were blown away by this fantastic record.
Appropriately, “Girl Going Nowhere”, Ashley’s heartfelt song about pursuing her music career despite doubters and critique, opens the record. By my observation, it’s not super common to open with the title track, but in this case I think it was a great choice because the subject matter of that song sets up what the rest of the album encapsulates – Ashley is definitely not going nowhere. It is apparent that all of her songs are stories from her real life, and that authenticity is what I love so much about her songwriting. For example, “Radioland” fondly expresses Ashley’s childhood memories of listening to the radio and dreaming of being played one day. On a more sentimental note, “The Jacket” commemorates her father’s denim jacket with colorful stories from his life, ultimately commemorating her relationship with him as well. “Livin’ Next To Leroy”, an upbeat, lively song, covers the realities of drug addiction, while “Andy (I Can’t Live Without You)” is a very personal ballad dedicated to her roommate turned best friend.
In my opinion, the multifaceted emotion of this record is really what proves and showcases Ashley’s talent. She has this uncanny ability to express varying degrees of her personality, writing songs of humor, strength, weakness, and regret. Furthermore, though each song seems to tell a specific story, lyrical details and hook lines make each message relatable to everyone, “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” being a prime example of that. The chorus the chorus ends with the line,
” not bad for a girl going nowhere “
I think women and men in the entertainment industry, and any industry for that matter, can relate to the fear of failure, staring cynicism in the face as they relentlessly pursue their dreams, no matter how daunting. That’s what that song does for me, and why Ashley McBryde is such an inspiration as I chase my own music career dreams every day. If you’re looking for a record that will make you laugh, cry, and think a little deeper, give Girl Going Nowhere a try.
Much love, and happy listening!
LISTEN TO MY SONGS: “Boy Named Sunday” | Original by Kate Stedelbauer