Acclaimed Nashville singer/songwriter Gretchen Peters will release her new album Dancing With The Beast on May 18th.
Her new track “Wichita,” Peters says, “a lot of the beginning part of writing the song was sitting down and asking ‘Who is this girl? What happened to her? Just hashing it out and living for a while with this character until we felt like she was real and we had a story that came together.”
Peters previously released the singles “Arguing With Ghosts” on Taste of Country, and “Disappearing Act” via Rolling Stone Country who describes the track as “a vivid portrait of a woman who’s lost too much to care about appearing genteel, Peters’ character sounds like she knows better than to get too comfortable.”
There’s a bittersweet beauty to the passing of time — the changes it brings are just as often heartbreaking as they are heartwarming. The inevitable tension that arises from that sway is Gretchen Peters’ most trusted muse.
After moving to Nashville in the late 80’s, Peters quickly established herself as both a talented performer and in-demand songwriter, writing songs for Martina McBride, Etta James, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, George Strait, Anne Murray, Shania Twain, and Neil Diamond. She also collaborated with Bryan Adams on the soundtrack of Dreamworks’ animated movie, Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron.
Dancing with the Beast puts female characters at the fore, from teenage girls to old women, and intentionally so. With the 2017 Women’s March and #MeToo Movement as bookends to her writing, Peters knew that a feminist perspective would be the critical core of the record. “Those two events just put everything — as so many things in 2017 — in really stark relief,” she admits. “You can trace the feminist DNA in my songwriting back to ‘Independence Day’ and probably before. The thing that 2017 did is just put it front and center. It was very easy to kind of go to sleep for a while and just not think about that stuff because we were lulled into complacency for eight years.”
Beauty tempered by dread, sorrow buoyed by hope, this is the ever-present tug of war that make life worth living and songs worth writing. And they are the over-riding themes that make Gretchen Peters one of her generation’s most compelling singer/songwriters.