Kylie Frey may have had no choice but to honor country music tradition on her new Rodeo Queen EP. The six-song project leans into fiddle and steel, bulls and broncs, and heartache.
The Texas Regional Radio Report chart-topper “Spur of the Moment” begins Rodeo Queen. Frey, a Louisiana native, adds her untamed vocals to an unrequited love story that’s more fun than mournful. When she released the song as a single earlier this year, Frey put her father Billie riding his bronco at Cheyenne Frontier Days on the single cover. Growing up, she chased rodeo dreams herself, even winning a Louisiana High School state goat-tying championship in 2011.
Acoustic guitar grooves two-step with slide guitar across the big dreaming “Two Dollar Billionaire,” a funky co-write (one of five) for Frey. The heart of the album comes next, with a tender vocal performance on “Rodeo Queen” and a sincere cover of an ’80s pop hit. The title track could be described as a heartbroken extrovert’s tragedy. Find her feelings buried deep under the chords and fiddle cries as she repeats, “I’m a rodeo queen without a crown.”
If you’ve ever wondered what Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” sounds like as a country song, Frey has your answer. The gypsy anthem “I Do Thing” and personal “Horses in Heaven” close the EP, the latter tributing her late grandfather and bookending a project that is unabashedly country.
Frey has four chart-toppers on the Texas chart and has continued to come hard after appearing on the USA network’s Real Country, a show she credits with helping her find a way to her true voice.
“The Rodeo Queen EP is a tip of the hat to my rodeo roots,” Frey says. “I hope my fans enjoy these stories as much as I did living them.”
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