Continuing her rise as one of mainstream country’s most authentic new female voices, singer-songwriter Hailey Whitters has announced her third album, Raised, and shared a taste of the project with fans.
Set to drop the LP on March 18, Raised will find the Iowa-born indie riser building on hard-earned respect that has come from her emerging mix of pretty and gritty. Since 2019, Whitters has scored attention from critics and fellow artists alike, releasing a successful album (The Dream) and following with a deluxe edition, then hitting the road with believers like Maren Morris and Little Big Town. She also ended up collaborating on tracks with LBT (“Fillin’ My Cup”) and Jordan Davis (“The Ride”), all while finding her lane as an insightful storyteller with a feisty wit, unafraid of “getting real” in song.
That theme will likely continue over 17 new tracks on Raised, as Whitters harvests the fertile soil of her upbringing for tales about coming of age in a farm town, dream chasing and more. Fiancé and The Dream producer Jake Gear returns, and Whitters also reconnects with acclaimed co-writers Brandy Clark, Nicolle Galyon, Hillary Lindsey and Lori McKenna, while collaborating with roots-rock band American Aquarium for the first time.
“This record is where I’m from, this is me. It feels like the prequel to The Dream,” Whitters explains in a press statement. “These are the people and this is the place that made that 17 year old girl leave everything she’d ever known to pursue a career in country music and not give up over the last 14 years.”
Offering a first look at the project, Whitters has also shared an official music video for the album’s first single, helping capture the no nonsense spirit of “Everything She Ain’t.” The track itself features a plucky banjo-and-fiddle melody, a roots pop rhythm and Whitters’ brisk North-country vocal, while the clip from director Harper Smith is based on Whitters’ time as the homecoming queen of a “Cow Pie High” school.
“This song sort of fell from the sky one day writing with Bryan Simpson and Ryan Tyndell,” Whitters says. “Ryan had this cool bouncy guitar part and I shot out the line, ‘I’m everything she is, and everything she ain’t.’ We started spitting out verses and finished it within an hour or so. I love the girl-next-door nature of it and its quirky language. The music video was directed by Harper Smith and was inspired by my old high school ‘Cow Pie High’… the city kids called it that because it was the school that all the country farm kids went to. I actually was the homecoming queen my senior year, so Harper and I thought it would be fun to muse on that for this video.
“To me, this song is about being the most authentic version of yourself despite what may or may not be popular at the moment,” she goes on. “Whether or not you have ‘a Hollywood smile,’ this song is about owning what you bring to the table and being confident in your skin.”
Whitters’ first album, Black Sheep, came out in 2015. She first earned large scale attention with the 2019 release “Ten Year Town,” and subsequently released songs like “Heartland,” “Janice At the Hotel Bar” and more. She’ll kick off her first ever headlining tour on February 4, as the Heartland Tour gets underway in her home state of Iowa.
RAISED Track List:
1) Ad Astra Per Alas Porci (Jordan Lehning, Pedro Palomino)
2) Raised (Hailey Whitters, Nicolle Galyon, Forest Glen Whitehead)
3) Everything She Ain’t (Hailey Whitters, Bryan Simpson, Ryan Tyndell)
4) Big Family (Hailey Whitters, Cameron Bedell, Nicolle Galyon)
5) Middle Of America (feat. American Aquarium) (Hailey Whitters, Bobby Pinson)
6) Plain Jane (Hailey Whitters, Hillary Lindsey, Cary Barlowe)
7) College Town (Hailey Whitters, Nicolle Galyon, Jimmy Robbins)
8) Interlude (Hailey Whitters, Pedro Palomino)
9) Boys Back Home (Hailey Whitters, Brandy Clark, Jessie Jo Dillon)
10) Everybody Oughta (Matt Roy, Craig Wiseman)
11) Pretty Boy (Hailey Whitters, Scooter Carusoe, Tom Douglas)
12) The Neon (Hailey Whitters, Rodney Clawson, Lori McKenna)
13) The Grassman (Hailey Whitters, Aaron Raitiere)
14) Our Grass Is Legal (Hailey Whitters)
15) Beer Tastes Better (Hailey Whitters, Lori McKenna)
16) In A Field Somewhere (Hailey Whitters, Jeff Hyde, Bryan Simpson)
17) Ad Astra Per Alas Porci (Reprise) (Jordan Lehning, Pedro Palomino)