“In the last few years, I’ve grown so much,” Elaina Kay says. She’s home in Texas, reflecting on the relentless writing, playing, and touring that has culminated in her swaggering debut album Issues. “I’m not that small-town ranch girl anymore,” she says, then with a smirk, she adds, “I run with the boys.”
Kay talks like she writes: defiant but vulnerable, hopeful but wry. Her new album wraps all those occasionally opposing forces in Kay’s countrified rock-and-roll to create a modern portrait of steely femininity that’s sad, funny, and ultimately, inspiring. “I don’t want to be a victim,” she says.
Produced by Paul Cauthen and engineered by Jeff Saenz, the new album was recorded at Modern Electric in Dallas. Backed by The Texas Gentlemen, Kay’s moody soprano slides from breathy storytelling to golden-era country songbirding and back again, nuanced and captivating. She wrote or co-wrote every track, and the result is a layered collection that is both starkly personal and intensely relatable.