The JaneDear girls
From the first strains of this duo’s debut, it’s clear that fans of Taylor Swift and the now-defunct Wreckers have found a new fresh-faced duo to look up to.
The dichotomy of name-checking Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard in the purely pop “Shotgun Girl,” which is riddled with uninspired rock riffs, will have country purists reeling. “Merry Go Round” is pop drivel complete with Auto-Tune effects. Despite the anemic song content, though, Danielle Leverett and Susie Brown have vibrant voices, which they employ to good effect with the smooth harmonies showcased on tracks such as “Saturdays in September” “Every Day’s a Holiday” and “Shotgun Girl,” meanwhile, feature Susie’s flashy yet tasteful fiddle work. These moments are fleeting, however. “Lucky You” and “Sing Along” are torn straight from Taylor Swift’s music-loving, boy-bashing playbook, though the message of self-respect on “Free Ride” should please parents of the duo’s teen converts.
The girls’ debut single, “Wildflower,” brings to mind images of something that grows naturally, free and patternless. However, there’s nothing wild or organic about this overly calculated debut.