In the chorus of “Magazines” Aubrie Sellers says you don’t need a mind of your own, because the glamour magazines possess all the answers. But if you really pay attention to that song and the rest of her debut, New City Blues, then you’d know that song is drenched in sarcasm.
The song’s grunge rock-meets-country sound should’ve given it away. While those perfume-scented magazines push a version of perfection only obtainable in your biggest fantasies, Sellers instead advocates for unapologetic authenticity. That’s something that probably comes natural when your mother is country music great Lee Ann Womack.
Their voices are almost identical, but Sellers is clearly forging her own path with a sound reminiscent of bands that simply plug their guitars in and start making musical magic. For her, the result is a zero gloss sound that covers the record in different variations, sometimes leaning a little more on the traditional aspects of country music to other aspects familiar to fans of the blues.
The blues can be felt a little on “Sit Here and Cry” where Sellers decides the best course of of action to her boyfriend leaving is to drain her body of all her tears until he comes back. She also has no problem telling bar room pickup artist that she’s sees right his game that has worked on so many on “Liar, Liar.”
While she shows her tough no-nonsense side loud and proud she also her softer and sometimes darker layers that have her calling on her more traditional country roots. The pedal steel is a very nice touch on “Losing Ground.” It’s about going through life’s ups and downs, but refusing to take any medication because it has nothing to do with her mental state, it’s just life.
The album brightens up on “Dreaming in the Day” about a wonderful night she just had with that special someone. And every time she hears a certain song she’s transported back to that night no matter where she is.
On an album that runs through the gamut of human emotions “Livin’ Is Killin’ Me” is the song that sums up what all those emotions can do to you in the long run. It can weigh you down and feel as if it’ll break you no matter how strong you are.
The album’s re-release on a major label has Sellers finishing her debut off with a couple covers that were cut live in studio. Where many up-and-comers would do choose their favorite country classics Sellers’ bucks the trend by covering the Beach Boys’ “In My Room” and the Zombies’ “The Way I Feel Inside.” The original version of these songs rely heavily on the vocals, which Sellers stays true to and proves she can take on anything.
Like any memorable work of art, New City Blues requires more than one listen to fully absorb all Aubrie Sellers has to say. While her garage-country sound and her vocals may be the first two aspects listeners notice, the words she sings reveal just how complex one human being is. With this record she joins a long list of women in country music who are taking the phrase “three chords and the truth” to whole a new level.