Track Of The Day: Cheyenne Marie Mize - "Best"

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Cheyenne Marie Mize’s debut full-length album, Before Lately, is by no means
her first foray into music. She is what some would consider an “old soul,” at
least in musical terms. Cheyenne’s hometown of Louisville, KY is known for
pushing the boundaries of the homegrown sound. A sound that is continuously
redefined by Mize, and her friends and contemporaries Ben Sollee, Will
Oldham’s alter-ego Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and Jim James of My Morning
Jacket crafting music that is an amalgamation of contradictions – rugged and
gentle, innocent and forlorn, spacious and intimate, desolate and uplifting.

Her introduction to the world as a solo artist came in the form of a joint EP
recorded with Bonnie “Prince” Billy, in whose band she was a touring member.
The two handpicked a collection of 19th century American parlor music for what
would become Among The Gold, and a subsequent tour with Ben Sollee to
promote his Sub Pop collaboration with Daniel Martin Moore earlier this year
further established Cheyenne as an artist to watch.

And now comes Before Lately, a collection of ten songs dripping in Cheyenne’s
honey-tinged vocals and raw emotion. The album begins with “Best” and
Cheyenne singing “I tried my hardest to be what you wanted/But now we
both see it was all for the best.” You can hear the truth in her voice and in
her instrumentation. The sparse instrumentation on “Rest” forces the listener
to sit back and hear her - really hear her. But there will be no arguments.

“Kind” features the playful warning “Do what you want to do/Say what you say/
But be kind/Because my heart is set on you.” There’s no mistaking her intent.
The stunning “With(out)” showcases the control that Cheyenne has in her
message. With a simple guitar, the song builds slowly on the emotionally honest
lyrics and her delivery. “I don’t know if I can do what it takes/ to be with you/
And I don’t know if I can take/what it does to me/to be without you.” A painful
dilemma wrapped up in a gorgeous song.

It’s the emotion, the delivery, the style, the grace that sets Cheyenne apart.
There is no mistaking the fact that Cheyenne is special. One listen of Before
Lately will convince you of that. Just try to not fall in love with her. Just try. She’ll
win you over every time. And you’ll be better for it.


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