Everybody Gonna Talk
Label: Big Machine Records, LLC
The 27-year-old Kentucky rookie went top 10 country with the spare, sad, meticulously timed and phrased title track — one of 2017’s most indelible country hits. Her crafty debut surrounds it with several more winners: for starters “Hide The Wine” (off-kilter shuffle about sexual dangers of “pouring alcohol on an old flame”); “Careless” (double-meaning tune about an unstrustworthy “boy who cries love” that stings like new wave-era Rosanne Cash); “If My Name Was Whiskey” (blues-ish ballad about alcoholism as a romantic rival); “Doin’ It Right” (which lodges melodic hints of Lisa Loeb’s “Stay” at an ambivalent suitor). Stuck between city and small town, she can be flirtatious and sweet — but also swampy and dark.