Nashville (US) singer songwriter, Betty Reed, has just released her latest single, Without You, and we’re here to tell you it’s a real banger. We here at the Send Me Your Ears studio have taken several listens today.
Without You has a fantastic theme to it of female empowerment and succeeding in life on your own terms. It is a stubborn snub of the naysayers and a great positive message to anyone struggling with meeting their own demons head on.
Without You starts on powerful drums and guitars before the full band sound quickly joins. Betty’s strong and characterful voice is obviously the focus and she means business. Sounding a little like Taylor Swift in places but more, to our ears, like Sara Johns (for example, Johns’ song – One In The Middle has a similar sound and similar theme and would work well on the same playlist).
We love the stereo electric guitar and the incidental riffs that are used. There’s a brief electric guitar solo in the middle with some exciting drum fills under it, but the vocal is truly intended to be the main focus here.
The use of 16 beat tambourine in the chorus helps differentiate the sections of the song and leads you back to that catchy chorus that you just want to join in with.
We were impressed with the acoustic guitar breakdown section just after the guitar solo. It shows some great versatility in songwriting and composition – unsurprising for a Berklee College of Music graduate.
Betty’s belt voice is superb. There’s some great technique here and you can really hear the passion in her voice. She carries the attitude of this song well with great confidence.
From a production perspective, we think a low shelf boost from around 200Hz would add to the warmth and punch in the low end. Some extra compression in the kick and snare would help them both cut through a little more. A cut around 2.5kHz would reduce some harsh frequencies in the incidental lead guitar parts. A wide boost across the highs, particularly in the top octave would add to the brightness and presence of the track. Some extra compression in the vocal track would help that beautiful voice cut through and feel ‘thicker’.
Betty Reed’s Without You is a strong, empowering pop/rock song that is just crying out to be added to your playlist. We look forward to hearing more from Reed in the future.