Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from Emily Kidd. Emily, from Nashville, released Prisoner on 22nd March 2023. For fans of female vocal heartfelt country, this one is for you.

Prisoner was written during the pandemic. It addresses grief, loss of self, and lack of understanding and empathy from those closest to you. The very first line of the song sets the scene: “My baby likes me better when I’m medicated.” It is an intensely emotional song about how a musician and extrovert tries to find their way through the experiences of mass isolation and the devastating effects the pandemic had on the mental health of performers from her own experience.

Prisoner has some lovely panning of instruments in the introduction, with some gorgeous pedal steel and incidental fiddle. The closed hi-hat in the verses works well and gives plenty of space for Kidd’s vocals to really shine.

Kidd’s voice is perfect for this style of emotional country storytelling song. There are moments where she had a little Dolly Parton vibrato in her voice, which will definitely win over plenty of country music fans. Her voice is clear in the mix and sits firmly front and centre, allowing for every one of those tear-jerking lyrics to be heard perfectly.

We love the fiddle solo with a few choice double notes which leads into a pedal steel solo that fits perfectly for this genre.

This is traditional country music with a modern twist. Kidd has been paying her dues in honky-tonk joints around Nashville, but with this track, it’s high time for her to break through. We’d recommend pitching the track to music directors at college radio across the US, as well as seeking out internet stations for extra interest.

Ideas from our ears

A hi-pass at 40Hz and a boost around 55Hz would remove some low end rumble and give some extra thump to the kick drum. The snare is a little dominant around 180Hz so a careful cut here could help it fit a little better in the mix. A cut in the vocal track around 1.3kHz could reduce some occasional ‘nasal’ tones and a fairly strong compressor could help the vocal track stand out a bit more. A wide boost centred around 8kHz would increase the presence and definition in the track and a final high shelf boost set around 9kHz would increase the brightness a little more. As always these are just some ideas from our ears.

Final thoughts

Emily Kidd’s, Prisoner, is a warm and passionate country music song with lyrics to make your heart bleed. Recommended.