Kalie Shorr, ‘Escape’ [Exclusive Premiere]
Rising singer-songwriter Kalie Shorr chronicles a trying year with both intense honesty and immense wit on her forthcoming new album Open Book, but it's most personal song ("hands down," according to Shorr) is the record's second track, "Escape." Readers can press play below to hear the heart-wrenching song, premiering exclusively on The Boot.
There's parallels to be drawn between "Escape" and Kacey Musgraves' early hit "Merry Go Round," as both detail the vices that trap people in their situations. However, Shorr's song has a blunt, heartbreaking bent that sets it apart.
"Everybody's got a place where all their money goes / Everybody's got a high that sweetens up the lows," Shorr sings in the chorus, her voice reaching its sweetest upper notes on the next lines: "Gettin' out of bed is hard if you don't have a reason / Everybody needs an escape, and mine was leavin'."
Shorr co-wrote "Escape" with her best friend, Candi Carpenter; they're both The Boot Artists to Watch and Song Suffragettes members. The two penned the song a few weeks after Shorr's older sister Ashley died of a drug overdose in early January, on Shorr's living room floor at 2AM.
"I’d been forced to confront a lot of issues head on around that time, and my childhood was one of them," Shorr explains. They started with an idea titled "Break the Cycle," but as they wrote, the line "Everybody needs an escape, and mine was leavin'" stuck out and became the song's hook and title inspiration.
"There’s so many different forms of addiction and self-harm -- from drugs and alcohol to eating disorders and unhealthy relationships. Unfortunately, all of those things have played a part in my story," Shorr tells The Boot. "I want people who listen to this song to know that just because you come from somewhere doesn’t mean it’s where you have to end up, both literally and metaphorically. You can still teach yourself to fly even if no one around you knows how."
Shorr debuted "Escape" during a benefit concert for her sister's children at Nashville's Listening Room Cafe. "I had to call my family and be like, 'Hey, there's this line in there that you might not like, but it's in there,'" she shared after the fact. "I'm never trying to disrespect anyone, but if it's something that's affected me, I need to be honest about it. It's how I process stuff, too."
"Escape" is one of 13 songs on Shorr's Open Book, her debut album. The project is due out on Sept. 27 and includes songs inspired by, in addition to her sister's overdose, a number of professional transitions and the breakup of a longtime relationship, drawing sonically on Shorr's love of both country and rock.
Listen to Kalie Shorr, "Escape":
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