Lainey Wilson Bonded With Producer Jay Joyce Over Their Desire for Imperfection
Louisiana-to-Nashville transplant Lainey Wilson's debut EP, 2019's Redneck Hollywood, is a four-song project the self-described "bell-bottom country" singer curated to showcase her message, style and sound right off the bat. Producer Jay Joyce, who's worked with everyone from Emmylou Harris to Little Big Town, helped elevate those selections to their full potential.
"We had a lot of songs to go through. We had dwindled it down to 300, then we dwindled it down to 100, then we dwindled it down to 50. Then I had this one song called "Saying What I’m Thinking." That’s kind of how we decided what we were actually gonna record for the record ... Is this saying what I’m thinking?" Wilson told The Boot in an interview at Country Radio Seminar in February.
"I was like, what four songs right out of the gate can people relate to but also get to know me? I feel like those are the four that just kind of stood out to me and the label," she explains.
With "LA," a clever play on words that details life in the South, and "Dirty Looks," a working-class love story, Wilson shows her true colors. She and Joyce worked well together in the studio, she says: He transformed her canny lyricism and blue-collar sound into an even fresher sonic blend.
"He somehow made the music fresh but also familiar," Wilson muses. "He also somehow made the music sound like my look. I don’t know how in the world ..."
Joyce has recently produced for a number of other young women in country music, such as Tenille Townes. His unconventional creativity created a fun environment and incorporated imperfections. Wilson says she didn't question his methods.
"He’s a mad scientist. He would literally walk up to people’s guitars and kind of un-tune them a little bit, and we’re like, 'What’s this crazy man doing?'" Wilson says. "That’s just how he gets such a unique sound. He doesn’t want it to be perfect, and I’m not trying to be perfect either, so it worked out."
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