H.C. McEntire’s “Dovetail” Explores The Gifts And Traumas Of Various Women

[Cover photo credit to Heather Evans Smith]

H.C. McEntire has announced her new album, Every Acre, to be released on January 27th, 2023 via Merge Records. Co-produced by McEntire, Missy Thangs and Luke Norton, Every Acre features nine new songs, including two tracks with backing vocals provided by S.G. Goodman and Amy Ray.

Along with the announcement, McEntire has shared “Dovetail,” the new single that “depicts various women and their various gifts, their various traumas”. McEntire’s new album Every Acre “explores the acres of our physical and emotional homes”.

McEntire speaks about the song’s inception:

‘”Dovetail’ began as a jangly, four-on-the-floor country demo I roughly recorded at home. In the studio, the band and I leaned into the twang and outlaw attitude, recorded it, and moved on to work on other songs. But something kept calling us back to reimagine this song, to look at it from a different angle. One night after a long day of tracking, Luke started playing the ‘Dovetail’ chord progression on piano, but much more slowly. Daniel jumped behind the drums and played a simple halftime beat while I stood next to the piano and sang out into the room. We quickly recorded about a minute of the experiment onto a cell phone and went to bed. The next morning, we referenced the recording and tracked a full-band version of the song in that style—essentially, it took the form of a ballad.

This ‘classic’ arrangement offered space for a more nuanced vocal delivery; the slower pace allowed vocal lines to stretch and stand tall with emotion. The less-is-more approach created a vulnerability that felt right and also applied intention—to clearly speak, suspend, and spill out the narrative. Throughout verses, I posed the personalities of various women in juxtaposition—a way to both celebrate differences and individuation, as well as acknowledge the complexities of being in relation with a range of traumas, including my own. The pre-chorus and chorus lyrics nod to a problematic dynamic that can occur when presumptions are made about an Artist solely based on the social consumption and/or interpretations of their Art—romanticism versus reality.”

H.C. McEntire first established a reputation as frontwoman of Mount Moriah and later as a backup singer in Angel Olsen’s band, before striking out on her own with her debut solo album Lionheart in 2018. That release was followed by 2020’s Eno Axis.

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