Bre Kennedy Faces Old Ghosts on New Single

The Nashville songwriter's second release features a more melancholy sound as she considers what she's left behind.

Jason Lee Denton

Bre Kennedy has already proven her talent for rousing pop ballads with her debut release "Slippin."

Now, she's returned to share her newest single with Popdust, "Strings Attached," a somber and poignant recollection of painful memories. The track reveals absorbing new facets of the Nashville songwriter's sound and broadens the kind of emotional weight Kennedy's work can carry.

"Strings Attached" reckons with a connection that Kennedy's left behind, the entire song addressed to someone who no longer fits in her life. A pensive, flowing guitar conjures both homesickness and pain while sparse instrumentation and muted harmonies fill out the edges of the song's folk-country sorrow. Kennedy's vocals slip between whispers and weary clarity, allowing her to play with register and to imbue the lyrics with heavy sentiment, not nostalgic or trite but clear-eyed in its gaze. "No matter what I say / I miss you either way," she sings on the ethereal bridge, but "Strings Attached" isn't a bitter rebuke or a backslide of any kind: it's a lament of how easily old pain can come back to the surface, and how who and what she's lost—in this case, who she has walked away from—will remain part of her journey, just as much as the good memories.

In essence, Kennedy has written "Strings Attached" as an understanding of growing up. The titular metaphor of the song suggests images of toxic relationships and broken trust, but Kennedy turns her pain into lessons she won't forget without letting that pain consume her or her music. Like "Slippin" before it, "Strings Attached" accepts ambiguity as unavoidable in life, but still leaves room for something more. Kennedy's confidence in her ability to shoulder this burden, as her star continues to rise, should not be taken lightly.

Strings Attached

Matthew Apadula is a writer and music critic from New York. His work has previously appeared on GIGsoup Music and in Drunk in a Midnight Choir. Find him on Twitter @imdoingmybest.

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