Michelle Billingsley is set to release her sophomore album Both Sides of Lonely on June 2 and we’re proud to be partnering with the Americana artist on the premiere of her new single, “I Love the Way He Says He’s Sorry.”
Fearless as a songwriter, Michelle Billingsley is fearless in life too, even overcoming a neurological condition — spasmodic dysphonia — while recording the sessions of Both Sides of Lonely.
“I’ve got a whole new sound, a new record,” Billingsley says. “My voice is stronger than ever. I’ve got a ring on my finger. I’ve got a dog now. And my band and I have really grown with this album. It’s useful as a roadmap going forward—this is the sound; this is where we’re headed.”
Her fearlessness as a writer — where she often tackles subjects taboo for polite women in country music — Billingsley sings with disarming sincerity (even through a knowing glance here or there) and discusses topics ranging from depression, isolation, self sabotage to casual sex and nuclear winter, even if those subjects are not obvious at first listen.
After drawing comparisons to iconic artists like Neko Case, Emmylou Harris, Townes Van Zandt & John Prine, Billingsley has set her own path and self-produced this record after having producer Matt Brown and Drummer/engineer Brian Deck work on her previous album Not The Marrying Kind.
“It was very different this time in that it was straight from the faucet,” Billingsley says. “I didn't have to go through someone else's expectations of what my music sounded like. Though I do hate having to make all the decisions! You wonder, ‘Am I doing this all wrong?’ But you have to learn to trust your gut reaction and say ‘no, that's not what the song is supposed to be’; and sometimes you have to listen again, or sleep on it and see if your opinion changes. The whole time you’re walking a tightrope of pitfalls, and if you’re not careful you can go straight through the floor.”
Billingsley’s songwriting wit and knack for countrified wordplay shine on “I Love the Way He Says He’s Sorry,” about picking fights with a significant other just because he’s so damn good at apologizing. The song explores a woman firmly in command of her relationship, operating confidently on her own terms. Musically, though, it offers a welcome contrast, two stepping in heels across the slick hardwood floors of a country dancehall with a shambling, ramshackle grace that teeters on the brink of collapsing into a two-left-footed tumble, but somehow holds together long enough steal the spotlight and everyone’s hearts.