“Outgrowing Ourselves” From B.B. Cole

Outgrowing Ourselves is the new album from B.B. Cole. A brash mix of electric guitars, gregarious lyrics and female empowerment, B.B. Cole sews together the twang of traditional country with the toe-tapping charm of country soul. From the opener “She Gave Me Feathers” to the final track “Tears + Fears”, B.B. Cole ignites something really special in the friendliness to her voice. Don’t take her kindness as not having depth – Cole shows a knack for contemplative and wit in these charming songs. Outgrowing Ourselves gives a lot of room to expand and she absolutely nails it. 

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I feel like I’ve listened to enough indie music releases to discern between someone who has a hobby for music, and a true artist. Cole is by far one of the best all-around artists I’ve listened to in quite some time. She’s clever in her lyrics, her voice sustains the moods and the musicality in the songs is magnetic. In “She Gave Me Feathers” I wasn’t sure if it was going to make me feel corny or what, but after hearing the song in full, I was really left quite happy and inspired. She showed me how alive my life can be…finally live my sense of me, Cole sings. She sounds like a mix between Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and your favorite kindergarten teacher. I love the warmth in her vocals. 

From there, “Demons” takes the listener onto a bouncy ditty. I found it twangy and really fun. I really liked the way Cole spreads out the line: my-my-dee-dee-demons, I love you.  Then, in “Emotional Baggage” she plays upon terms like ‘belt’, ‘travel’ and ‘name on it’. I had a picture of her while standing in front of the airport carousel and wondering whose bag is whose. I loved the complexity and simplicity of this Americana gem. And, she even throws in a cowbell. 

“Some Kind of Religion” plays up on the role of money, and “My Decision” illustrates its storyline with a train whistle. “Pieces of Me” also hits upon the idea of self-discovery and the search for finding one’s place in the world. Cole sings, I just don’t where I belong. The seventh track, “When I Was A Little Girl” also had me smiling. Assuming this is autobiographical, Cole transports the listener to her own childhood of always being an outsider and being true to herself. It’s kickin’ country at its best. 

“Wear Your Crown” is all little girls rule the world. Cole really keeps the smile on her listener in this one. It might be cheesy to some listeners, but I loved the line: if you were to wear your crown upside down, all you do is hurt yourself. Finally, in “Tears + Fears”, you can almost hear a pin drop from Cole’s intimate, poignant delivery. You can almost breathe-in the oceanic waves in the background. The calming canvas fits perfectly with her pristine vocals. No more tears, no more fears, no more dark corners in my soul, she sings. It certainly leaves a lasting feeling. 

Michael Rand

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