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Natalie Hemby ‘Pins and Needles’ Album Review

If you search to find the songwriting credits of your favorite songs, it’s undeniable that you’ll come across Natalie Hemby’s name. Having co-penned hits like “Rainbow” by Kacey Musgraves, “Pontoon” by Little Big Town, and “White Liar” by Miranda Lambert, Hemby has solidified herself as one of the most critically acclaimed forces in Nashville’s songwriting scene. Her songs have also been recorded by artists outside of the country genre by artists like Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, and Alicia Keys. Even though she’s written for a variety of artists and garnered eight number one songs, Hemby herself had only released one record as a solo act in 2017 with Puxico: a brilliant LP dedicated to her grandparent’s hometown. She expands her personal collection with her brand new record Pins and Needles.

The album opens with the twangy “Heroes,” a song about not wanting to meet your idols because they might ruin the image you made of them. The second verse goes, “Out of my reach and in my mind / They’re shooting stars and saving lives / Don’t know what’s real and what’s made up / Get too close, it’s close enough / I can look but I can’t touch / And that’s fine.” The lyrics are frank and honest and taps into the adage that meeting the people you look up to will always be a letdown. A strangely relatable thing for anyone who’s passionate about anything. Hemby taps into a very human experience right from the start.

Track number two, “New Madrid,” begins with a refreshing, high-tempo acoustic guit