Having recently graduated from Texas A&M, singer-songwriter Darbi Shaun is turning her attention to her music career. Shaun brings her brand of country music to listeners with her latest release, “4AM.”
The Houston native grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s and cites one of her musical inspirations to be Shania Twain. While some criticize Twain’s contributions to country music as being mostly pop, you have to appreciate her ability to sing and creativity. She has a exceptional voice and when you compare the current state of mainstream country to the era of Twain’s, it doesn’t look so bad now. Does it? There’s still a lot of traditional country instruments in much of her music. It just has a bit of pop flair and I’m OK with that.
Shaun began her musical journey at young age when she joined the church choir. Like many other musicians, performing in church gives young artists a change to spread their wings and perform. It’s one thing to sing to yourself, but it’s a different experience when you are in front of others. By age 13, Darbi was beginning to play the guitar and practice her songwriting skills. Within one year, she had her first performance at the Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville. As her songwriting ability steadily improved, she began to perform more frequently throughout high school and college.
Fast forward to today, and Darbi Shaun has released her debut album, “4AM.”
She says that the album is the:
trans-formative years of my life. I always want the emotion in my songs to come across very genuine. There's a lot of depth and emotion in this album. Happy or sad, it's all very real and I hope it moves people.
After listening to this album, I really enjoyed it and the range of songs that she has put together. “If You Like That” will surely keep fans on their feet when this one gets played live. The lively beat and slick guitar riffs are catchy without venturing too far into pop-country territory. While I am someone that is trying to expand people’s musical horizons and help newer artists get some attention, music is made for enjoyment. If you are out with your buddies or girlfriends, you want to have a good time and a song like this is just what the doctor ordered.
Reflection of past love are intertwined in the title track and one of my favorites, “4AM.” The pace is slow and thoughtful as she finds herself sitting awake during the middle of the night. How many times have you found yourself thinking of someone or something at such an hour? When things are quiet and the world is still, your mind starts wandering. The old memories start to come pouring back and the movie in your head won’t stop.
“Boy in a Ball Cap” is her current release to country radio and it pushes aside all the frat boys out there in favor of the country boys. I laughed out loud when you hear some of the descriptions because it’s pretty hard not to envision the bro-type as she sings. You know, the guys with the collared shirts and way too tight pants. It sounds she was describing Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, perhaps? It’s a fun song that is enough to put her on some radars and hopefully get some radio play.
Darbi has a enjoyable honky- tonkin’ song with “College Town” as she describes a Friday night in a college town. You can just picture the beer freely flowing and everyone is letting their selves loose after a long school week. Good music, good friends and a good time is important, but it’s always fun at the college age. Less responsibility at that age gives you the ability to “live it while you got it” as Josh Abbott says. Life is built on the experiences you make and some of the fondest memories take place in your college years. I’m jealous of many of the Texas schools because of all the incredible live Texas Country music. That doesn’t really exist where I am. There are a few venues but they aren’t as easily accessible as in Texas.
Darbi Shaun leans on her personal experiences when writing which results in relatable music anyone can enjoy. She says it herself on the back of each of these albums:
4AM. The time when you realize you don't care what he thinks anymore. The time that old love won't let you sleep. The time you realize distance can be measured in emotions, not just miles. The time you're still up from a night out. The time you realize you're at a cool place in your life. The time for contemplating memories and broken hearts. That's 4AM
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
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