Every single one of us should breathe a sigh of relief now that real country music is once again getting the respect it deserves. We can thank the likes the Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, Kacey Musgraves, and Chris Stapleton, to name a few. Drawing from legends of the genre like Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, Denver-based songstress Leslie Tom is making a point to do her elders proud. Tom avoids the Nashville pop country sound in favor of something more down-home and twangy, and it’s hard to resist. On February 17th Leslie Tom will release a self-titled EP.
Today Glide Magazine is excited to offer an exclusive premiere of the song “My Only Addiction” off Leslie Tom’s upcoming EP. Kevin Moon’s vocal style is reminiscent of George Jones and Leslie Tom balances it out with her own sultry voice. This is a song about drinking and love, and it’s hard not to be infatuated by the chemistry between the singers and the undying charm of the pedal steel guitar. Ultimately, Leslie Tom is making some damn fine traditional country and we should all be happy for that.
LISTEN to “My Only Addiction” and read our conversation with Leslie Tom below:
Talk about the inspiration for this song – what prompted you to write it?
This song was not inspired by my personal addiction to a person but rather inspired by my best friend’s unhealthy relationship with a man she can’t quite let go of. We were talking on the phone one day about another “incident” she had with him and after she told me the story I said, ‘Girl, he is like heroin to you.’ I told her I intended to write a song about the experience. I began working on the song and reached out to a friend named Tony Gunter who had been working on a similar song and we began working together on “My Only Addiction.” We then looped in one of my best gal friends and co-writers, Linda Koehl, to help us put the finishing touches on the song. It’s my favorite song on the new EP.
Is there someone in particular who is your addiction?
I can only assume most people past early puberty have or have had an unhealthy, addict-like relationship with someone in their life. After I divorced in 2006, I dated a guy that was nothing short of horrible for a very long time. I knew he was like a drug to me but couldn’t figure out how to get away from him. When a person is in the midst of these type of relationships, it’s very difficult to get out of them. Luckily for me, I had that experience to pull from, but thankfully, I’m happily married to an incredible husband and father to our daughter.
What was it like working on this song in the studio?
The studio experience was very interesting. We played the song live all year in our sets and I sang the song with my guitar player, Kerry Conner. Kerry does not have a traditional country voice like Kevin [Moon] does so when I went into the studio to cut vocals on the song, it was strange singing the song without Kerry. This was the first time I’ve recorded a duet with someone but not physically been in the studio with them. As a matter of fact, I have a great relationship with Kevin, absolutely adore him as a person and performer, but have never met him in person. I worked on my parts and then he cut his part of the vocals at a studio in his home state of Alabama. It was a very twenty-first century experience.
Got any great stories about working on recording this song – funny, crazy, etc.?
Singing harmony is very difficult for me. I can usually hear where the harmony part is on a song but have a hart time translating the harmony I hear in my head into the note that comes out of my mouth. After Kevin cut his vocals, I had to have Kerry coach me through the harmony parts of the song. It was very, very stressful. I’m also a perfectionist and don’t like when I don’t get my vocals perfect on the first take, and suffice it to say, this was not a “first take” song!
I’m sure you had an idea in your head of what this song would sound like. How does the end result measure up to that idea in your mind?
When I heard the mix and mastered version, I almost cried tears of joy. The song, in my opinion, is spectacular. This whole EP has been a passion project for me. John Macy (producer) and I worked really hard to stay true to who I am as an artist and person, all the while realizing there is a bit of risk when putting out a truly traditional-sounding country record. With this being said, we know our fan-base and what they like to hear. We didn’t let them down on this project and especially this song!
How do you think this song represents you as an artist, sonically speaking?
Leslie Tom releases her self-titled EP on February 17. For more music and info visit www.leslietommusic.com.
Photo credit: Scott McCormick