SONG PREMIERE: Beth Lee Draws Inspiration from 60s Girl Groups with “It Was Enough”

Processed with VSCO with av8 preset

Four years after the release of her critically lauded album, Keep Your Mouth Shut, with her roots rock ‘n’ roll band Beth Lee & The Breakups, Beth Lee has stepped outside her Texas comfort zone to record her fourth album in the East Bay area of California. Having toured with the support of legendary Texas blues guitarist Chris Duarte over the past several years, Lee sought to explore another avenue of her songwriting abilities. Still seen through the same Americana filter that represents her past releases as Beth Lee & The Breakups, Waiting on You Tonight (due out February 21, 2021) utilizes even more of Lee’s diverse influences, from her nineties love of the ethereal vocals of Hope Sandoval, to the pop-friendly melodies of sixties girl groups, the southern soul of Stax Records, and the unrestrained originality of contemporary Americana artist Nicole Atkins.

Produced by Chuck Prophet drummer Vicente Rodriguez, the 11 song LP exposes an intimate side of Lee’s lyrics and vocal delivery. Rodriguez, Chuck Prophet guitarist James DePrato, and multi-instrumentalist Julie Wolf (Ani DiFranco) create a muscular low end layered with influences from sixties soul, pop, new wave, punk, country, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Lyrically, Lee attributes the inspiration for many of the songs to her struggles in a long-term relationship – a relationship that inspired her band name, the “Breakups”, as well as the title track, “Waiting on You Tonight”. “Waiting on You Tonight”, written in 2006 at the beginning of her relationship, became the theme of the new record. The songs show an optimism that had been hidden on previous albums, which featured tracks such as “I Don’t Care” and “You Can Be Replaced”.

Lee ascribes the musical direction of the record not only to Rodriguez, but to her musician father. Having formed her first band in 2008 with her bass player father, Lee adopted his love for Stax, sixties R&B, and fifties rock ‘n’ roll. These influences can be seen in “It Was Enough”, a track reminiscent of the Ronettes, and in “Understand Me”, a song that could have been on any sixties soul record. Rodriguez puts his California stamp on “Playing Along” with its Beach Boys-sounding doubled vocal track, and on “Four-Letter Name” with its laid-back Doug Sahm/Bobby Charles groove. The track most heavily influenced by Rodriguez, however, is “Waiting on You Tonight”. Originally intended as a slow waltz, Lee and Rodriguez played around on an acoustic the night before they went in the studio, and came out of the studio with an edgy rock tune.

Waiting on You Tonight is the culmination of 14 years of musical and emotional influences in Lee’s life. Since moving from Houston to Austin at the age of 19 to attend college, she has been playing her evolving blend of blues, country, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll in the studio and onstage with a handful of Capital City’s best. In addition to her knack for delivering an honest, soulful performance – whether it’s an intimate solo show or an uptempo rock ‘n’ roll show – Lee has made her case for her strength as a songwriter. “Beth Lee can break hearts and have hers broken. Either way, she can write a seriously eloquent song about it”. – John Conquest, Third Coast Music Magazine

Today Glide is offering an exclusive premiere of “It Was Enough,” one of the standout tracks on the new record. Brimming with a sultry, soul-meets-doo-wop sound, the song it a swooning rocker that was actually inspired by 60s and more recent girl groups. The simple guitar treatment gives the song a distinct fuzziness that helps it slink along and also keeps Lee’s vocals front and center. Listening to “It Was Enough” is a fun and exciting experience because it showcases the many different musical directions Lee is willing to explore over the course of a single album. 

Lee describes the process and inspiration behind the song:

“I wrote this song. Lyrically, it was inspired by a rocky relationship with a boyfriend; we kept breaking up and getting back together. At one point I decided that what we had was enough and I was determined not to let it go. I used to live with my bass player and I turned our garage into a music room/rehearsal space; I’d get a bottle of wine and my G&L electric guitar and go out there and just see what came out. I had just discovered Nicole Atkins and had been listening to a lot of Cat Power and Amy Winehouse. I was inspired by their modern takes on throwback material, and that’s what I was going for in this song. The drummer’s intro with just drums reminds me of “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes, the sixties girl group that was the inspiration for a lot of the Amy Winehouse material and image. The talking third verse was inspired by a Skeeter Davis tune, “The End of The World”.’

LISTEN:

Waiting On You Tonight is out February 21, 2021. For more music and info visit bethlee.net

Related Content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide

Twitter