For her forthcoming third LP Desert Dove, country singer Michaela Anne left Nashville. In search of a more distraction-free environment, she instead decided to record the album in the beachside city of San Clemente, Calif. She and the band took their time, cutting the record steadily over a few weeks. The result is sweeping, unclouded music as wide and beautiful as the desert that inspired it.
The next single from Desert Dove (out Sept. 27 on Yep Roc) is premiering here at Paste, and you can listen to it below. “I’m Not The Fire” is a classic, twang-fueled country song flourished with modern production elements and lots of rock ‘n’ roll guitar. Ultimately, it’s a call for happiness no matter your circumstances. “Whether you win or lose, you can be happy if you choose,” Michaela sings. It might come across as imperative, but Michaela Anne is really holding up a mirror, taking a good hard look at herself and asking the listener to do the same.
“Sometimes I think I’m singing this song to a friend or loved one and other times I’m singing it to myself,” she said. “It’s a reminder: we’re responsible for a lot more of our own happiness, state of mind and well-being than we might like to acknowledge at times. It’s about looking at oneself.”
“I’m Not The Fire” follows previously released singles “By Our Design,” “Child of the Wind” and “Somebody New.” Each song fits in an Americana box, but they sound so much bigger than that. “Somebody New” is full of ambient effects, while “By Our Design” kicks off with soaring strings. The one constant is Michaela Anne’s stunning voice, which resembles the crystal-clear delivery of ’90s country stars like Trisha Yearwood and Deana Carter. Fans of Margo Price, Courtney Marie Andrews and Kacey Musgraves alike will fall hard for these stirring country mashups.
Again, you can listen to “I’m Not The Fire” below. Keep scrolling to hear Michaela Anne’s 2016 Daytrotter session.