We first got to know Abbey Cone around the release of her debut single “Rhinestone Ring” at the back end of last year (you can find that interview HERE) and now 2022 gets under way with the Texan starlet releasing her AMAZING first EP “Hate Me” which is out now and available HERE. She has already collaborated with some of the biggest songwriting hitters in Nashville and was named by CMT as part of their Next Women of Country class in 2020 alongside the likes of Kylie Morgan, Gabby Barrett, Tiera Kennedy and Hailey Whitters. Just before the release of her debut EP, Jamie caught up with Abbey for an opportunity to hear all about the record. In the run up to the release of the EP, she had introduced the tracks in a way that is completely on brand for her and truly unique as a way to giving each song its own metaphor by what the song would look like if she was ordering from her favourite coffee shop. The simple and to the point, hot black coffee of “King Of The World” had been shared the week prior to the release, whilst the three brand new release were her tried and trusted ride or die (iced, oat, vanilla latte) titled “The One” which incorporates some really cool synth elements into the melody and production along with her tale of thinking over an old relationship, then you see something and think you miss them then realise that you thought it was good but really wasn’t (like a hot almond milk chai that you drunk back in high school but now feels nostalgic AF) through “Thought About You” and the delectable, sweet and scrumptious Iced Mocha that is “In A Room With You” which you want all the time but know you shouldn’t have it every day as is about a relationship that you know isn’t good for you. “I only want to do things that are natural to me. It’s so awkward for me to try and do promo that doesn’t feel natural. I have the Rhinestone one filmed, I have to edit it and I’ll put that out this morning, but I chose this speciality drink that Crema do, called The groundskeeper. It has camomile infused oat milk in it and also like a little edible flower as well, so I chose that for “Rhinestone Ring” because it felt quite flower and weddingesque, then the camomile because the song is kind of calming. For “Hate Me” I think I’m actually not going to choose something for the song but the EP of “Hate Me” and I have no idea what that is going to be yet, but I have to figure that out before tomorrow.”
Well by the sound of things, coffee at Crema needs to be super high on your to-do list on any visit to Nashville. “You have to go! Everyone that works there is so sweet and it’s a great vibe. It’s my favourite coffee shop in town. There is kind of a mini one in East Nashville which is kind of like a grab and go situation but the main one is technically downtown. I’ve been going there since I was seventeen, I did some of my online school where I would go and sit in Crema. We’ve been going like every day since the pandemic, during the pandemic you had to order online, and it was kerbside though which was so nice. I do kinda miss the kerbside days.” As a listener, the EP has a really strong impact. The ideology behind the songs and the perspective that the ideas are written from are different and come from a real position that is highly relatable. “In A Room With You” for example is about a scenario and feelings that we have all experienced of wanting something that you know isn’t good for you but the whole introduction stands out when you take it in its entirety. All six tracks are either mid-tempo or even more upbeat so all of the tracks have the opportunity to stand out for themselves so can all have the impact and none of them get lost amongst the others which are all so strong. “I love how you said that you feel there is no song that you feel gets lost. When I listen to people’s albums and stuff, it doesn’t bother me when there is a song that I don’t resonate with as much as the other ones. I can always understand the purpose of the artist putting the song in. I think with my EP, I cut it before I got a record deal, and I was trying to have six songs that were undeniably good, and all stand out with nothing to be missed. It’s great that it comes across like that and I’m sure I will find that going forward there may be a song on my album that is more for me and is not going to be everyone’s favourite song but for this I just thought I needed six bangers so I can get a record deal.”
“They were all written pre-pandemic. I looked it up the other day, I think I wrote “Hate Me” in November or maybe earlier of 2018 so we’re going on just over three years or something. I’m happy that it makes me have more confidence in the songs because I do feel that they have stood the test of time and the production has as well. I wouldn’t have wanted to put out three- or four-year-old songs, that’s just how it happened and I’m still super proud of them. I have written really great songs since and that I can’t wait to cut. I already feel like I have the title for the album whenever we put that out but if someone would have come to me saying let’s not put this project out, let’s cut a new one, I wouldn’t have been open to it at all. To me, this is my introduction, and I wouldn’t want any other songs to be my introduction.” This is very interesting to hear, how these songs are not “new” songs and are things that she has had in her locker for a while. I got to speak to Abbey last year and I quickly connected with her and personality which is exactly what you will see on her socials in the way that she is free, honest and true to who she is. When you hear her vocal and the way that the songs bring her ideas to life across these six songs it comes across so well and naturally that the narrator and the author are the same person. “I’m really glad that I had this project done because if I would have cut a project during the pandemic, it would have probably been the saddest EP in the world. I listened to my vocal and I don’t think my voice has changed that much, I feel it is maybe a little deeper but saying this in a super humble way, I can really hear who I was when I was singing the songs. I’ve been telling people that because of the pandemic and because we had to wait to put it out, it feels like this little time capsule now. I’m happy that I didn’t take photos and do imagery for it way back then because I feel like I look so different and feel like a completely different person than when I signed my record deal. I had super blonde hair, I wanted my photoshoot to be me with like a Bentley and Dobermans which is like WTF. I’m so happy that I didn’t go that route necessarily. I think it could have been cool, but I have got to do this cool thing where I kept the same music but got change visually and somehow the new Abbey look still matches the music.”
We shared stories about the perils of attempting to maintain being blonde when your hair is naturally dark and trying to run bleach through it along with how there is a part of me that would have loved to have seen this imagery plus how the whole Mean Girls “Why are you so obsessed with me?” vibe would have worked perfectly for “Hate Me” as a song. If you were to ask her if she is still a little sassy, you may get a cheeky “yes I am” which apparently was down to the dress on the CMT Awards red carpet even though that clip brings such a smile to your face but now in 2022 she is really comfortable with her image as being her and who she truly is. “Whatever image that I wanted to be then, I have so much to talk about on my next project with my new songs and the emotional growth journey that I have been on. Since I moved here when I was sixteen, I’ve been trying to keep it together on the outside. I had almost felt tired of trying to convince people that I was good enough and am worth their time but it’s really hard and it’s like you have been doing that since you were nine or ten when I started music but if I would have put imagery to the music when I cut it, it would feel like it was from that place of who I was trying to be and not who I really am inside. With the “King Of The World” video, we had a different video filmed that we probably did about eight or nine months ago, but it just didn’t feel right. I literally didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t tell my management, or my label and I went completely rogue, me and my best friends Liz and Sunny, rented a camera and flew down to my parents ranch in Texas.”
“I’m really afraid of horses. There are a couple of clips in the video of the horse running and I definitely didn’t tell it to run. I grew up in a family that rodeoed and went across the country on horses. I actually want my own horse now, I love horses, I really respect them, think they are so spiritual, and they know what you’re feeling. I’ve just seen a lot happen on horses, I have seen my sister get bucked off and kicked, you know, I just recognise their power and I have since I was a kid. I have tried to get on horses for years, but as soon as they move their foot I wanted to get off. Before we filmed the video, I went down a couple of weeks earlier and my dad had bought my little niece a horse, like a kid horse and I got on that first. The horses name is Jojo and she was finally the horse I was able to jive with and it prepared me for the video. I was literally only on the horse for five minutes and the shots we had were the shots we had. Point being, when I saw that video, I’m really proud of it and when I saw my Spotify candids and stuff, I was finally looking at something that when it’s going out to the world, I feel looks like me, it feels like me and I don’t have to get in position where I’m trying to be somebody that I’m not which is awesome for me.” We had spoken on the day prior to the release of her EP, where later that evening she was playing at Winners Bar in Nashville for Whiskey Jam, where she had said she was playing full band for the first time in quite a while as part of a killer line-up hosted by Drew Baldridge, which also included Charlie Worsham, High Valley, Charles Esten and Callista Clark. Her labelmate Callista has recently returned from Europe after appearing at C2C as Brittney Spencer, who Abbey had been on the road with earlier this year, but I asked about what was on the horizon for her and more importantly when was she coming over here to see us? “Whenever there is something to do! Hopefully I can get to C2C next year but I’m going to see if I can get over this year for something because even if it was something small, I’d be there. With other shows, I’m going on the CMT Next Women of Country tour with Maddie & Tae and Sacha, I wish we were going to Europe but we’re not. I’m just pumped to get back on the road and for sure Europe in 2023 but maybe I could get over there before, I would literally come and do the smallest thing ever, I don’t even care!”
Since our first conversation, she had managed to convert me to becoming a Dallas Mavericks fan of using the logic that being a Cowboys and Rangers fan without a basketball team to follow, surely you have to stick with Dallas all the way? This time, it was all about taking my coffee game up to her level and giving me pointers on how to be a “swirlie girlie” (apparently, it’s no arm and all in the wrist) for the best way to showcase my coffee on my own socials, which hopefully will be well up to speed by the time that she is able to make it across the pond.
“Hate Me” Track List: 1. In A Room With You (Abbey Cone, Nicolle Galyon, Nathan Spicer) 2. King Of The World (Abbey Cone, Aaron James Babcock, Peter Christian Good) 3. Rhinestone Ring (Abbey Cone, Heather Morgan, Nathan Spicer) 4. The One (Abbey Cone, Jessie Jo Dillon, Nathan Spicer) 5. Thought About You (Abbey Cone, Nate Cyphert, Nathan Spicer) 6. Hate Me (Abbey Cone, Jessie Jo Dillon, Nathan Spicer)
The debut EP “Hate Me” from Abbey Cone is out now via The Valory Music Co. which you can find HERE whilst you can keep up to date with Abbey and get the full list of the upcoming tour dates through her WEBSITE or follow her socially on TWITTERINSTAGRAMTIKTOK & FACEBOOK.
True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt. Garth Brooks