Courtesy of Big Machine Records
NASHVILLE, TN (December 6, 2021) — After NPR deemed “29” one of the year’s 100 Best Songs in any format, newly crowned CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Carly Pearce heads to Los Angeles to perform it on the semi-finals of NBC’s THE VOICE. The heart-on-her-sleeve songwriter and powerhouse vocalist’s title track to 29 and 29: WRITTEN IN STONE was hailed by critic Ann Powers as “Few expressions of heartache are this clear-headed, this self-incriminating in the name of healing. ‘Let’s just call it what it was,’ Pearce sings in her lonesome alto.”
For Pearce, who won the 2020 CMA Musical Event and 2021 ACM Music Event and Single of the Year awards for the wrenching “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” the idea of facing what scares you, the dangers of disappointment and dreams coming true have defined her last year and a half. So performing on this episode of THE VOICE – so close to the finale – she knows how the dreamers on that stage and those watching from home feel.
“Every single person who’s ever tried out, ever made it to the next round, I know everything about how you feel,” Pearce says. “The anticipating, the hope – and then no matter which way it falls, the amount of emotion you feel. You have to really take hold of your dreams to do something like this, and I think the world of each and every brave heart who’s taken the plunge and put it out there. This is a big deal… and I am honored to be able to be a tiny part of this show.”
Having wrapped THE 29 TOUR this weekend, Pearce is taking a moment to absorb everything that’s happened. Recently inducted into the Grand Ole Opry as a member, The Tennessean praised her stop at Country Music Hall of Fame’s CMA Theater, observing, “her greatest accomplishment in 2021 may be bringing life to stories that strike an emotional chord loud enough for some showgoers to stand on their toes and shout along to each word – album cuts and all.”
Writing of 29: WRITTEN IN STONE, which was performed in its entirety each night of the headline tour, The Tennessean proclaimed it “a 15-song album of classic country truth-telling where Pearce cuts no corners in bringing listeners on her journey back from rock bottom following a divorce in 2020.” In a year of divorce albums, Pearce stood out – being cited by The New York Times, TIME, Variety, Forbes, People, Saving Country Music, American Songwriter, Billboard and HITS, the latter saying, “when you turn up the femme factor, add in the sass of Patty Loveless, the irony of Pam Tillis, the spunk of Reba and the sparkle of ‘9 to 5’ Dolly Parton and a dollop of The Chicks’ brashness, she offers a whole other take on one of modern country’s golden ages.”
Rolling Stone put 29 on their all-genre 2021 Top 50 Albums at No. 25. Writer Jon Freeman from the iconic publication recognized, “she turned her grief and emotion into the instant-classic EP 29 (and the expanded version 29: WRITTEN IN STONE) chronicling that transitional age with courage, empathy and humor.”
With The New York Times dropping it on their Best of 2021 list under a headline of “Processing Pain, Blurring Boundaries” and concisely raving, “A brief marriage, a messy divorce, a helluva record.” Alongside Olivia Rodrigo, Mustafa, Kanye West, Summer Walker, Doja Cat and Lana Del Ray, Pearce is taking her brand of modern traditionalism into places where mainstream Country is not typically considered.
“My team sends me some of the things people are writing,” Pearce says of the year end of love, “and I don’t know what to say. Something that was so embarrassing and hard to face, but it was real and happened… It’s why I loved Loretta Lynn without truly understanding how some of her songs felt when I was younger, because I could tell they were true. To me, no matter where you are in life or what kind of music you love, people know the difference when it’s dug down into real life.”