Aubrie Sellers, our Swag Spotlight this week is readying the release of her sophomore album, Far From Home in just a few weeks and took some time to chat with our Managing Editor, Christina on the phone about the record, growing up surrounded by the music business and advocating for mental health awareness.
For those who are unaware, Sellers is the daughter of traditional country music legend, Lee Ann Womack and artist, songwriter and musician Jason Sellers. She spent her youth traveling on a tour bus with her mother, an unconventional upbringing to say the least. During our conversation, however, she gives no hint at wanting it any other way. Receiving her first guitar when she was 13 years old, she recalls learning how to play and starting to write songs but it wasn’t until she was 19 or 20 that she really felt the desire to create music and release it for the world to hear. “It was then that I realized I can do this thing that my family does but I can do it in my own way and that’s when I realized it was something I really wanted to do,” she explains.
Her mother’s music and her angelic voice would, of course, go on to influence the young songstress, also loving great country artists like Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam as well as bluegrass music created by Ricky Skaggs and Ralph Stanely. “I heard her music constantly, that has seeped in there, we are blood-related and I was around her all of the time, it was unavoidable but happily so, she has a great voice,” Sellers says. In order to form her own musical tastes, she also became a fan of classic rock like Led Zeppelin and Creedence Clearwater Revival but also loved the era of rock when she was a teen like The Strokes, The White Stripes and Franz Ferdinand. Before she had released any songs, when people would ask her what kind of music she writes and sings she coined the term ‘garage country’ and if you take a look at the music that has impacted her life thus far, that descriptor is perfect. “It’s an unconscious thing, about me embracing every part of my self,” Sellers relays. “Realizing I can meld these two worlds together, to force myself to be one or the other would be inauthentic to me, so it was about being myself and expressing all of the parts of music that I love.”
The new record, due out on February 7th is moody yet inspiring, and thoroughly blends rock, bluegrass, traditional and modern country. Back in 2016 when her debut album New City Blues hit listeners, it was a different time, where fans of the genre were not as open to outside genre influences or the fluidity that is much more common in contemporary country. Far From Home was recorded at Sonic Ranch, a studio just outside of El Paso, Texas near the border where the players and recording artists all stay and create in an immersive experience. “It was a freeing process, to get out of Nashville, not worry about anything but making something unique and honest. It was all a big part of making this album,” she explains.
She co-wrote all of the songs on the album with the exception of “My Love Will Not Change” where she took Del McCoury’s bluegrass version and turned it into a rock n roll song, where she features one of her influences Steve Earle. The guitar-heavy track is balanced out by the other ethereal songs that all come from a personal place. “Worried Mind” is a stand out that helps depict the anxieties of everyday life, and when our discussion turns to mental health, Sellers is proud to have fans interpret and hear her honest stories and make them their own. “When you speak out about anxiety, people are going to think you are ungrateful or victimizing yourself and that is not what it is about at all,” she states. “If other people are suffering or can hear that, you will serve as an inspiration to them, it is important to talk about it because if it only helps one person, it’s worth it.”
The unrefined, cinematic sweeping tracks are meant to be heard as a full project, Sellers still embracing the art that comes with a full-length album. “I don’t want to be focused on only getting a single on the radio, I hope people still cherish music enough to take a break from their lives and sit and listen all the way through, it seems old fashioned but because of the resurgence of vinyl, it seems people really do value music.”
Sellers looks ahead to 2020 as she will be opening for one of country music’s original female outlaws, Tanya Tucker on the CMT Next Women of Country Tour. She will celebrate her album release with New York City at Town Hall on February 7th as a part of the tour. As well as the tour dates with Tanya Tucker, she will be accompanying Robert Earle Keen throughout the winter months. For tickets and more information head to www.aubriesellers.com/
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