Gwen Sebastian - V.I.P
By: Matt Bjorke
In the fall/winter of 2009 Gwen Sebastian released her national debut single “Hard Rain.” Garnering praise from multiple sources, this single announced the arrival of a gifted and magnetic vocalist. The single rose into the Top 25 of the Music Row Breakout chart and set Gwen up nicely for her follow-up single, “V.I.P. (Barefoot Girl).” This single, written with Brian Eckert and Dean Miller, finds Gwen discussing her simple approach to life and it doesn’t ‘fit in’ with celebrity culture. It’s a song that many women will certainly be able to relate to and it’s something that should help her gain more Top 40 success on the Music Row and perhaps the Billboard charts.
Written by Gwen with stellar Nashville songwriters Jason Matthews and Lisa Carver, “Nothing” is one of the best songs that I’ve heard in a while as it tells a story of a woman who’s choosing to get over a tragic event in her life, be it a breakup or death, by living life instead of sitting home lost and bitter. It’s a beautiful ballad, delivered by the North Dakota native Sebastian with one of the purest country voices that is currently working in country music. “Feel Your Love” is a Gwen Sebastian co-write with Warner Music Nashville artist Jason Jones and it features a mid-tempo groove that discusses various ways that Gwen wants to feel the love of her man.
Fans of Ashley Ray will recognize “Dirt Cheap” and while it might be a little peculiar that Gwen Sebastian and her team at Open Road Records/Lofton Creek Records would choose to include the song on this “pick six” album but if you actually get around to listening to her version of the Luke Bryan, Hillary Lindsey and Dallas Davidson penned track, you’ll hear that pure and sweet and emotive voice of Gwen’s and it is a song that may actually appeal to fans who might find Ashley Ray’s voice slightly off-putting. It’s still a great song and great songs used to always be recorded by multiple artists in Nashville. “Jump In” closes out the record and it is the fourth track on the album that was co-written by the artist. Written with Kasey Kessel and Bryan Wayne, “Jump In” is an up-tempo track that feels like it would actually fit well as an opening song to perform at a concert. It’s a sing-a-long ready track that could find a home at radio sometime in the future.
With just six songs Gwen Sebastian showcases the ability to not only sing with a sweet clarity that recalls (at times) Miranda Lambert but also the ability to write some very strong songs as well. “V.I.P” is a good introduction to her as an artist and I have a feeling that she could be around for a long while to come as she’s certainly one of the better female artists to come along in a while.
Standout Tracks: All are good but "Nothing" is the gem of this album.
You can support Gwen Sebastian by purchasing this album at Amazon.