Betty Reed is a folk pop singer songwriter based in Nashville, USA. Her new collection of tracks are acoustic versions of her 2021 EP Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned, which explore her journey through depression, from the dark to the light. Here’s my track by track rundown.
By Graeme Smith
Feature Photo by Taylor Napier
Track one On My Mind opens with gentle guitar strumming before Betty’s strong and emotive vocals float in. There’s a sense of vulnerability in these acoustic tracks that instantly grab you. Lyrically, things feel relatable; Betty does away with pretentions and gets real and the EP is all the better for it. By the track reaches it climatic close, you know what you’re in for.
Karma comes next, lively and with layers of acoustic guitar. Betty tells a story of finding strength in the face of adversity. There’s a hint of schadenfreude about the lyrics but the vocals hold no malice. Rather they stay soft, charismatic and with an understated power.
This Time has a ’90s country rock vibe with a steady rhythm and a melody which feels equal parts upbeat and emotional. Betty lets it all out in the chorus, with long, cathartic notes, while the verses clapback hard.
Up next is the EP’s focus track, Let It Out. It’s a very personal track for Betty but was actually co-written. Fellow Nashville songwriter Evan Knutila collaborated on the track and in it the two explore the stigma of emotion from both a female and male perspective. The defining message is a simple but important one: don’t be scared to show your emotions, or they’ll eat you alive from within.
Penultimate track Happy is suitably upbeat. Lyrically there’s a sense of acceptance, an acknowledgement that the blues never last forever. A memorable chorus brims with hope. Misunderstood closes the EP. Bringing back the ’90s country pop of This Time, Betty is accompanied by acoustic guitar, percussion and a ton of attitude.
I’m grateful that Betty has decided to share her personal story with the world. There’s a lot in it to relate to, and some strong, helpful messages in her lyrics. Her musical style is a joy and her vocals brim with charisma. You can check out the acoustic version of Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned below. If you like what you hear, be sure to check out the original version too.