Whiskey, addiction, breakups: Kalie Shorr is the new queen of the country | The music


HAfter everything went according to plan, Kalie Shorr has just completed her first UK tour. Instead, the 25-year-old country songwriter is stranded in Nashville, diagnosed with coronavirus and combat trolls who have accused him of rigging him for publicity. It’s the longest she’s spent at home since music became her full-time concert seven years ago. She wrote songs with her two roommates but, if not, the lockdown was an exercise in getting to know her own business. “I am very extroverted and I thrive in chaos,” she said with a guilty laugh.

Shorr is no stranger to it. Her first album of 2019, Open Book, documents the worst year of her life: the fatal heroin overdose of her older sister; a cheating boyfriend; an eating disorder relapse. “I’ve never been worse, thank you for asking,” sings Shorr on the front line of the album. “Does that make you nervous, all that honesty?” His poignant gloom and his acid spirit (the latter sharpened on stand-up evenings between concerts) frightened the famous conservative country industry. “They’re terrified of trying something they don’t understand,” says Shorr. So she self-published the album, an unprecedented evolution of Taylor Swift’s Nashville years. He made the best New York Times albums in 2019.


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