CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A Charlotte bartender who lives in a 300-square-foot house – by choice – with a 60-pound pit/lab rescue named Ace is ready to play her cards, and hopes to double down with her debut album.
Her request is simple and sincere: just listen.
Shealee, who sheds light on love, life and loss in her first full-length effort "Head to the Stone," is following her father Craig Cousino's sweet encouragement:
"Give this your all, with no distractions -- let's put life on hold until you do what you were destined to do: SHINE."
"My dad gets me and my music matches me and it's easy to see that I am an independent and inherent caregiver," conveyed the blossoming artist. "I give a million percent in order to get five in return and it is reflected in my songs."
Head to the Stone is aptly named, given that she has persevered since being a Jehovah's Witness 10 years removed, where secular success is considered secondary if not frowned upon.
"From now on, I will sing to release and relate. I have a lot to say and it's been bottled up for way too long," Shealee said. "Granted, I am much better at telling others' stories than my own, yet I communicate through my music and I truly believe there is hope and joy in this album."
The album was recorded at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Head to the Stone blends country, folk, soul, with a little jazz and blues thrown in for good measure.
Shealee's lyrics show her ability to use phrases and words that dramatize a feeling or redirect the emotional flow of a song; Head to the Stone also carries listeners over the sharp corners of our emotions and delivers a pop-inflected "oooh" to distract them momentarily, adding a joyous element to a string of depressing reflections.
"It's about accepting who we are with all of our imperfections internally and externally," Shealee says. "It's a journey through life's ebbs and flows, moving through the trials and tribulations to the delicate and joyous moments in time."
Opening with "Susanna", Shealee paints a poignant tribute to songwriting. The second song leads the listener into the galloping and cannily minor chord tune of the title track "Head to the Stone", a story about gravediggers.
The following songs then move through the album breathlessly like a slow-burn, shuffling through her bright and brisk guitar lines that explore the theme of constancy and loyalty, especially on her second to last song "Constant Lover".
In the middle and exhibiting built-in diversity, Shealee shifts gears with an up-tempo country folk tune on "Gnome Song," a story that looks at the ways we deal with our shortcomings and disappointments in life.
"I am who I am and my life is what it is and hopefully, what I want it to be. I opened the doors to my heart and soul and hope it resonates and brings some sweet resolve to the mess down here."
The album is available on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/head-to-the-stone/1458840245?ls=1) or via Spotify.
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