“Cowgirl hippie kinda trippy,” reads Carter Faith’s Instagram bio. It perfectly sums up all the different sides of her that come out through her songs.
Growing up in a non-musical family in Davidson, North Carolina, she was inspired at a young age by her grandfather's country cassette tapes and taught herself to play guitar and piano. It took a break-up at age 16 to inspire her even further into writing her own songs, soon develop a style that feels as effortlessly cool, light and refreshing as it does heavy and disarmingly truthful. She’s like Kacey Musgraves with an added Gen Z sad girl insouciance and a suitcase full of soul stirring piano ballads.
Having relocated to Nashville after high school, her debut Let Love Be Love EP was released in the same year that she graduated from Belmont University, and she became a regular at Song Suffragettes, the weekly roundtable of women songwriters in Nashville. The EP pulled together all the different sides to her over six songs that ranged from the feisty country pop of ‘Buzzkilla’ to the spaghetti western tinged ‘Lasso’ and the grand country balladry of ‘Pipe Dream’.
Early songs like ‘Leaving Tennessee’ and ‘Sinners in a Small Town’ were followed by the exquisitely understated Dusk Sessions EP, where she reimagined her previous releases as stripped back Lana Del Rey-esque piano power ballads, which only added to their emotional weight.
A string of near perfect singles followed in 2022 as Faith honed her distinctive take on leftfield country pop. Written with Tofer Brown and Lauren Hungate, ‘Greener Pasture’ sat neatly alongside recent albums from First Aid Kit, Kacey Musgraves and Overcoats, with its warm, countrified dream-pop production, while its follow up ‘The Devil’s Still Down in Georgia’ utilised the best country gallop beat since Cam’s ‘Diane’.
“I was already crazy / already unglued / you can’t be that stupid to think it started with you,” she sang on the glacially paced ‘Already Crazy’ as she leant even harder into the Lana Del Rey-isms of The Dusk Sessions.
With her latest single, ‘Wild’, Carter Faith has firmly cemented her claim as the next pop country superstar. We caught up with Carter Faith before her recent Grand Ole Opry performance to find out a little bit more about her songwriting and influences and what’s coming up next for her.
Where are you from and how did that influence you?
I was born and raised in North Carolina which has the mountains and the beach, but I grew up in the middle of the state… so I feel like I bring a little bit of each of those energies with me.
What did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to whatever my family had on in the car. My dad would listen to a lot of classic rock and country, and one of my favorite songs that my mom would play was ‘Leave The Pieces’ by The Wreckers.
How would you describe your sound?
Cinematic and ethereal but also rooted.
What can you tell us about your new single, ‘Wild’?
I wrote ‘Wild’ with Cameron Bedell and Melissa Fuller about two years ago. I really loved the song from the day we wrote it because it had such an effortlessly cool vibe. It reminds me of summer and honestly just makes me feel so happy when I sing it.
What inspires you to write songs?
Writing for me always starts with a feeling that I can’t seem to shake, in a good or bad way. I like to write about my real-life experiences and feelings.
What’s your favorite song of someone else’s?
‘The Grass Is Blue’ by Dolly Parton… It’s so good.
Who would be your dream duet?
My dream duet without a doubt would be Eric Church.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t making music I would still be writing somehow or other, and I would definitely live closer to the ocean.
What’s next for you?
Right now I am working on my first full length record and I am so looking forward to people getting to hear it!
'Wild' is out now on Suburban Heartbreak Records