The Texas music scene has always had its mainstays, and Kelley Mickwee has been one for the best part of twenty years.
Most recently, she was a part of Kevin Russell’s Shinyribs’ Shiny Soul Sisters, singing harmony and background vocals at his live show, after having been one-fourth of the acclaimed Americana group The Trishas, with Jamie Lin Wilson, Savannah Welch and Liz Foster. Even before that, she was making a name for herself as one-half of the Memphis duo Jed and Kelley.
Sometimes, what gets lost in amongst it all though is the sheer strength and brilliance of Kelley Mickwee as a stand-alone artist. That all began to change after last year’s pair of singles, ‘Let’s Just Pretend (We’re Holding Hands)’ and ‘Boomtown To Bust’. She kicks off 2022 with the even more forthright ‘Gold Standard’, as Mickwee lets her inner Connie Smith rip on this belting country ballad.
A pedal steel gently sighs into life before Kelley Mickwee’s soft twang breaks in. “Golden bands on their hands in the picture / fifty years, smiles and tears, they’re a fixture”, she sings, her voice as sweetly aged and well-worn as the romance of the two lovers she’s singing about.
‘Gold Standard’ sounds gloriously bold and timeless, with all the melodrama and aching of a lost Billy Sherrill recording; a misty-eyed reminder of time passing and the enduring power and strength of love.
“Owen Temple and I sat down that day to write a song called, ‘Gold Standard’”, Mickwee explains. “Rarely do we as songwriters start with the title, but this one was different. We worked backwards. We told the story of two people who have loved each other their whole lives, who went through rough and rocky patches along the way, but found their way back to each other in the end. It's the kind of love we all measure our own against: the Gold Standard. We wanted it to feel like it could have been recorded by George and Tammy or Loretta and Conway, back in the day”.
Released as a single at the end of February, Holler is exclusively premiering the video for ‘Gold Standard’ below.
"The idea for the video shoot came to me rather quickly once I had Jeremy Sexton and Shinyribs on board”, Mickwee explained about the video.
“I wanted to perform this song in a place that was both deeply spiritual and also had a history of hosting wedding ceremonies. Sacred Passages Chapel (Nana's Chapel) in Wimberley Texas came to my mind almost immediately, as Wimberley has always felt like home to me.
"Owned and designed by my dear friend Rebecca Cook, the open-air chapel sits on a bed of Honey Calcite Crystal in the heart of the Hill Country," she continues. "The chapel was inspired while walking the Camino of St. Francis in Italy and has hosted ceremonies of all types - retreats, house concerts and so much more. It seemed like the perfect place for a song about deep love and spiritual connection. Special thanks to Jeremy at Whiskey Red for his vision".
'Gold Standard' is out now across all platforms, and its video is premiering above, right here at Holler.