By Bee Delores
It's perfectly crafted pop-country that goes down like smooth caramel, while also ensuring you that she’ll never pretend to be anything but herself.
TikToker turned rising country star, Priscilla Block plants her flag indelibly in the heart of modern country music.
On her debut album, Welcome to the Block Party, Block stacks chewy ear candy together with emotional tales of womanhood, body positivity and heartbreak. It's perfectly crafted pop-country that goes down like smooth caramel, while also ensuring you that she’ll never pretend to be anything but herself.
Block released her first project in 2016, a little-known EP titled Different Route. It wasn’t until the pandemic and the popularity of TikTok, however, that things began to change dramatically. Her song ‘Just About Over You’ went viral and vaulted to the No. 1 all-genre spot on iTunes. Weeks later, she inked a record deal with Universal 一 and the rest is history.
But not quite.
Block continues to write her own story, as she shares the deepest and most vulnerable parts of herself across all 12 songs. Even ‘Thick Thighs’ - a brash, cheeky self-empowerment anthem on body image - contains traces of insecurity, inviting the listener to see the world through her eyes; “So, what about my muffin top is wrong,” she ponders.
With the chorus, she swings for the fences, peppering in humor to address the issue at hand. “I've been eatin' carbs since '95 / And I’ve heard thick thighs save lives,” she shrugs.
Humor is one of many masks Block wears 一 not as a way to hide but as a vehicle through which she sees and understands herself. What’s most evident is her willingness to be brazenly confident when she needs to be. In the spirit of Lauren Alaina’s ‘Bar Back,’ ‘My Bar’ is an acidic thumb-biter to an ex, finding her reclaiming her favorite watering hole. “No one even knows who you are,” she stares down a scorned lover.
‘Heels in Hand’ draws parallels between a well-worn pair of high heels and falling back into someone’s orbit. “A drink in my hand leads to an old nightstand / Leaving with nothing more than heels in hand,” she admits. Electric guitars rumble against the rhythm section, punctuating the emotional roar.
The album’s two biggest surprises arrive as a 1-2 sucker punch. A twisted piano ballad, ‘Like a Boy’ creaks beneath the pressures of never being seen or heard in a relationship, eventually being left to deafening silence to figure things out. “Ain’t it just like you to roll your eyes / Tune me out, turn on the TV,” she shares. Coming to grips with a relationship that’s overstayed its welcome is a hard pill to swallow 一 it’s never made any easier.
With ‘I Know a Girl,’ Block further sidewinds into her heartbreak but offers up a little sage advice to her younger self. “That’s just the way the world goes ‘round / It’ll break your heart / It’ll make you think you’ve lost everything,” she sings. Co-writer Hillary Lindsey lends her buttery vocals for background harmony, swapping in lead for the second verse. It’s a completely soul-shattering moment, worthy of Block’s potential.
Priscilla Block’s Welcome to the Block Party is an invitation. It’s an invitation to let loose even when the world is falling apart. Life is not always pretty, but Block invites you to enjoy every single second of it.
Priscilla Block's debut album, Welcome to the Block Party, is out Friday, February 11th via Snakefarm Records / UMG. You can pre-order the record from one of Holler's selected partners below: