Norman, Oklahoma-bred singer-songwriter Krystal Keith blazes her own country music path on the five-song EP Boulder, out now on famous father Toby Keith’s Show Dog Nashville imprint. Her powerful voice drowns out preconceived notions about her surname and label affiliation–even if the best song continues a proud family tradition of witty wordplay.
The follow-up to her 2013 debut album Whiskey & Lace, known for the songs “Get Your Redneck On” and “Daddy Dance With Me,” features five new co-writes by Keith. A duet with label mate Lance Carpenter titled “Anyone Else” has already made the rounds online. Its music video’s tale of an emotionally turbulent relationship offers a sneak peek at both artists’ country radio appeal. Throughout the song, Carpenter sounds as much like a possible country star on the rise as his leading lady. Let’s hope there’s more songs of this caliber in both singers’ futures.
Elsewhere on the EP, Keith adds a touch of soul to pop-country with the boisterous title track and the equally jubilant “I Got You.” She also shows a softer side with “Then It Started Raining.” It’s the sort of bluesy belter that Wynonna or LeAnn Rimes might’ve taken to the top five back when they played way more women on the radio.
While those four songs were enough to establish Keith as a new country singer on the rise, it’s the sassy and hilarious “Resting Beach Face” that allows her personality to shine. It’s as if she listened to some of her dad’s self-depreciating material, such as the underrated “Red Solo Cup,” and said, “Hold my Corona, y’all. I got this.” It’s silly for sure, but in the same classic country way as Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn’s playful taunting from “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly.”