Don’t you just hate it when bad songs happen to good people?
Sellers has been trying to carve out a spot for her brand of “garage country” since 2015, and she seems to have a lot going for her: industry connections (her mother is 90s/00s hitmaker Lee Ann Womack, and her stepfather is producer Frank Liddell), critical buzz (she’s one of Taste of Country’s RISERs for 2017), and a tour slot with kindred spirit and respected singer/songwriter Miranda Lambert. None of this matters if the music isn’t there, however, and “Liar Liar,” Sellers’s third single off of her debut album New City Blues, can only be described as a monumental squandering of potential.
In terms of the production, the only two instruments of note here are a plodding, low-energy drum set and a haunting electric guitar with an eerie tone. “Garage country” is a fitting description of the sound here, because it brings to mind a group of teenagers in a garage who are trying to hide their inexperience and sound edgy. The mix sets a dark, brooding vibe that fits the song well, but it feels boring and basic, as if the musicians are still learning how to play their instruments properly. (Not even the guitar solo on the bridge impressed me that much.) All in all, the song could have benefited from putting a few layers of Nashville polish on its rough edges.
Sellers is undoubtedly the biggest selling point of this track: Her voice is very similar to her mother’s, but hers is a little rougher and tends to have a lower pitch. The vocal charisma is definitely there, however, as Sellers does an excellent job casting herself as the spurned lover and giving a song a dash of understated anger. Her tone stays level and even-keeled throughout the song, but she definitely comes across as someone you wouldn’t want to cross.
Unfortunately, the song doesn’t give Sellers a whole lot to work with, both in terms of quantity and quality. The verses are short and leave a lot of dead air in the song (which the instrumentation fails to fill), and the imagery is fairly bland and generic (although “bargain bin romanticize” was a nice zinger). The song could really have used another verse or so, and what’s currently there needs some serious wordsmithing. As it is, the song is completely reliant on Sellers’s delivery to keep listeners engaged.
Overall, “Liar Liar” is a disappointing song that undersells Aubrie Sellers’s future potential. While she seems like a promising artist, she’s saddled with (and overshadowed by) sub-par production and songwriting, and is unable to elevate the material to something worth listening to. Michael Jordan never won without Scottie Pippen, and Sellers will never break through unless she gets some better music and lyrics to back her up.
Rating: 4/10. Sellers’s other material is a bit better than this, so check out those songs and leave “Liar Liar” alone.