Briana Calhoun - 'Learn Girl'
Review by Brandon Watts & Staff
Based out of Louisiana, Briana Calhoun is a singer/songwriter with an eclectic style and an incredible story. During her teens and early twenties, Calhoun went through some difficult times. She fell victim to addiction, depression, and self-hatred which led to her doing time in state prison for multiple possession charges. With fierce determination and a will to better her life, Calhoun was able to turn her life around. Today, she holds a Master's degree and enjoys a successful career as a teacher. Calhoun is also a mother and wife. As an artist and activist, she seeks to empower others through her music. Currently, she has three songs released in advance of her upcoming EP including "Learn Girl", "Hang Up", and "Whiskey." "Learn Girl" is a great way to get acquainted with Calhoun's personal songwriting style, powerful message, and great music.
“Learn Girl” begins with Calhoun’s vocal set to acoustic guitar. "When ya gonna learn girl, girl. When ya gonna, when ya gonna learn." With a clear and expressive tone, Calhoun's vocal presentation is pure, genuine, and heartfelt. As Calhoun sings, an introspective quality is heard in her phrasing that draws the listener into her story.
The arrangement grows gradually with bass and drums entering at the top of the first verse followed by piano. All stops are pulled out for the chorus which blooms from the addition of electric guitars, and width to the mix.
The song is then developed by rhythmic interplay between two guitar parts. Following another roaring chorus, the arrangement scales back in instrumentation to just Calhoun’s vocals, acoustic guitar, and bass. "Don't kick. Don't crawl. Don't scream. Don't fight. It's gonna be alright." The choice to pull back is a nice touch that gets listeners to zero in on these important lyrics that show how difficult it can be to fight back negative thoughts.
The lyrics in “Learn Girl” come from one of Calhoun’s personal experiences. After making a bad decision, Calhoun was beating herself up and asking herself the main lyric, “When ya gonna learn girl?” However, she came to realize that it’s important to love yourself and wrote lyrics such as “You’re good. Look at everything you do. Accept it, don’t argue” to convey this message.
“Learn Girl” by Briana Calhoun is a powerful song from both a musical and lyrical standpoint. Calhoun’s vocals are a dream to listen to, and the musicianship on this single is outstanding. The arrangement serves the song well and frames the melody perfectly. With its lyrics, the song provides listeners with a positive, uplifting message. "Learn Girl" is a chart-worthy, stand-out, 2020 empowerment song.
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Find on Apple Music.
For more information on Briana Calhoun, visit her website.