January 11, 2013
This finely crafted gem of a country song was co-written by Country Universe staff favorite Ashley Monroe, and was released as a single in 2005 by Australian country artist Catherine Britt, whose own version is well worth seeking out. The song was also a highlight of the charming Edens Edge self-titled debut album released last summer, and now looks like it might be one of the most enjoyable singles with a prayer of radio airplay in 2013.
The central metaphor strikes a perfect balance of simple accessibility and dead-on effectiveness. Indeed, it’s hard to think of a more fitting way to illustrate a noncommittal relationship in which a man walks in and out of a woman’s life as he pleases.
Moreover, the single could hardly be a more apt showcase of the force of musical talent that is Edens Edge, with the dobro- and banjo-picking of Dean Berner and Cherrill Green featuring prominently throughout the song. Lead vocalist Hannah Blaylock gives a subdued reading of the opening verse, and tackles the high notes in the chorus with clarity and style, even giving a bit of a growl as the song crescendos to a finish, but doing so without breaking character – demonstrating dynamic interpretive skills not commonly found in younger, newer artists.
Now two Top 30 hits into their career, only time will tell if Edens Edge is to enter the automatic add club at radio. But if the country music industry were a meritocracy, “Swingin’ Door” would be a surefire hit – well-written, beautifully sung, tastefully produced, and actually country.
Written by Terry Clayton, Brett James, and Ashley Monroe
Listen: Swingin’ Door