Shane Britt Releases “I’m Not Well”

Combining firm guitars, a bittersweet beat and a lead vocal that melts hearts on the spot isn’t necessarily a new concept when developing a single, but when Shane Britt does it in his song “I’m Not Well,” he elevates the role that each of these components has to play. Britt wasn’t determined to pen a concept country song in this performance, but instead, something with a more familiar countrified backbone, and what transpired on paper would ultimately give birth to the melodic gem that is “I’m Not Well” this season.

A lot of country with a little taste of rock and a ton of charisma are thrown into a melting pot of harmonies and texture right from the jump here, and though the vocal tends to keep everything tied together in a neat package, there’s no predicting what magic lies around the next bend in this song. Crossovers have been almost everywhere you look in the last couple of months, but I think the key thing that makes this track different from the rest right now is compositional integrity. You can tell Britt is invested in this narrative, and that’s not always the case in modern music.

The strings are always the focal point of our attention in “I’m Not Well,” and to some extent, I think the vocal was designed to frame their toned communique instead of the other way around. This isn’t to dismiss Shane Britt’s singing as lackluster – as previously stated, I think his vocal is the linchpin holding the jagged edges in the track together like superglue – but instead to point out how important the instrumental element is in this track.

The chemistry between Britt and the backing band is white-hot here, with the words and music binding together in a way that lets us get something out of every part of the song as opposed to focusing on one particular component. “I’m Not Well” is more than versatile enough to stand a more elaborate remix, but even if this is the lone version of the track we get, I think it’s going to go a long way toward establishing Britt as a reliable solo performer in the indie community.

You don’t have to be a big country fan to like the crossover tone that this single has to offer, but for those of us who are, it’s coming at the perfect time this July. Shane Britt sounds like a man who has a lot of miles under his belt when he steps to the mic, but in “I’m Not Well” specifically, the narrative draws something out of his creative mind that wasn’t as accessible before now. He’s still got room for improvement – as does most anyone trending in the underground at the moment – but if he’s able to build on the momentum he’s setting up for himself with the release of this single, he’ll be in great shape moving forward. I love the potential here, and I can’t wait to see where it takes Britt and his majestic sense of melodicism next.

Chadwick Easton


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