Rachel McIntyre Smith hit the ground running at a young age. As a child prodigy of piano and poetry, music was the only path she could follow. But it wasn’t until college at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, when McIntyre Smith listened to Kacey Musgraves for the first time, that she saw country music open up before her.
Unfortunately, the seemingly wide-open road was cut short by the pandemic. When she moved back in with her parents in Oliver Springs, Tenn., McIntyre Smith felt stuck in her life. As the people she grew up with had kids and bought houses in their early 20s, McIntyre Smith wondered if her chosen path was the right one.
“I felt so behind. I started spiraling. I rethought a bunch of decisions I had made,” McIntyre told The Boot. “I looked through old pictures, journals, and home videos. To process the emotions, I started writing and recording songs. I didn’t realize until the beginning of 2022 that I should turn it into a collection. I’m so happy I did. I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
The songs transformed into her new EP, Glory Daze, produced by Dran Michael. The project is a gauzy take on pop-country, part Musgraves, part Phoebe Bridgers, all sincere storytelling and heartstring-pulling. McIntyre Smith brings Zillenial humor to the fore with the swampy “Miss Highfalutin,” and turns the introspection high on “Glory Daze.” The ballad “First Love” is show-stopping in its intimacy and vulnerability. It all adds up to what McIntyre smith dubs “comfort twang” — lyrics that feel friendly and music that references classic country with an eye to the future.
Glory Daze will be officially released this Friday, Sept. 30. Until then, you can stream the EP exclusively at The Boot.
Top 10 Country Albums of the 1990s
Yet the ’90s also introduced several new acts that would shape country music for decades to come, and found veteran artists receiving a bump in notoriety (and record sales), courtesy of a mainstream musical climate that embraced the genre like never before. Read on for The Boot’s picks for the Top 10 Country Albums of the 1990s.