Spin - "NEW CITY BLUES is a guitar-driven album, employing urgent riffs on 'Paper Doll' and invoking an ominous twang on 'Liar Liar.' Sellers is her own artist..."
Personnel: Aubrie Sellers (background vocals); Josh Grange (guitar, steel guitar); Park Chisolm (guitar, banjo); Adam Wright (guitar, ukulele, harmonica, piano, background vocals); Chris Coleman (guitar, keyboards, percussion); Jason Goforth (lap steel guitar, harmonica); Fred Eltringham (drums, percussion); Jason Sellers, Dani Flowers, Grant Vogelfanger, Ice Ann Womack, Frank Rischie (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Jason Lehning.
Recording information: House of Blues Studio, Nashville, TN; Ronnie's Place; Sound Stage Studios.
Photographer: Allister Ann.
When pushing her 2016 debut New City Blues, Aubrie Sellers dubbed her sound "garage country" -- not a bad description of her world-view, which is constructed equally from noisy rock swagger and Nashville classicalism. There's a tension between these two extremes and Sellers' sweet, placid voice -- which, it has to be said, occasionally resembles the timbre of her mother Lee Ann Womack, even if the two tackle songs quite differently -- takes on different dimensions according to her arrangements. When things are either gnarled or spooky, she cuts against the guitars, providing a compelling contrast, but when things soften, she enhances her hushed surroundings. In both cases, her unaffected delivery -- not flat but rather direct, lacking any sense of showboating -- proves quietly compelling, the foundation from which New City Blues is built. One of the best qualities of this debut is its construction, from the production of Frank Liddell -- best known for his work with Miranda Lambert and also Sellers' stepfather -- to the songs themselves. Perhaps Sellers succumbs to the temptation to be a little bit too on the nose -- "Magazines," her broadside against media-fabricated standards, hits every expected mark -- but her execution is still sharp and when all the gears kick in, New City Blues is exceptional: soulful, smart, and unpredictable, Americana music that doesn't feel beholden to tradition even when it embraces it. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine