The new single by Karli June, Say Too Much—out Jan. 24 on all platforms—demonstrates again how the lines between country and rock continue to be blurred. The track brought together the Waterloo, Ontario-based June with Scott Chesak, known for his songwriting and production work with Weezer and Panic At The Disco, as well as his current gig playing keyboards with All American Rejects.
The unlikely pairing is another step on Karli June’s path toward the release of her debut EP later this year, on which she plans to display a forthright take on country-pop that’s both optimistic and thoughtful. Born and raised on a farm in southwestern Ontario, June sang in her church’s choir, and at local fairs and singing competitions, before teaching herself guitar and making her initial songwriting attempts as a teenager.
Inspired by Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain and Kacey Musgraves, she recorded her first two singles in 2016 with CCMA Award-winning producer/guitarist Jason Barry, which led to June landing spots at marquee Canadian country music festivals such as Boots & Hearts, where she shared the stage with many Canadian and American country music luminaries.
Say Too Much is the first taste of what fans can expect from Karli June this year as she continues to work in the studio with veteran Canadian industry figure Fraser Hill. We got more details during our recent conversation, and you can find out more at karlijune.com. A Spotify link for the single here
How did the recording of your new single Say Too Much come together?
I have been working with Fraser Hill over the past year, who pitched me this song written by Scott Chesak. We both loved the song’s message and anthemic chorus, and it was the perfect fit for my voice. Scott then flew up from L.A. and we spent a few days all working together with Scott serving as producer. It was amazing to be in a room with two people who love to push the envelope. We tried a few different ideas until we got it just right. None of us is the type to back down until it feels like it’s supposed to!
What do you feel sets you apart from other country music artists?
There are so many incredible artists in country music who deeply inspire me. I think we all have a story to tell, and that’s our job as artists. When you authentically tell your story it instantly makes you unique. My goal is to be true to myself, where I come from, and the lessons that life has taught me. I hope that it inspires others. My favourite part of music is using it to connect with people.
How did you become interested in country music?
I grew up on a dairy farm in a small town and so it was pretty much all we listened to! My first musical memories were of my Dad playing air guitar with a pitchfork to Shania Twain out in the barn. We listened to Shania, Faith, Reba, Trisha... so many powerhouse women. I loved the stories and, for me, there was no other genre that hit me as country music did.
What song by another artist do you wish you had written?
Right now, I am in love with More Hearts Than Mine by Ingrid Andress. The concept of a girl bringing someone home to meet her family is something so real and I love how well this is expressed in this song. One of my favourites from 2019.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
My EP will be coming out and I am so excited about it! I have been spending the last couple of years really figuring out who I am and what I want to share, and I am so thrilled that 2020 will be the year I get to do that.