When she was 17, it was a very good year. That is, if you’re Hailey Knox in 2016. The singer/songwriter from Carmel, NY has already been featured in the New York Times, appeared on the Today Show and is setting out on a national tour opening for Charlie Puth. All this to promote A Little Awkward, her enchanting new EP on S-Curve Records.
While rage against the parental machine might seem like a dark and odd choice for a debut pop single to anyone over 21, the lyrics certainly stir memories of meddling parents that were intrusive enough when I was trying to hide Prince albums in my bedroom, long before there was social media to be spied upon. Awkward will surely appeal to a generation raised on Disney Channel fare where all parents are bumbling idiots and all kids are wise, sassy, rebellious and usually spies or pop stars. Don’t even get me started on that dog with the freaking blog.
Back to Ms. Knox, as stunning as she is, beautiful girls with guitars are a dime a million in the age of live streaming and blind Voice auditions. You gotta have the talent and the songs, and she is well armed with both. The EP starts off with my personal favorite, ‘Take It Or Leave It’, where she exclaims “Give me a guitar and I’ll give you the truth, I’ll serve it hot like chicken soup.” It’s a bluesy pop song that fans of John Mayer will flip for. ‘Geeks’ is a beautiful, playful and delicate empowerment song that truly showcases her spectacular vocal prowess. ‘Loopty Loop’ is another funky potential single; that and ‘My Worst Enemy’ recall two of my favorite singers, Brooke White and Kate Voegele (both with fresh singles in my next roundup).
Knox’s voice is enchanting, her style is breathtaking. With all due respect to Grace VanderWaal, I think Hailey could be the next Taylor Swift, while the newly-crowned AGT champ is more like the next Bjork (and I mean that in the highest regard and awe), or as Howie Mandel called his golden buzzer girl, “the Next Bob Dylan” (spoiler alert, see below).
Back to the single, ‘Awkward’. As a non-helicopter parent of a beautiful daughter, I found some of the lyrics relatable (as would anyone whose seen an episode of Toddlers & Tiaras or Keeping Up With The Kardashians), but the line “Why don’t you treat me as an equal?” really steams my beans. But I’ll let a professional handle the response for us parents:
As for the official video, Awkward updates a rock and roll classic in an environmentally friendly way — and you gotta hand it to Hailey for deftly recovering a potential fumble mid way through the ambitious single shot take:
And while most kids will find the video totally fun and kinda awkward, people of my age will recognize the nod to the legendary troubadour and a song that defined a generation:
Not to mention the most famous version:
Or this random one posted to the Internets by some hippie:
Pick up A Little Awkward by Hailey Knox on iTunes and Amazon MP3. Or stream it, whatever. Connect with Hailey Knox on her facebook page or on YouNow, SnapChat, or like a thousand different apps and platforms. God I’m old. Thankfully, she’s not — be sure to wish her a happy birthday on facebook this week!