Lassoing her way from Texas Hill Country up to the Windy City comes the sad cowgirl songstress herself, Reilly Downes.
Downes’ music isn’t your typical contemporary radio-friendly country though, as her panhandle and desert influence cuts across each track like a rattlesnake, adding some extra honesty and grit. In her vulnerable new single, “Spent,” however, the songwriter’s melodic and heartfelt side is on full display.
In this upbeat but heartbreaking single, Downes discusses how much she cares for her previous partner, and how she has “spent” everything on them . . . whether it was time or tears. She bears her soul on this track, and the hook line of every verse is burned into the back of my brain: “Oh, my darling . . .” The way that she refers to her prior partner using an endearing nickname signifies how she is still learning how to fall out of love with them, but chooses to remember the version of that person that she fell in love with.
While this particular song sounds like a more modern country song, Downes reveals that a song this good has to age like a fine wine.
“’Spent’ is about the vulnerability in a relationship, the trust built and the trust broken time and time again,” Downes told us. “I wrote this song 10 years ago when I was 23 while living in an attic in Colorado. I decided to finally do something with it last year when a friend had told me about Gems On VHS’ ‘Gems in the Rough’ singer-songwriter competition. We were in a pandemic, and I thought, ‘Well, what have I got to lose?’ Fast forward to a year later, and it’s the second single, and title track off my debut album, which is set to release in June 2022.”
From a musical standpoint, “Spent” is the perfect juxtaposition; the upbeat and flowing melodies indicate the love that Downes had for her partner, and the lyrics represent the love that was lost. The music in “Spent” also has the ability to transport the listener in the moment with Downes. It’s not difficult to imagine dancing in the desert, inhibitions to the wind, especially with the beautiful fiddle and guitar duet in the beginning of the song.
With her catchy new single “Spent”, Reilly Downes writing is the living personification of the desert from which she came: full of life for those that can stand the heat. Be sure to keep an eye out for her new record come June.