There’s a reason why certain people call it “NashVegas.”
Whether to profit off that phrase and what it entails, or suggest it in a negative sense when referring to the often out of control downtown night life brought on almost entirely by tourists, Nashville has garnered a particular reputation for better or worse, depending on who you ask.
Well, if you ask Nashville natives and childhood friends Carter Brallier (Santa’s Ice Cold Pickers) and Ryan Jennings (Teddy & The Rough Riders) of newly formed country-tinged duo Westwood Avenue, they would likely suggest the latter.
Along with notable Music City songstress Erin Rae, (who is set to drop her new album early next year) the trio deliver a blunt but casual ode to life in downtown Nashville with their cheeky debut single, “Bachelorette Screams.”
With Joshua Shoemaker behind the lens, the video follows a seemingly disillusioned Brallier out for a weary Broadway strut, donning a pretty little tiara and a sash that reads, “Go Home.” After his sleepy opening verse, Rae steps into the shot with matching flair, taking over the second verse.
Brallier slings his arm over the fellow Nashvillian’s shoulder, and the two proceed to meander at a turtle’s pace down the honky tonk strip, soaking in the bullshit with a modest number of passers by coming in and out of the singular shot.
After Rae’s verse, the already slow and twangy tune descends into lava-lamp-like speed after the two take a mystery shot from a passing street server.
“Just ’cause you could come to Nashville / Doesn’t mean you should / It was once a lovely city / Now it’s not so good,” they sing. “I’ve been searchin’ / But it’s hard to find / The love of your dreams / Beneath the bachelorette screams.” Cue a silly yet endearing foghorn-like melody followed by steel guitar, and the song whisks you away on a puffy country cloud.
Shortly after, guitar picker Jennings joins the honky tonk walkabout lingering somewhat behind, completing the sonic trifecta.
As someone who spent shy of six years living in the vibrant city with so much to offer, I can attest to the bitter battle between locals and tourists, specifically bachelorettes.
As of 2019, the nation’s top bachelorette scientists discovered that Nashville had usurped Las Vegas as the new capital for these “woo girls” as they’ve come to be known – and as a resident, this is a factoid that surely seemed indisputable.
It’s also known that as a Music City local, venturing to the boiling hellbroth of downtown was something you just didn’t do, unless there was an obligation. (i.e. friends visiting, had a gig, etc.)
All this of course is from an annoyed resident/native’s perspective, of course. The economic ramifications and other political-based crap that’s out of my wheelhouse may tell a different story on how bachelorettes and others have helped boost Nashville to the destination it is today. So the argument can indeed be made that these visitors and transplants play and have played a large role in the boom of such a city, again, for better or worse. Hell, it helps some musicians pay the bills at least.
Either way, they do indeed suck the decency out of the city, and are a painful detriment to most of the five senses, especially to those who grew up in Nashville and have seen what it was, and what it has become- case in point the trio behind this delightfully hypnotizing and much needed anthem.
Here’s to hoping Westwood Avenue’s “Bachelorette Screams” goes viral, and potentially obnoxious visitors think twice. (first part could happen, second won’t- but a fella can/will hope)