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CF Watkins Releases New Album Today

Listen to 'Babygirl' below!

CF Watkins Releases New Album Today

Americana-pop singer-songwriter, Cf Watkins, has released the new album, Babygirl, via Whatever's Clever Records. Filled with conscious themes of empowerment, Babygirl is both a coming of age story and an ode to female friendship. "Romances have come in and out of my life, but through it all, the relationships that continue to open my heart the most are grounded in the women I've known," says Watkins. "This is an album meant for other women to hear -- with songs that are both vulnerable and powerful."

Based in Brooklyn for the past nine years, before moving to Nashville just last month, Watkins' Americana-pop style embodies the influences of her North Carolina roots. Performing since the age of fourteen, she has shared the stage with acts like Langhorne Slim, Future Birds, Chatham County Line, Wilder Maker, Lowland Hum, and Alpenglow. Her 2016 debut release, I Am New, as well as the single, "Frances and Jack," were produced by Daniel Goans of Lowland Hum at White Star Studios.

For the recording of Babygirl, Watkins collaborated with Max Hart, a producer and multi-instrumentalist who has worked with artists like The War On Drugs, Katy Perry, and Melissa Etheridge. The recording itself was a unique, bi-coastal experience. At the time, Hart was living in LA - and frequently on tour with Etheridge - while Watkins was in Brooklyn. "Recording the record happened over the span of a lot of time, a lot of emails, and phone calls. Max would tell me when he would have a week off to go into the studio and I would fly out to L.A. where we would spend five days at a time working tirelessly on songs that we had already started planning over long-distance demos," Watkins explains. "It had its challenges and frustrations but I think the constraint of time and space forced us to be really intentional, and also allowed us to really reflect after we had finished an intense week of recording."

The album portrays her growth as both a person and an artist. "When I think about my last album, I feel I was writing songs about weakness," Watkins says. "With this album, I made a conscious effort to write songs about the power of choosing yourself."

The opening track, "The Tell," is a mission statement of sorts for the record, centered in expressing the delicate balance of vulnerability and power. "I'm not gonna beg. Won't beg for you anymore," Watkins sings.

The following song, "Changeable" came together after Watkins' father mailed her a stack of letters filled with written exchanges between her grandfather and grandmother. In one letter in particular, her grandfather, who was a decoder in WWII and stationed in NYC for training, wrote, "I've been pretty much down in the dumps since I've been here in N.Y. Something's wrong with this place. I can't tell exactly what it is, all I know is that I don't like it here." He went on to use the word "changeable" in reference to his fickle tendencies, a feeling Watkins understands. We hear the sense of wonder and influence of Watkins' grandparents emerge again in the album with songs like "Frances" and "Little Thing."

Watkins continues to gather inspiration from the people in her life in both the title track, "Babygirl," and later in "Holly." "I wanted to honor my female friends and honor the beauty of female friendship-- the romance and freedom of female friendship," Watkins mentions. "To me, that feels like the ultimate love."

With "Dogwood" and "Westfield" we hear from the singer as she's living in New York, longing for her own return to the winding roads and foothills of North Carolina. Her desire for a homecoming speaks to the larger themes of the album-- the desire for a return to herself.

"Come Around" and "New Hampshire" speak to the unrest that can be found in attachments before welcoming the embrace of another with "Out in the Sun." The album simmers to conclusion with "White Nights," a song inspired by a Dostoevsky short story of the same name. Watkins tells of love without regret-- the beauty in a brief relief from loneliness.

Cf Watkins is an artist who understands the urge for connection and the goodness in finding it, who sings with a kind of knowing about the ways we need each other even when, especially when, we feel weak. "I continue to play music because I want to connect with people," Watkins says. "Babygirl is an expression of gratitude for those bonds that inform and renew us."

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