Kentucky native Angaleena Presley began her country music career as a songwriter before teaming up with Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe to perform as Pistol Annies. Following a show at London’s Borderline earlier this week, she opened the second day of this year’s Nashville Meets London in support of her critically acclaimed second album, Wrangled.
Angaleena opened her performance with American Middle Class, the title track from her 2014 debut album, and it set the tone for the entire set. The biting social commentary of her lyrics worked perfectly with the traditional twang of the melody and the slight growl in her voice. It was clear from the off that she’s an artist who’s got something to say and isn’t afraid to say it.
Throughout the set Angaleena showed off her impressive vocals and songwriting skills, particularly on ballads like Dry County Blues and Wrangled, as well as her sassy side on the uptempo Country, Good Girl Down and Bless Your Heart. She also spoke about social issues in songs like Knocked Up and Grocery Store, as well as talking about the under-representation of women in between songs.
The standout moment for me however was Dreams Don’t Come True. Angaleena’s smoky, bluesy tone really came through on the raw, emotional song and you could hear the vulnerability in her voice. I also really loved Only Blood, a gospel-influenced traditional track which she wrote with Chris Stapleton, and the humour of Unhappily Married.
Overall I was seriously impressed with Angaleena’s performance – her vocals were excellent and I liked the mix of blues, Americana and Southern rock influences in her songs. She’s definitely one of my new favourite artists and I can’t wait to see what she does next. My only wish is that she’d been a bit higher up the bill!
Set list: 1. American Middle Class 2. Knocked Up 3. Outlaw 4. Unhappily Married 5. Dreams Don’t Come True 6. Only Blood 7. Country 8. Dry County Blues 9. Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys (Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson cover) 10. Mama I Tried 11. Wrangled 12. Grocery Store 13. Little Bit 14. Bless My Heart 15. Good Girl Down Performance date: Sunday 23rd July 2017