Shelby Darrall Achieves Twin Milestones: ‘Melt’ EP Release and Ryman Auditorium Debut with Larry Fleet
Darrall’s new six-song EP showcases her growth as an artist and person.
Shelby Darrall; Photo Provided
Today (September 22), Shelby Darrall will hit two major milestones as an artist.
The rising star dropped her second EP on all music streaming platforms this morning, and she will be making her debut at the historic Ryman Auditorium this evening.
Earlier this week, the budding country star spoke to Country Now about both of these thrilling endeavors during an exclusive interview.
Darrall’s six-track project, Melt, is finally out for the world to hear, serving as the follow-up to her EP from last year, Entertainment for the Brokenhearted (which featured her smash hit, “Love Me When I’m Leavin’”).
“I feel like my best way to describe it is it’s like the big sister to Entertainment for the Brokenhearted. It’s just like maybe a more matured version,” she explained. “I feel like I’ve lived a little more life than I had obviously when I wrote the first project, and I’ve grown a lot and I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I deal with things and who I am as an artist, and I think that comes through in the second EP.”
“Even just like the sound of it is more my lane. I worked with a new producer named Jake Mitchell, and he also wrote a lot of songs with me, so we really honed in on what my sound is and what makes sense for me as an artist,” the talented singer-songwriter continued.
Then, the 26-year-old proceeded to gush about how she has grown since the release of Entertainment for the Brokenhearted back in April of 2022, both personally and professionally.
“I’ve learned that I don’t always have to be a little brat about things, even though sometimes it’s fun. I’ve also learned how to kind of soften a little bit emotionally, which I used to think was a weakness, but it’s definitely not… Melt is just about me coming into myself more in like every way,” Darrall shared.
While half of the songs on the project (“Little Man,” “Three Words” and “Hope He Hears This”), were released in the months leading up to its release, Melt features three never-been-heard-before tracks that fans were so excited to stream for themselves.
“The next song on the track listing is called ‘Melt,’ which is the title track,” the rising country star revealed. “It’s a love song that makes you feel good and makes you realize that it’s okay to be a little bit softer every now and then and show your softer sides and feel all those butterflies that you feel and not be embarrassed by them… I also don’t think guys get enough love songs these days (for good reason most of the time), but there are some good ones that deserve a strong love song, and so I wanted to write one for them.”
As mentioned, “Melt” also serves as the title of the EP, but why did Darrall pick this song to represent the entirety of her sophomore project?
“‘Melt’ was the song for me that was kind of a standout lyrically of where I’ve grown to and how I’ve changed, and I guess also like the sound of it, it’s country but it leans a little bit rock, and that’s kind of where we’re trying to go with my music more, at least with the uptempos for sure,” she explained. “It just felt like the right choice to kind of be like, ‘This is the next part of Shelby Darrall.’”
The second never-been-heard-before track is titled “Dancer” which the emerging artist has deemed as “probably [her] favorite song on the entire project.”
“There’s a tone to this EP that is a lot more about me as an artist and my growth and what you go through as an artist (especially in this music industry) and how it can be a little bit difficult sometimes, and ‘Dancer’ kind of highlights how sometimes you get shoved into a certain box that you don’t fit in, and you just can’t be that dancer. I’m a singer-songwriter. I’m not a dancer. I can’t be perfect,” the star-in-the-making shared. “It’s just a storyline of the triumphs and trials of being an artist.”
To the surprise of fans everywhere, the third song is not entirely new. Instead, Darrall decided to release the demo version of “Three Words” as “a little gift” to those who love the single.
“I wrote that song with Tofer Brown. He produced this demo, and so, I don’t know, there was just some magic to it… As great as the master was and as cool as it was, there was something about that demo that people liked, so we decided to put out the demo too, basically, and give them a little gift,” she revealed with a smile.
While all six songs on Melt are nothing short of spectacular, Darrall revealed to Country Now why she decided to hone in on these tracks in particular, scrapping dozens of other songs that could have been a part of the EP.
She said, “I think when we were talking about it, these songs have always felt like a project to me. We were gonna do singles, and then they all went so well together and they all kind of told a similar story or a similar time in my life, and so we were like, ‘Let’s make this an EP.’”
As if release day is not exciting enough, Shelby Darrall will be playing to a sold-out crowd at the iconic Ryman Auditorium tonight as well, opening up for her dear friend and fellow country music artist, Larry Fleet.
“Larry Fleet is also like a really really great friend of mine, so it’s a big deal to get to do it with him,” Darrall gushed, prior to sharing what was going through her mind when she was asked to perform at the Ryman.
“I was kind of talking about wanting to one day play the Ryman in this write, and we wrote this song called ‘Plan B,’ and it talks about the Ryman in it,” the budding songstress explained. “Literally as I was driving away from that write, my manager called and was like, ‘Hey! We’re confirmed for the Ryman,’ and I like bawled. It still makes me emotional, constantly.”
The multi-faceted performer then proceeded to share what her highly-anticipated set will entail, including some performances from her brand new EP, Melt.
“It’s the Ryman, so we’re kind of catering the show a little bit more towards that type of stage and that size room really, so there’s definitely some uptempos on the EP that we’re gonna go all out on, full band, have fun. I bought a tambourine that I’m gonna play,” she shared with a grin. “There’s definitely more emotional songs that we want to really strip back a little bit, do acoustic, and really like make a moment out of it [as well].”
Regardless of what tricks Shelby Darrall has up her sleeve this evening, September 22 will always be a day to remember when it comes to her journey in the country music industry.
Fans can listen to Melt now on all music streaming platforms.
Melanie has been writing for Country Now since August of 2023. Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee, she graduated from Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma in 2023 with a BA in Journalism. During her free time, she loves going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite TV shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).