Our Song of the Day is delivered by the exquisite vocals of 25-year-old Hadley McCall Thackston who hails from Decatur, Georgia. Butterfly is the opening track of her eponymous debut album (out on Wolfe Island Records on June 15, 2018), one that’s sure to win the hearts of many on first listen. She shared the following on the song:
“This song came to me in two parts. The first half of the song was inspired by a young friend of mine. The second half was written after my niece Caroline was born. Two girls, one just starting high school, one just starting her life. I wanted this song to encompass the journey we go through from girlhood to womanhood. And to embolden young women to own their strengths and weaknesses regardless of what anybody believes.”
A couple of years back, she was at a crossroads. Her singing voice was a natural gift, one integrated in her life from day one. “My mama swears I sang before I talked,” Hadley says, “so I guess I didn’t have a chance to overthink it but in my teenage years I struggled with anxiety and depression and seemed to have lost that connection to myself.”
However, in her early 20’s, after returning from a year of drama school in Ireland (where she discovered she had more passion for music than theatre), song ideas were forming — but the matter of shaping her own songs in the shape of her heart was still at hand. She took solace on her hometown porch in Decatur, Georgia, took out her guitar and started to tap into her creativity. “I started to discover my preference for being outside when I write, and I love the fact that I can be outside but under shelter at the same time. Porch-sittin’ is more of a communal tradition,” she added, “but at first, I didn’t really want to put anyone through my still tentative song-birthing process.”
As her confidence grew, the self-described “porch sitter” slowly started to unofficially premiere her songs for family, friends, and neighbors. Thus, the songs on Thackston’s debut eponymous record happened to have been written on various porches from Decatur, Georgia to Cedar Mountain, North Carolina to Wolfe Island, Ontario.
It was also an act of social media fate that coincided with Hadley’s trajectory which brought some cool, random threads together. Her best childhood friend, Wyeth Wood, finally convinced Hadley (who was quite the opposite of a social media maven) to post a clip of a porch performance on Facebook. Within minutes, David Corley — a long-time friend of Hadley’s mother — and a singer-songwriter whose own path to his debut album is an unusual story unto itself— happened to catch the clip and sent it off to his producer Hugh Christopher Brown.
Brown reached out and before Hadley knew it, she ditched her tentative plans to record a demo or two in Nashville and landed on Wolfe Island, Ontario, with a hat box full of songs, and began recording them with Brown in the captain’s chair as her mentor, engineer, arranger and producer.
More information: https://wolfeislandrecords.com/hadleymccallthackston/
Photo credit: Sus Bowers