An urgent string melody guides us into the warmth of Kaitlyn Kohler’s lead vocal like nothing else could in the new single “Everywhere I Go,” but as we listen on, it becomes quite clear that the up-and-coming country singer has more than minimalist harmonies on her mind in this track. Emerging from the shadows behind the guitar part we start to hear the formation of a beat; the drum element responsible is buried beneath the swelling magic sourced from the serenade, and yet it’s playing a significant role in shaping the emotion in every lyric we hear. “Everywhere I Go” definitely isn’t the first occasion on which Kohler has flexed serious muscle with the mic in her hand, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s her most complete and mature piece of material to be released thus far. 


Two of the biggest singles we heard from this artist, “I’m Not Crying” (released last year) and her debut “Everything’s Here but You” (2019) dabbled in mildly straightforward concepts adorned with some hybrid aesthetics ala Americana and folk, but this most recent offering is decidedly harder to read – even from a critical standpoint. Kohler seems intent on establishing herself as a vocal-first kind of a performer, at least judging from the construction of the hook in “Everywhere I Go,” but there’s enough of a textural communication from the beat and a not-so-subtle bassline to confirm that she’s not interested in abandoning instrumental frills entirely. Complicated would be one way to look at it, but I think a term like multidimensional is a bit more fitting. 

When the chorus erupts from our speakers and brings forth an atmospheric melody far more potent than anything preceding it, there’s a moment in which Kohler sounds like she’s going to cut loose and belt out the lyrics with more panache than we’ve ever heard from her before – but alas, a near-whisper is what she produces. Her execution, especially at this juncture of the song, elevates the sense of vulnerability the words are already alluding to, thus offering us a full-bodied, deeply intimate finish in “Everywhere I Go” that simply wasn’t present in the first handful of singles this artist released. She’s learned how to exploit everything at her disposal in the studio, which is something a lot of players would spend a lifetime trying to perfect. 

Kaitlyn Kohler’s “Everywhere I Go” finishes us off with another gushing groove before abruptly stopping on a dime, leaving only silence in the place of its ebbing harmony. I’ve been quite impressed with what this country singer has been developing in her songwriting as of late, and if you haven’t taken the time out to do so, I think this summer season is the right moment to get into her sound. “Everywhere I Go” sees her skillset continuing to evolve in the right direction, and it would not surprise me at all if this track garnered a little more mainstream attention than her virgin studio cuts did upon their initial release. 

 Garth Thomas