Listen to "Wounded," a new track by Buckeye country singer Katryna Eastwood, and it's easy to think the singer is far older than her 16 years. The haunting acoustic melody is layered with poignant lyrics of a heartbreaking man, collecting loves without a care before throwing them to the wayside.
The current single off Eastwood's debut album, Small Town Roads, off local label Skywalk Records, is a somber departure from Eastwood's previously released material, which have been more country rock than acoustic ballad - and that's exactly how Eastwood likes it.
"I would describe my music as unexpected, because with every song I create, my main goal is to make it different from the rest," the young singer-songwriter, currently a high school student at The Odyssey Institute for Advanced and International Studies, says. "A lot of albums, after you've heard the first five songs, you've heard all 10."
Eastwood, who wrote all the lyrics and melodies for her 11-song album, says listeners will find everything from hard rock to acoustic indie throughout, with touches of violins, organ and bass guitar. She says she's influenced by everyone from Broadway singers like Idina Menzel, to current country artists like Kasey Musgraves, hence the variety on her album.
Eastwood isn't just a songwriting talent - she plays guitar, bass guitar, flute and piano and was the first Arizona-based student at the Anderson Institute of Music, where she attended from 2010-2013.
Despite how far she's come, Eastwood knows there's a bigger musical world beyond Buckeye. She named her album, which will be released on iTunes and her website by the end of March, Small Town Roads because she says the album tells a story of a young lady living in, well, a small town.
"Living in a small town is great, but where can I go next?" Eastwood says. "As much as I love Buckeye, I'd love to go to Nashville and travel the world."
There's a song by the album's name on the disc, while her lead single, "Silver Suitcase," sets the tone of the album's theme for listeners. Eastwood already has some big accomplishments under her belt, singing the national anthem throughout the state and opening for big names such as Train. She hopes to embark on a tour this summer, promising every show of hers is a party.
"I hate going to concerts and just standing there, so I always try to get the crowd involved and sing some covers," Eastwood says. "Performing is my favorite part about all this. I really love hanging out with everyone and talking to people. Seeing how my music affects people is really meaningful."
For anyone who has been wronged by a wayward lover - or hurt by anyone in general - "Wounded" is definitely meaningful.
"It's about guarding yourself from the negative people in the world, and I definitely have come across those people," Eastwood says. "It could be a bad relationship, a bad friendship, peer pressure, anything." If Eastwood is already this wise beyond her years, her growth as a songwriter will be an exciting journey to watch.
Learn more about the singer here.
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