Kelleigh Bannen was signed to a major country label earlier this decade—an experience she’s channeled into her podcast This Nashville Life—but she'd started out as an independent artist and has been doing some of her sharpest work since she returned to that status. On Favorite Colors, all of which she co-wrote and most of which was produced by Cadillac Three frontman Jaren Johnston, she alternates between two country-pop approaches that suit her well. During tracks like “Haters,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” and “The Joneses,” Bannen brings bright, burnished attitude and wit to sturdy hooks. Elsewhere, she excels at conversational clarity and tonal subtlety; “Happy Birthday” laces well-wishing with regret, “Suit” makes a jump-the-gun marriage fantasy feel knowing and playful, and “John Who” channels dismissive bite through reflection. Bannen has the sultry, R&B-shaded voice and singing smarts to bring multilayered moods into focus.