Nashville is Oz for rising rock and country stars, and Jack White is one of the wizards behind the curtain. His tastemaking Third Man Records launched the careers of Music City mold-breakers like Margo Price and The Black Belles, and his next bet is Lillie Mae, the buzzed-about singer-songwriter touring with Robert Plant. White and Mae go way back—she played fiddle in White’s touring bands for years, until the two collaborated on her 2017 debut Forever and Then Some, a rootsy, folksy, electric wonder that made bluegrass feel alive and new.
Other Girls, her spellbinding follow-up, digs deeper. Produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile) and recorded in the historic RCA Studio A, it tells Mae’s stories of heartbreak and self-discovery through deceptively simple melodies (“Some Gamble”), chilling harmonies (“Crisp & Cold”), and expansive, almost mystical instrumentation (“You’ve Got Other Girls for That”). The songs are packed with personality and left turns: “How?” asks big questions with wandering, childlike intonations, and the dizzying, six-minute “Love Dilly Love” is a vision quest of spoken word that seems to recount all the ways love can let us down.