Local country artist Lauren Hall premiered her new music video “Excuse” on CMT June 10, and her latest single “Make Believe” dropped July 1 | Photo by Ruta Smith

Local country artist Lauren Hall’s two new songs put love in the hot seat.

Her most recent July 1 single, “Make Believe” calls out her love interest: “Make up your mind, make a choice, are you a man or just a boy?” The uptempo twanging tune explores how love is an action you can see. 

Her June 10 single, “Excuse” is a keys driven ballad that laments the mistake of holding onto a relationship that isn’t working. 

Above a plucky piano-mingled melody Hall sings: “Is the blame on me for opening that same damn door or is it all on you for promising like before? If we’re trying to keep some kind of win/lose score, I don’t really know who’s making the excuse anymore.”

“I own up to being a part of my own heartbreak because I didn’t let go sooner,” Hall said.

The new track was recorded in Nashville with producer Dan Frizsell who has worked with country artists such as Lee Brice and Jason Aldean. Hall usually starts in the studio with a simple demo of her singing with a guitar track, and then the session musicians articulate her song structure with their own spin. 

Hall’s music video for “Excuse” premiered on Country Music Television (CMT) thanks in large part to Beverly Keel from Change the Conversation, a music initiative to fight gender inequality in the music industry. 

Scenic shots from the new music video were filmed on a piece of land in Jedburg, S.C., which coincide with domestic scenarios that show the yin and yang of a romance. 

Hall wanted to capture a relationship dragging on, showing the authentic loving moments alongside the moments that rupture intimacy. 

“So every scene, there’s a happy moment with me and this guy and then it shows we’re moving apart and we’re distant — showing how the relationship started to fall apart, showing the good and the bad. It wasn’t like the relationship was all bad all the time, that’s why I held onto it, but the bad started to outweigh the good. And then ultimately it ends.”

Hall first got into ’90s country music from names like Trisha Yearwood, Shania Twain and The Chicks, developing a passion for the simplistic songwriting about love’s frustrations and triumphs. 

She tried her hand at songwriting when she was 14, and of course she didn’t really know what she was doing at first. 

“I loved love — writing about interactions and relationships whether it was heartbreak or actually falling in love,” Hall said. “I was very fascinated with it. As I grew as a writer and had more serious relationships, I would use [writing] as therapy.”

To her, music is a remedy when it falls on the right ears. 

“That’s why I write music: for me to get through whatever I went through, and then to send it out to people who maybe went through the same thing. If they’re crying in the car at night, they get to put on your song and cry with you. It’s an honor to have an opportunity to connect with people in that way.” 

As a 25-year-old woman immersed in live music culture, Hall feels like she’s often dealt with the assumption that somebody else is doing everything for her. Behind the scenes she is her own manager, handling all the booking details, running her brand as a business and dictating how she displays her art. However, she’s experienced a strong support system within Charleston’s creative community. 

“The musicians and the artists really work to go to each other’s shows and support each other and that’s really important,” Hall said. 

“We are all individual artists. Human nature is you want to be the best and have success — you just have to remember you’re bringing something different to the table. If the opportunity is for you, I’m a firm believer that it will find you and it will come to you. It’s not easy. We’re meant to cheer each other on.”

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