“I was just coming out of my depression, so that was fun,” country singer-songwriter Abby Anderson tells Billboard of writing her latest single, “Bad Posture,” which released in October. “My hair was black. I was going through it, man.”
It was a different image than country music fans had come to know of Anderson—a gregarious, charming singer-songwriter. Since her debut in 2018, Anderson released the ballad “Make Him Wait,” and collaborated with Jimmie Allen on a cover of the A Star Is Born hit “Shallow,” with their collaboration reaching No. 21 on Billboard‘s Country Digital Song Sales chart in 2019. That same year, she opened shows for Rob Thomas on his Chip Tooth Tour.
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But in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced artists away from the road. That extended time away from touring gave Anderson the space to ponder deep-seated emotions that she’d pushed away to focus on her career.
“I think 2020 was the first time that I was truly still, and that’s scary sitting with your thoughts,” Anderson says. “Before, I didn’t have time to ever ask myself, ‘Abby, what do you want? Do you like this music?’ I had a hard talk with myself. I asked myself, ‘What’s the point of making music and being in the spotlight if I’m not even being honest? I was making music I liked, but I didn’t love it. There’s a big difference.”
She took that swirl of emotions to friend and fellow artist-writer Anna Vaus, who had the title “Bad Posture” written in her phone. From there the lyrics spilled out: “Burden on my shoulders, All of your words that you put on me like a weight/ Yeah, I used to have bad posture/ But since you’ve been gone I stand up straight.”
Though at first glance, the lyrics seem to tell a straightforward journey toward healing after a romantic breakup, the song captures both the personal and professional evolution Anderson has been through.
“We were talking about everything we learned in 2020,” Anderson says of that writing session with Vaus. “I said, ‘I don’t understand why I felt for so long that I had to shrink myself emotionally for people to feel comfortable around me.’ Where do we learn that as young women we have to be quiet and mysterious, but also be bubbly—to be all these things except fully yourself? She had the title ‘Bad Posture’ and we wrote it in like 20 minutes. Every single line just poured out—everything we’d felt the past few years.”
In 2017, at age 19, Anderson inked a label and publishing deal with Black River Entertainment, and soon released tracks including “This Feeling,” “Good Lord,” and the ballad “Make Him Wait,” which drew …….