Don't think I've seen anyone that that feels a song, that pours more emotion into a song, into a performance, than Courtney Hadwin. And performance is an important word. Courtney doesn't just sing, she performs, she puts on a show, even when she's sitting down. Never is that more obvious than in her covers of Harry Styles's Sign of the Times and Lewis Capaldi's Someone You Loved. Not to mention the Jonas Brothers Sucker and LilNasX's Old Town Road.
Courtney's version of Sign was recorded live, with just her, a guitar, and a keyboard. There are no backing vocals, but when you have a voice like Courtney, you don't need backing vocals. Some singers are great in the studio, but a disappointment live. Then there are singers like Courtney, singers that have to be seen live to be appreciated. Even if it's just a recording of her singing live in the studio. Courtney can belt like no fifteen year old I've ever heard. Actually, she can belt like few singers I've ever heard, regardless of age. And I so love her belting. Doesn't matter what the song is, when she cuts loose and booms those notes out, I get swept away. Every single time. She can also throw grit on notes like few singers. One of the reasons she's been compared to Janis Joplin. Although Joplin couldn't belt like Courtney. That being said, it wasn't her belting on Sign of the Times that got my attention. It was her falsetto. Never in a million years did I expect someone that belts like Courtney, that can throw grit on notes like Courtney, to have a falsetto that was that soft, that pretty. And oh my gosh is it pretty. But if you love singers that belt, you won't be disappointed in Courtney's performance. When she gets to the chorus at the end of the song, she lets loose with that big booming chest voice, belting out the words we got to, we got to away, like few singers can.
Her cover of Lewis Capaldi's Someone You Loved is packed full of emotion, which is pretty impressive for a fifteen year old that doesn't have a boyfriend. Courtney's ability to feel a song and then express those feelings through her singing is just one of the things that separates her from other singers. That and one of the coolest voices I have ever heard. When Courtney sings you don't have to ask who is that. She's got one of those unique voices you just recognize. So many female singers today sound the same. When you hear them you find yourself saying, "Who is that?" The first time you hear Courtney sing, you might ask who is that, but you'll never ask again. Her voice is that distinctive. In Someone You Loved she opens the song alternating between chest and head voice, keeping everything smooth. In the second half of the song she changes things up, belting out one verse then singing the next one in a soft falsetto, giving the song a distinctively Courtney feel without changing it up too much. Someone You Loved is a ballad, a love song, and Courtney makes sure it remains a love song, adding a soulful sadness to the song that only she can supply. She ends the song in falsetto, with a very soft, very sad "I was getting kinda use to being someone you loved."
Perhaps the most impressive of Courtney's four covers is Old Town Road. She takes this country rap song by LilNasX and gives it a rocking edge. Courtney growls out the lyrics "gonna take my horse to that old town road" to the sound of an electric guitar with the gain turned up just enough to give the song a strong rock and roll vibe. If you love her belting as much as I do, you won't be disappointed. She belts out a good portion of the song and really cuts loose on the verse "can't nobody tell me nothing." Just to change things up she slows the last verse down and goes soft. Her way of letting you know the dance is over, but what a dance it was.
I wasn't a big fan of the Jonas Brothers version of Sucker, but I do love Courtney's version, mostly because of the way she changes things up. She takes this pop song and gives it a rock and roll edge with her unique signature voice, throwing gravel on some verses, belting out others, letting you know she's not just another run of the mill squeaky voiced pop princess. And thank God for that. There's a reason those of us that have been around long enough to see multiple generations of performers, from Elvis to Harry Styles, are calling Courtney a generational talent, as in the kind of voice, the kind of talent that comes along once in a generation. If there were people in the music industry who didn't know who Courtney was before she did these four covers I guarantee they know who she is now. These four songs allowed her to flex her vocal muscles, and flex them she did, sending a message throughout the music industry that there's a new Star on the horizon one that's going to burn blindingly bright