Bella White’s “The Way I Oughta Go” follows the Calgary, Alberta native’s excellent 2020 album, Just Like Leaving. Where her debut leaned heavily toward bluegrass with dusky shades of waltzing dance hall melancholia, White’s latest single is pure honky tonk bliss urged on by sweet chirps of reverbed guitar, woody bass, and lacing strings.
Produced by Jonathan Wilson (Billy Strings, Erin Rae, Father John Misty), who also plays drums, “The Way I Oughta Go” features White’s longtime collaborator Patrick M’Gonigle on fiddle, Gabe Noel on the low end (bass, cello, baritone guitar), guitarists Omar Velasco and Buck Meek, and pianist Drew Erickson.
Just Like Leaving introduced listeners to White’s considerable songwriting, a jaw-jarring mix of stoic innocence bruised by heartache and a too-aware acceptance that love never gets easier. With her latest single, Bella’s vocal acrobatics evoke the ardor of Freakwater’s Catherine Ann Irwin while her deft pen rises above cliche and only whets the appetite for more.