Cady Groves – “This Little Girl”

Cady Groves is one tough chick.

At age 22, the spunky chanteuse is just beginning to make waves with her venomous debut single, “This Little Girl,” co-penned by Cady herself and produced by Swedish superproducer Kristian Lundin. Crunchy and catchy with a storming chorus, “This Little Girl” certainly packed a potent enough pop punch to pique my curiosity — and I’ve had it on heavy rotation ever since it premiered a few weeks ago.

But the best is still yet to come: Yesterday night, I joined Cady and her label, RCA, for a listening party at Cowgirl in the West Village — a fitting venue for the Oklahoma native (they have cowboys and cowgirls in Oklahoma, right?) — where she talked about recording her album, previewed several songs, and generally charmed everybody’s socks off.

Among the tracks played were “Wrong,” a twangy midtempo about self-doubt with an aggressive backbeat, liberal handclaps (possibly the most important element in any pop song), and a country-inflected chorus; “We’re the Shit,” an infectious slice of “It Gets Better”-pop; and “Live and Learn,” an ‘80s-throwback jam with a tough bassline that wouldn’t sound out of place on Ashlee Simpson’s criminally underrated Bittersweet World. Best of all, though, was “In Your Window,” the likely second single, which has a propulsive beat, more handclaps and fingersnaps (!!!), and an explosive pop-punk chorus.

Whereas “This Little Girl” is slick pop to its core, the tracks Cady played tonight revealed more diversity — one part country cowgirl, one part mall-punk.

But most interesting was Cady’s overwhelming transparency in discussing her musical inspirations. The album, she said, emerged from the wreckage of her May-September romance with a two-timin’ older gent she dated while recording the record in Los Angeles. Of “This Little Girl,” she said, “I was really angry when I wrote this song.” At one point, she summed the album up thusly: “I just wrote the entire album about cutting off this guy’s D.” It was hard not to think of Alanis Morissette’s seminal Jagged Little Pill — which, like Cady’s songs, are loaded with snarling pop-rock hooks and sharp-edged vitriol.

Bitterly spurned like Kelly Clarkson, charmingly bratty like Avril Lavigne, and relatably real like Taylor Swift — suffice it to say that Cady Groves is one to watch.

Sam Lansky is a contributor to MuuMuse.

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