Claire Whitehead takes the wheel with her latest single and video No Right Way, Louise — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The endearingly tender honky-tonk ode to sisterhood, friendship and empowerment is the powerful closing track to the Canadian folk-country singer-songwriter’s most recent album Thelma: A Country Opera — and yes, she’s talking about that Thelma and Louise.
“Thelma: A Country Opera is a ‘coming-of-agency’ story,” Whitehead explains. “It’s about the transformation of self and relationships when someone becomes disillusioned with the rules of our world.” No Right Way, Louise chronicles Thelma’s ongoing dedication to her best friend. Whitehead’s delicate but piercing vocals churn out a near-plea to Louise as our heroine succumbs to the inevitability of failure to live a life of restraints and rules. “They’ll chase us down,” Whitehead sings in a manner that all but defines the word bittersweet, “And they’ll spit from a truck. So hand me that gun, cuz i’m I’m all out of luck.”
To bring the song to life, Whitehead self-produced the video — a first in her career. “To make this video, I tried to celebrate the song’s theme of prioritizing female relationships, while working under the constraints of the pandemic,” she reveals. “This was the first official music video I’ve made, or released, and I did it completely DIY on camera phones and editing on my laptop. I was lucky enough to have my sister Anne to film the footage and a friend and vocalist from London, Ontario, Imogen Wasse who sings live with me and fosters a lot of positive energy in our performances. The result has me feeling comfortable being silly on camera, while capturing the power of women working creatively together to make great things.”
For this track, as with the rest of the album, Whitehead’s transfixing vocals, well-established melodic harmonies, authentic country twang with the truth bleeding in between the lines transports the listener into an entirely different place and time, urging you to let go of reality for just a moment, while you walk Thelma’s path with her. And as her journey unravels track by track, Whitehead grants the listener permission to read the finest print of detail on the most sacred part of a woman’s heart — her spirit. Whitehead’s ability to fully immerse herself into the arms of Thelma’s character and expose her layers far beyond what the silver screen wanted us to watch, is a testimony to this songstress’ uncanny ability to transform into whomever she needs to be to get the song right.