Jana Kramer insists she has a Michigan accent, especially when she says “Oh, geez!” True, she does hail from Rochester Hills, north of the Motor City. But when she sings Country, she sounds like someone who’s right at home drawling “y’all.”
Just listen to “Why Ya Wanna,” from her self-titled debut album, scheduled to release June 5 on Elektra Nashville. Written by Catt Gravitt, Christopher Destefano and Ashley Gorley, it’s a tricky number in some ways, with a catchy swaying beat that contrasts with heartbreak lyrics. Yet Kramer finds the pocket between these two qualities, never losing hold of or overselling the melody. There’s a conversational element to her vocal, with dropped “g”s and artfully shaded vowels; listening, it feels like she’s both commanding the stage and sharing her thoughts with a best friend.