Lily Allen’s first music in six years will be… country?

According to the songstress herself, Lily Allen is having a pop at 2024's hottest ticket in the music world: country and western. 

Despite it being only mere weeks since singer-stroke-actress Lily Allen called Beyonce’s country music stylings “calculated”, she’s just gone on record to state that she’s having a go at the genre herself. It was on Tuesday that Allen and Miquita Oliver – who hosts the Miss Me? podcast with Allen – appeared on Dish and shared that she’s been recording music in the country music capital of the world, Nashville. “It’s not an album […] I’m just, you know, trying some stuff out, see if it works. I do love country and western music. And also I feel like with my writing, it’s quite storytelling, sort of like narrative led music,” Allen told Dish hosts Nicholas Grimshaw and Angela Hartnett. “Country and western music lends itself quite well”.

Though Allen hasn’t mentioned any kind of release date for the music she’s currently working on, whenever it does materialise, it will be her first offering since her 2018 album No Shame, which earned her a Mercury Prize nom. Bar a surprise appearance at Olivia Rodrigo’s Glastonbury set, the past few years have seen Allen dipping her toes into the acting world more than making fun of her brother via a catchy riff. She appeared in the first run of the West End play 2:22 A Ghost Story – now hailed as “jury duty” for budding actorsand starred in the 2023 TV series Dreamland.

Why exactly was Allen so cut up about Beyonce pivoting to country crooners? The long and short of it, as Allen stated herself on her Miss Me? podcast, is that it feels like a “calculated” move from the legendary singer behind “Single Ladies”. “I feel like when Jay-Z got up at the Grammys, that was part of this campaign,” said Allen early this month. “It was before the album had come out or even been announced and she was wearing the blonde wig and a cowboy hat”. Allen also took issue with Beyonce’s choice to cover Dolly Parton’s 1973 classic “Jolene”. “It’s very weird that you’d cover the most successful songs in that genre,” Allen mused to her co-host.

Really, Allen’s reservations towards the Cowboy Carter album might have to something to do with the fact that it was way back in 2009 that she put out her own homage to the genre that’s become so en-vogue this year: “Not Fair”, her musical rendition of what it’s like to be with someone that’s shit in bed, has been described as a “bluegrass-infused” country song. Sure, others called it a “pseudo-country track”, but Allen did it first.

WriterAmber Rawlings
Banner Image CreditLily Allen / YouTube