Welcome to The Drop, Refinery29's home for exclusive music video premieres. We want to shine the spotlight on women artists whose music inspires, excites, and (literally) moves us. This is where we'll champion their voices.
What started with her EP 17 — released in 2015 — has only evolved as Abi herself has grown musical. Now in L.A., she's cultivated a circle of creative connections who have been instrumental in the debut of "Little Landmines." The music video for the 2018 single, which Abi said reminds her of the southern California area she grew up in, is about nostalgia. The video's picturesque West Coast shots are tinged with a film filter that will please the Instagram lover in all of us.
Ahead, Refinery29 spoke to Abi about her early rise in the industry, what it's like being a woman in country music, and how "Little Landmines" came to be.
Refinery29: What is it about country that you really identify with?
Abi: "Growing up in Texas, the one thing that I did really take away from it is that I love country. As a lyricist, I find country songs are kind of like a movie in a song. They always have such a meaningful storyline and I appreciate a good song with a hook that isn't really about the lyrical substance but there's just something, for me, with country that I've just gravitated towards as long as I could remember. It's what feels like home to me."
What is the story behind "Little Landmines"?
"So I didn't write 'Little Landmines.' It was a song that was sent to me and it was legitimately an electronic song when I got it...I thought it was a really cool opportunity to play with blending — I mean I'm a huge pop listener. I won't deny that my music is pop as much as it is country. I just saw it as an opportunity to really get involved on the sonics and make it this cool fusion."
The video has a very specific feel to it. Where did that idea come from?
"Anytime I'm either writing a song or recording a song I always am thinking of the music video and the cover art. That's where I find the personality for it. I just imagined it as my time in LA, I went to high school out there and went to Coachella every year. That was part of my life that I really related Landmines to and I wanted to capture this southern California part of me that I don't think I really have shown and I'm so excited."
Are there any challenges to being young in the music industry or is it a perk?
"I think it's both. I'm obviously a woman in country music which has its own challenges whenever it comes to radio. I think that the conversation itself has been sparked and that's the important part, that we are talking about it and it's been drawn attention to. As a woman, I think we have to stick with our voices...I think the standards are high. I definitely have felt as a young artist and a female artist I think I have a lot of pressure on me to be really unique which I want to be, so it's a good and a bad thing. It's a constant fight in your mind."
Is there one piece of advice that you've gotten that's really stuck with you, or advice that you would want to give?
"Actually, oh my God, if he ever heard this he would get the biggest ego, but my boyfriend told me earlier this past year — I'm an utter perfectionist. The second something doesn't happen, the second I feel like I'm going too slow, I'm like, 'I'm a failure.' He was telling me, 'Progress isn't linear. It's not a straight line, you're not always going up. You're gonna go down, you're gonna go up, you're gonna go sideways.' That's become my mantra this year.
Another thing my dad used to tell me is it's hard to fail if you work 365 days per year. I think that having a strong work ethic, people see that and people see passion and as long as you're doing something that you really enjoy, that shows through."
Watch Abi's music video for "Little Landmines" below!
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.