Emmy’s Single of the Week- “What I Did” by Caroline Reese and the Drifting Fifth

Chances are if you’re a 20-something in the dating world, you’ve broken someone’s heart. And chances are if you’re a decent person, you felt bad about it.   There are plenty of songs out there that just scream out “I was wrong! Take me back! I’ll change!”


“What I Did” by Caroline Reese and the Drifting Fifth is not that song.



Lyrically, Caroline might just be the Avett brothers’ long lost sister. This girl doesn’t hold back. The honesty and vulnerability of her writing is almost painfully relatable while remaining true and specific to the artist herself. And belting out, “If it’s a nightmare, then I deserve to keep on sleeping” might be one of the most therapeutic things I’ve done in the past week.

One of those songs that you find yourself singing along to before you know the words, “What I Did” is without a doubt the most marketable song off of CR+D5’s The Electric Year. That is not to say that it’s a sell-out in comparison the rest of the album. Rather, “What I Did” is a testament to the versatility of this group.

As a country-folk-rock crossover group, Caroline and her boys cover a lot of genre turf without missing a beat. They power their Americana sound with pure electricity, both figuratively and literally. A lot of new groups playing the same crossover game back their vocals with piano and fall victim to the curse of the 4-chord song – and we all know that the last thing the top 100 charts need is another “Wagon Wheel.” CR+D5 leaves the piano accompaniment and simplistic chord progressions to the singer-songwriter types and instead blends the crystalline grit of Caroline’s voice with some powerhouse electric guitar, giving us a sort of feminine rock that we haven’t heard much of since Stevie Nicks. And thank God for that.

Listen to these guys if you like: The Lumineers, Fleetwood Mac, The Civil Wars

Everyone else: “like” these guys on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/carolinereesemusic for updates about when you can see them too!

Bonus: Caroline’s super bearded lead guitarist, Mark, sings lead on the band’s self-proclaimed anthem, “50 Wasted Years.” Give that one a listen too, admire Caroline’s killer harmonies, and learn the words before you see them live. They might just ask you to sing along.