Kalie Shorr says "Too Much to Say" — the lead track on her upcoming album — is a tone-setter. We say clutch your pearls! If the defiant, country-blues snap response to a casual conversation is representative of where Open Book (Sept. 27) is headed, it's about to get raw and real in a way Netflix hasn't yet scripted.

That's because life is unscripted. "Too Much to Say," heard first during this Taste of Country exclusive premiere, is pulled from Shorr's personal life, which has been something of a country song in 2019. A bad breakup and her sister's death after a drug overdose are headlines on a front page with plenty of small print. She admits this song came at what was perhaps her lowest moment.

"The song was inspired by an interaction I had at a bar," Shorr says. "I had a loose acquaintance come up to me that night and say, 'Hey, I’m so sorry about your sister. How are you doing?' I decided to be honest because I know you’re supposed to say 'fine' or 'okay' or 'hanging in there' but I wasn’t any of those things. So I said 'fu--ing awful, how are you?'"

"But if you got time for whiskey and you've got time to smoke / If you've got time to sit here / I get it if you don't / But don't go asking questions that you don't want answers to / I got too much to say and I'll tell it all to you," she sings at the chorus.

Robyn Collins and Ian Christian helped her flesh the sound out, and alongside Skip Black Shorr produced a soundscape comparable to Homer's sirens: sweet, threatening and then sweet once again. "I realized about 30 minutes in that we were writing the introduction (to the album)," she says. "It feels like a thesis statement to the album’s essay."

"I've got more unclaimed baggage than an airport lost and found / If no one picks it up it just goes round and round and round." 

"It’s okay to not be okay, and there is so much freedom in being honest, especially with yourself," she adds.

Honesty always sounds good in country music, and Shorr — who's no stranger to candor — has just fired a warning shot that what's to come might not always be pretty and will likely unsettle you. But it will be real.

"Too Much to Say" is one of several songs Shorr is releasing ahead of the release of Open Book. The first single is called "Lullaby."

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