Courtney Smith calls the music on her debut EP, Lips that Taste of Tears, “honest and emotional… love, lust and heartache set to music.” She confides that there’s a very vulnerable aspect of exposing your deepest hurts to the world, yet there’s something quite beautiful and therapeutic about it as well. According to Smith, “this record embodies several stages of relationships, from being madly in love to finally letting go of someone you loved for so long. If I’ve felt it, so have millions of other people. I wanted to be honest with myself, first and foremost. I think the emotions shine through the music.” Smith grew up in Johnson City, TN, but found a home in Nashville in 2008. She bounced around to several states as a child, her father being a minister of music, but moved to Johnson City after his passing. Her mother raised her and her brother while putting herself through a Master’s program at the local university. While there was always some sort of music being played or practiced at home, Smith says it took her until high school to realize she could sing. “In ninth grade I got the solo I auditioned for, and almost couldn’t believe it… It was the beginning of opening up as a person and starting to grow into who I’ve become,” she recounts. With a fire to continually push herself and never stop growing as an artist, it’s no surprise she already has a new arsenal of songs she plays live and looks forward to sharing with the world. “First things first,” she laughs, “I’m excited to see how this album is received. I just want it to be relatable… if one other person connects with a song, it’s a success to me.” Lips that Taste of Tears will be out on Nascent Republic Records in December. The label will be taking Smith and two other artists, Joey Barnes and Patrick Rock, to several cities on an acoustic tour early next year.