As popular as the musical competition show “The Voice” has been for NBC and despite the hundreds of incredible talents that have won and been featured, as recently as April 2021, an article in the New York Post was lamenting the puzzling reality that after 10 years and 20 seasons, it has failed to produce a big star. The success of Kelly Clarkson as a coach on the show is just another reminder that American Idol has done much better in this area.
One of Clarkson’s best team choices in recent years was 16 year old Southern California belter Presley Tennant, who may have been eliminated relatively early in the Live Cross Battles of Season 16 but whose deep seated talents as a vocalist, songwriter and performer – initially developed in her adolescence as a member of a girl group called the 5LPs - are laying the foundation for a breakthrough career. Gravitating towards country, she gained national attention and tens of thousands of Spotify streams for her first two singles “Always You” and “Temporary.”
While those tunes showcased her talents as a thoughtful composer and emotional balladeer, they seemed more like straightforward pop tunes with a touch of twang, not a full on commitment to a kick ass country vibe. That all changes with “Bite the Bullet,” a much edgier, high energy romp – co-penned with veteran award winning singer/songwriters Mary Sue Englund and Victoria Banks - about taking a big risk on love.
Musically and lyrically the song builds tension from the get go as Presley sings, “I know that love is dangerous but baby you make dangerous feel good” and “We just can’t seem to fight this but we wouldn’t want to fight it if we could.” The track amps up musically and lyrically, creating foot stomping magic with a chorus that launches with “sparks are flying ‘cause we’re playing with fire” and continues with some infectious gun imagery leading to “Baby go ahead and pull it/Let’s bite the bullet.” On one level, it’s a killer song about engaging in a dangerous romance, but metaphorically, it can be about any circumstance in life where there’s risk but nothing should stand in the way of taking a shot and pursuing that dream. Presley’s doing it every day, and it’s starting to pay off big time.
Jonathan Widran - MusicMonthly.com