Laura Cantrell Knows “All the Girls Are Complicated”


With a sweet voice and an eagle eye, Laura Cantrell may be one of the most admired women in Americana music. She’s also written one of her most relatable songs yet with “All the Girls Are Complicated,” the lead track on No Way There From Here, arriving Jan. 28.

A Nashville native who now lives in New York City, Cantrell answered a few questions from CMT Edge about the perceptive new track.

CMT Edge: You seem to be singing this song to a certain character. Did you have someone in mind when you came up with the idea?

Cantrell: My inspiration for this song was my sister, several friends and even my daughter and her friends. But the person I’m singing to is based on an old friend I was talking to about relationships and all the ways it is easy to be misunderstood, thinking you’re dealing with one “type” of person and realizing that everyone is complex, no matter how they seem on the surface.

I’d imagine there are a lot of adjectives you could’ve selected for this song. How did you settle on the word “complicated,” and why did it seem like the right one to you?

I chose the adjective “complicated” as it seemed most apt. It can have a negative connotation, but to me, that complexity is also the depth of people. No one is really easy to figure out. In this way, I was thinking of my daughter who is now 7 but was probably about 5 when I started working on this song. Even little girls, and boys for that matter, will surprise you with how they are totally individual, not predictable, making themselves miserable or hysterical while they figure out the world. You kind of have to step aside and let them figure it all out.

When you finished the song, who was the first person to hear it, and what was the reaction?

I think I played this song for my mom and my sister because I was working on it while we were on vacation together in East Tennessee. I was hollering away, and they heard me working on it and were like, “Yeah, ‘complicated,’ that’s right.” There is still in the South sometimes a bit of “now, be nice” attitude that a lot of people have, and we were all enjoying the aspect of the song that says, “No, be real.”

Check out the CMT Edge premiere of Laura Cantrell’s “All the Girls Are Complicated.”