Seconds after her relationship imploded, singer-songwriter Becky Middleton escaped to the top of the nearest building. The guy she was dating — a long-term boyfriend she thought she would ultimately marry — was also dating someone else, and Middleton was devastated. But out of that devastation and heartbreak came something else: the roots of her new record. In just 30 minutes, the local artist wrote “Break the Fever,” her new single and the title track of her new album.
“It came to me right away,” Middleton says of the song. “Those are the gifts, the rare ones that just flow.”
But Middleton didn’t stop there. Fueled by her pain, she kept writing and writing, and one day realized she was on to something.
“I was writing to cheer myself up, to find some sort of path forward,” she says. “Then, all of a sudden, I’m like, ‘I think I have an album.’”
Fresh off a Dallas Observer Music Award nomination for Best Female Vocalist, Middleton will drop the entire Break the Fever album Friday, the day after a fancy and festive release party. The party will be a swanky affair at the Stoneleigh Hotel Penthouse. Cocktail attire is encouraged, and all guests will receive a copy of the album when they purchase their ticket. It’s all Becky’s way of celebrating where she’s been and turning the page on a new chapter of her artistic journey.
Break the Fever isn’t just the artist’s most personal work yet; it’s also a departure from her previous style.
“I’m moving away from the folk, singer-songwriter style,” she says. “Break the Fever is a sound people who know me haven’t heard me sing yet.”
Middleton’s new sound is a soulful, piano-heavy pop that channels Adele and Aretha Franklin, two of her idols.
“This album is made up of the stuff I grew up singing, but never let anyone hear. Until now.”
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She partnered with longtime friend and veteran producer Beau Bedford. Bedford, ringleader of the Texas Gentlemen, was thrilled to work with Middleton.
“She’s a freak of nature, with one of the most amazing voices I’ve ever heard,” he says. “And she also happens to be one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”
But that admiration didn’t stop Bedford from pushing Middleton throughout the album’s production.
“I knew what she was capable of, and to get those Aretha-like vocals, we had to dig deep and work hard every single time we got together.”
For Middleton, it was more than a vocal challenge. The entire album finds the folk-artist-turned-soulful-singer mining deeply personal territory.
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“The album tells one big story. Heartbreak, loss and loneliness; it’s all there,” she says. “But I find hope in the end. I don’t know if I’d have these songs if I didn’t go through these low points.”
And it would all be worth it, she says, if it helps just one person.
“As a songwriter, I’m always trying to reach someone and make them feel better. If it reaches one person, that’s the biggest compliment.”
Break the Fever comes out Friday, Nov. 16. She’ll celebrate the release with a black tie party on Nov. 15. RSVP to get your ticket and a copy of the album.