You wait forever for a song about singleness and then two come along in quick succession. The latest, ‘Plane Tickets’, by Beth Keeping, comes hot on the heels of ‘When’s It Gonna Happen’ from Tenille Townes. But whereas the latter reaches for some kind of romantic ideal, Keeping remains firmly focused on her experience of being single. Both tracks allude to friends getting married and, in Beth’s case, “starting families”, leading to feelings of being “left behind” and being “the odd out”. Tenille Townes addresses this situation by questioning and imagining a day when she will meet her match. Beth Keeping, on the other hand, heads straight for the departure lounge, “going somewhere I can turn it off”. Her logic is simple: “lonely can’t find me when I’m filling my time with buying plane tickets”. Escapism is the key to “not counting the heartaches”.
The song is as much about being fed up with the old adage that “we’ve all got to find the piece we’re missing” though as it is with trying to combat the loneliness that can come with living the single life. As a result, Keeping veers off in a completely different direction to Tenille, and turns up the pop production to boot. ‘Plane Tickets’ captures much more of an RnB sound than country, making it similar to a Rachel Jane track rather than a Vic Allen record. It holds to the principles of honest storytelling and vulnerability of Nashville songwriting in that sense more than being defined as country music per se. But it is this honesty and openness that fans of Country will appreciate from Beth Keeping, whose partnership with producer Kaity Rae continues to yield excellent results.
Originally written for and published on Belles & Gals on 31st May 2022.