As such, the expectations were higher when it came time for Dreis, now 21, to make her follow-up EP "Taking Time" this spring.
So what's the verdict on record No. 2? I only wish it were longer than an EP.
At seven songs, "Taking Time" is another fine outing that should have music fans rooting for this 2011 University of South Carolina graduate now transplanted to Nashville. These are smart, heartfelt songs from a (run-of-the-mill) classically-trained-violinist-turned-pop-singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist.
You know, something you see every day.
Once again, Dreis covers a full range of emotions from the sugary sweetness of "Candy In the Summertime" (pun intended) to the confrontational anger of "Don't Keep Loving Me" to the resigned sadness of the title track.
All of this fails to mention "Where My Heart Is," the lead single and most immediately catchy song of the collection. From the nonsensical hook (Bum, bum, ba, da, bum) to its showcase of Dreis's vocal range, the song is a delight.
But after her debut album, delightful music is the expectation from Dreis.
My spin: B+
"Taking Time" gives us a glimpse of an artist still on the ascent. Haley Dreis has given us a cycle of songs that run the listener through a full range of emotions and leaves us wanting more.
Funded entirely by Dreis's fans via kickstarter.com, the record also highlights one of the new economic models for artists in the days of the dying record label. Basically, enough of Dreis's fans wanted to hear this new album that it ended up being made.
That's the kind of underdog story I can get behind.
Available on iTunes and other digital retailers.