Although based in Nashville, singer/songwriter Erin McCarley cut her teeth on the San Diego circuit, where she sang in a country cover band and spent her free time writing songs. She later partnered with producer/composer Jamie Kenney and relocated to Nashville, which brought her closer to her native Texas. Combining uplifting pop/rock hooks with McCarley’s wide-ranging vocals, the duo wrote an album’s worth of material before McCarley decamped to Austin for the 2008 South by Southwest Festival. Over the course of several days, she wowed enough industry personnel to secure a record deal with Universal Republic, which readied the release of her endearing debut album, Love, Save the Empty, for January 2009. Meanwhile, song placements in several TV shows (as well as a spot in the movie trailer for He’s Just Not That into You) helped promote the upcoming record, resulting in its debut at number 82 on the Billboard charts.