Sometimes, the songs buried deep in an artists’ album are even better than the singles sent to radio. Here are our Top 15 favorite cuts from albums’ released this year (so far), in the order that they were released.
Lauren Alaina’s “Three”
On her sophomore album, Alaina has plenty of songs that are raw and honest but “Three”, a real look at what you miss when you follow your dreams, is definitely a standout on the record.
Key Lyrics: “A lot of miles, a lot of tears / You’ve given me some of my best years / There’s so much I had to miss out on / Six years of missing home for three minutes on the radio”
Brett Young “Olivia Mae”
A smooth vocal and powerful lyrics, Brett Young delivers on this love song from his self-titled debut album.
Key Lyrics: “Olivia Mae I hope it ain’t just me / From where I’m standing I can see / Us finding our own kind of meant to be / Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right / But I just had to try / Olivia may I?”
Little Big Town “Lost in California”
This melody is addicting and this entire album is incredible, but this song blends harmonies with soft simple imagery.
Key Lyrics: “Whisper in my ear, dreamin’ disappear, say you’ll take me / Where the world unwinds / Lost in California / Let’s chase the waves and let ’em take us under / On some deserted piece of virgin sand, yeah / Hold on to the freedom and the wonder / While we can”
Sunny Sweeney “Bottle by My Bed”
This song is meaningful and touches on a topic that is usually not talked about, Sunny Sweeney’s voice along with a beautiful cello make this song one of the best on the album.
Key Lyrics: “I’d rather be in a carpool lane than this big cold limousine / I’d trade every pair of high heel shoes for a high chair in the dining room / Don’t even know you yet but I know I love you”
Steve Moakler “Siddle’s Saloon”
Based on his grandfather’s bar, this song perfectly describes a local spot to find a rowdy good time. Take a listen and let this great tune get stuck in your head.
Key Lyrics: “It’s been a long week, and we’re glad you came by / The stories and punch lines and cold icy Lite / Well if you’re not here, we’ll be asking ’bout you / Come Saturday night at Siddle’s Saloon / Hey, hey, hey”
Charlie Worsham “Southern By the Grace of God”
We love this tune from Charlie Worsham, simply put it sheds light on living life in the south in the best possible ways.
Key Lyrics: “I’m tellin’ y’all this delta drawl / Is stuck to me like buzz on a honeybee / Country is as country does and look here ’cause / You can’t out-country me / Hound dog howlin’ in front porch blues / Kids run ’round outside with no shoes or socks / Southern by the grace of God”
Brett Eldredge “Castaway”
Closing out his most recent self-titled album, “Castaway” highlights Eldredge’s perfect tone and the melody will pull at your heartstrings.
Key Lyrics: “I’d be naive to ever think / You’re at your door waiting for me / So why do I always try / To run away from you / Please don’t say a castaway / Is what I was born to do / I guess I’ll always be lost without you”
Old Dominion “Still Writing Songs About You”
On an album full of potential singles and number one hits, this song which we first heard at a writers round last summer in NYC is a highlight on Happy Endings.
Key Lyrics: “You on the sunny Santa Monica freeway / You on a bed and a mini bar three-day haze / With your hair and my heart all a mess in the morning / I’ve gotten drunk on whiskey and women / Woke up in places that we’ve / never been in / Spending all night and all day trying to say something new / But I’m still writing songs about you”
Midland “More Than A Fever”
One of our favorite new acts out of Nashville, this trio is bringing back traditional country music and “More Than A Fever” is a great mid-tempo jam that’s all about love makin’.
Key Lyrics: “Your hands all over me like they were velvet / There’s no way to temper this desire / I’m on fire tonight / More than a fever / Girl, you’ve got the red line on the rise / More than a fever / And I don’t wanna break it tonight”
Thomas Rhett “Life Changes”
The title track of Thomas Rhett’s latest album features one of many different vibes on the record, this particular song is more of R&B and spoken word than country but Rhett narrates his life story featuring his wife Lauren and the changes they have experienced with their growing family.
Key Lyrics: “I remember the day I told my Daddy and Mama you’re gonna have a grandkid, yep from Uganda, that’s right, we’re adopting / And she is the cutest little girl that you’ve ever seen / Well I was wrapping my head around being a dad, a bigger wrench got thrown in the plans we thought we’d had / Now Lauren’s showin’ and got one on the way / Yeah that’s two under two, hey, what can I say? / Ain’t it funny how life changes / You wake up ain’t nothing the same and life changes”
Carly Pearce “Color”
With her debut single “Every Little Thing” currently sitting in the top spot on the country charts, Carly Pearce’s debut self-titled album is filled with beautiful love songs. One of our favorites is “Color”.
Key Lyrics: “Well, you’re the rock, you’re the steady / You need someone to push you in before you’re ready / Well, I’m the rush, I’m the crazy / But I’ll be circling the moon without you, baby / You be the lines, I’ll be the color”
Russell Dickerson “Would You Love Me”
Russell Dickerson has said that his debut album Yours, is a 12 song love letter to his wife Kailey and “Would You Love Me” is no exception. This reggae infused jam will definitely be stuck in your head.
Key Lyrics: “Cause I’ma love you til the sun burns out / Love you til my heart breaks down / Listen baby ain’t no doubt that / I’ma love you, I’ma love you, I’ma love you / I’ma love you til we’re old and grey / Love you til we’re running out of days / Hear me, baby, when I say that / I’ma love you, I’ma love you, I’ma love you”
Lee Ann Womack “Hollywood”
Off of her latest full-length LP, The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone, “Hollywood” has an ominous tone about a relationship falling apart.
Key Lyrics: “Like the silver screen, it’s a technicolor dream / We pretend it’s real, but it’s only make-believe / Lying in our bed in the middle of Act Two, We say, “goodnight, I love you” / We never miss our cue / I ask you if you mean it, you say, “Yes”, I knew you would / Well, either I’m a fool for asking, or you belong in Hollywood”
Kelsea Ballerini “In Between”
Right in the middle of her sophomore album is this remarkable song about growing up and feeling stuck between a girl and a woman.
Key Lyrics: “Sometimes I’m my mother’s daughter, sometimes I’m her friend / Sometimes I play grown up and sometimes I play pretend / Sometimes I’m a princess dressed all curves / And sometimes I just wanna scream “I’m not a little girl!“ / Dumb enough to think I know it all / Smart enough to know I don’t / Young enough to think I’ll live forever / Old enough to know I won’t”
Lee Brice “Songs in the Kitchen”
Also released earlier this month, Lee Brice’s self-titled album features his most vulnerable and personal songs. “Songs in the Kitchen” even mentions Lee and his brother Lewis (who is also an artist) singing in the car when they were kids.
Key Lyrics: “All my dreams came true, my songs took me far away / Now I’m singing them every night in these bright lights up on this stage / If you catch me, close my eyes every now and then, to tell you the truth / I’m probably just missing, songs in the kitchen”
For the full list of 15 songs, follow our Spotify Playlist here.
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– Team NYCountry Swag