For those who have been fans of Ryan Hurd for years, the Panorama EP is an old-friend they first met years ago. For those of us who are newer fans of Hurd, the EP is a welcomed new release from one of Nashville’s most talented and prominent singer-songwriters.
Originally written and recorded in 2015 when the Michigan native was just starting to make a name for himself, the four-track collection is a celebration of Hurd as both a writer and artist. Each of the EP’s four tracks were co-written by Hurd with a variety of other Nashville heavy-hitters, including Laura Veltz, Jessie Jo Dillon, Maren Morris, and the late Andrew Dorff.
He took to Twitter just prior to the release, writing, “Two more things. Even before we were anything romantic, singing with Maren has felt like magic. This was the first thing we ever together that wasn’t demos, and to still get to do it today makes my heart very happy.” He then continued, “The second thing: I grew up with
@aaroneshuis. We started making music together when we were 14. He’s made every recording you’ve ever heard from me and this one is still our favorite.”
Although the EP was initially released four years ago, today marks it’s first wide release. It’s a four-track collection that shows the different sides of Hurd, from the wistful title track to the brooding “Mississippi to Me” and the hopeful “Good As You Think I am” to the darker “I’ll Be the Moon.”
The EP’s titular track is a simple message that everyone needs to hear once in awhile, as he reflects on a moment of tranquility with the person he loves and enjoying the moment. “Laying back on a blanket/ Looking at a blanket way up high/ Between the darkness in the distance/ And the way the whole thing shines,” Hurd sings. “Makes you feel like you see God/ Makes you feel like you’re alive/ For the first time/ Like you were my first time.”
“Mississippi to Me” is a darker cut about loss and a relationship ending, as the singer-songwriter grapples with a breaker. “You don’t want to hurt me/ But you ain’t in love with me.” He reveals on the heartbreaking track. “You’re talking reasons/ but you lost me back at I’m leaving.”
There’s the introspective “Good As You Think I Am,” which was co-written by Dorff and Morris, and reflects on a man trying to live up to what the woman in his life believes he can be. Speaking to Sounds Like Nashville, Hurd revealed, “I think when you see yourself through the lens of someone else’s love it changes you. This song hits me because the melody lives up to the sentiment in the lyrics. As a love song, it’s such an overwhelming realization, trying to become the person that she sees, wanting to live up to the love you’ve been given.”
The EP concludes with the brooding “I’ll Be the Moon,” a song previously released by Dierks Bentley on his 2016 Black album that featured none other than Morris. Hurd’s version here is less produced and more stripped, fully putting the powerfully painful lyrics on full display. Here, he’s a man so in love that he’s willing to settle for being the other man. He’ll take her where can, however, conceding, “I don’t want to be your secret/ But I will if you want me to/ You can leave me in the dark/ If that’s all I get from you/ He can be the sun/ I’ll be the moon.”
In advance of the release, the Michigan native expressed his gratitude to his fans, writing, “I don’t have a much to say tonight except that sometimes life is all about timing. If you’ve been here since the beginning or if it’s brand new to you, thank you for listening to Panorama tonight.”
Earlier this year, Hurd sold out New York City’s Bowery Ballroom, and he spoke to NYCountry Swag a few weeks ago at the Taste of Country Festival at Hunter Mountain. While no local shows are currently announced, Hurd will be joining Old Dominion’s Make It Sweet Tour for much of the rest of 2019.
Panorama EP is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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