TRACK45: ‘Big Dreams’ – EP Review

Track45’s sophomore EP Big Dreams is today, February 26th and features previously released tracks in debut project Small Town such as “Come On In” and “Met Me Now”. Take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the project.
Track45's new EP, 'Big Dreams' is available everywhere now, February 26th

Track45’s new EP, ‘Big Dreams’ is available everywhere now, February 26th

Track45, a trio and family band from Mississippi who introduced themselves with three tracks in the fall, are back with more. Made up by Ben Johnson, KK Johnson, and Jenna Johnson, these artists are keeping up the momentum with a second collection titled Big Dreams which includes the previously released tracks as well as two more productions.

The 5-track EP marks the start of new music while, at the same time, comes directly following a six-week radio tour. Furthermore, the single “Met Me Now” that has attained nearly 675,000 streams on Spotify after just four months is set to hit U.S. country radio airwaves next week.

“Little Bit More”, the only stand-alone, original song off this Track45 release with songwriting contribution from all members in addition to American singer-songwriter Audra Mae, highlights their contagious energy. As described, their personal experiences both as a family and individually mixed with adventurous yet deliberate decisions in the studio are eloquently captivated. The intricate entanglement of vocals can only be explicitly compared to the dynamic vivacity and stunning exuberance of a Coca-Cola. Perhaps it’s the filled-to-the-brim talent in each act that creates this overwhelming sense of carbonation after hearing vocals bounce off and flatter one other.

On the contrary, country roots are planted through a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning”, which marks the second and final new production of Big Dreams. The raspy, youthful approach of the graceful and affectionate “Jolene” musical icon implements a different shade of color to paint over the words originated and first heard in 1977. Similar to “Little Bit More” Track45 chooses a lively, infectious shade to reinvent and cover the sturdy framework with a fresh layer of paint without reconstructing its bones.

Big Dreams marks phase two of the introductory projects from Track45’s with a continuation of refreshing voices and overflowing creativity.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Track45 releases.

To keep up with Track45, follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Big Dreams is now 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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Ian Munsick: ‘Coyote Cry’ – Album Review

Ian Munsick’s brand new album Coyote Cry is available now, February 26th, everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the project.

Ian Munsick's new album, 'Coyote Cry' is available everywhere now, February 26th

Ian Munsick’s new album, ‘Coyote Cry’ is available everywhere now, February 26th

Ian Munsick, who formerly released a self-titled EP in 2017 and won iHeartRadio’s Rocky Mountain Song of the Year with “Horses Are Faster”, has signed with Warner Music. After a tumultuous, active year releasing six tracks that are now featured on today’s LP Coyote Cry, listeners are given the full-length story with four additional productions.

“Solo”, which preluded this project and acted as the first song to mark a new musical journey for Munsick, acts as a reminder of Jason Derulo’s famous 2010 hit “Ridin’ Solo”. This transformative, renowned time in history that marked the end of those middle school relationships along with the immediate change of a relationship status on Facebook will forever be held dear. Though, the country twangy-rasp that swarms through this modern-day story brings dixie cups and shotgun ridin’ to the table in an unexpected yet incredibly genre-permitting way.

“She got me ridin’ solo / Down here at the bar drinkin’ all alone / Sippin’ from a Dixie, wishin’ it would fix me / Had me on a high like Colorado / Now she got me ridin’ solo”

While “Solo” showcases the drinking-heartbreak-away storytelling aspect of country music from this Wyoming-born and raised musician, “Mountain Time” seeps lyrical creativity and good, old-fashioned lightheartedness to the mix. The echo involvement creates a back-and-forth interaction between the singer himself and accompanying instruments, suggesting a successful delivery on a production-conscious process. At the same time, old country hee-haw sensations are modernized as if Munsick was intentionally giving the genre a nicely wrapped present to the past.

“It don’t matter where I go / I always find my way back home / After all, my heart belongs to you (You) / I’ve been near and I’ve been far / But there’s nowhere like where you are / Hey, honey, it’s about time / To settle on down in Mountain Time / (Ya-hi, ya-hi-i-hi) / (Ya-hi, ya-hi-i-hi)”

This release is not a traditional, formal introduction from an aspiring, upcoming Nashville-based act. Munsick, a newly signed artist, seemingly raises awareness to his musical icons by spinning classics to fit his style whether these renditions originate from pop, R&B or rock. “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac is put under a microscope and transformed in a way that is familiar yet nearly unrecognizable over a male vocal. The production is loosely engrained with pop-country elements while still remaining true to its historical leverage.

Coyote Cry is a soundtrack for the modern western lifestyle,” Munsick said in a press release. “A firm handshake between cowboy and hippy, traditional and contemporary and everything in between.”

One of the brand new features, “Like It Ain’t”, could be considered the epitome of what we can expect from Munsick. An original track with musical contribution unguarded from genre limitations while maintaining singer-songwriter, southern accolades, and finger-snapping, tender notes.

Raised in the mountains of Wyoming, there’s no doubt that this new artist with Warner Music will incorporate a refreshing sense of artistry and perspective to the country music scene. “It’s the life I’ve lived so far and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. No matter who you are, I think you’ll find a piece of yourself in there and maybe even lose yourself to the howling in the hills.”

With more music coming soon, fans are encouraged to join the Munsick club cleverly named “The Heard” after his ranch-bred musicianship. Subscribers will be the first to hear about music announcements with access to exclusive merch and more. Join here: IanMunsick.com

Fans can also join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Ian Munsick releases.

To keep up with Ian Munsick, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Coyote Cry is now 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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Hailey Whitters: ‘Living The Dream’ – Deluxe Album Review

Hailey Whitters’ brand new deluxe album LIVING THE DREAM is available now, February 26th, everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the project.

Hailey Whitters' 'Living The Dream Deluxe Album' is available everywhere now, February 26th

Hailey Whitters’ ‘Living The Dream – Deluxe Album’ is available everywhere now, February 26th

For almost exactly a year, rising singer-songwriter and former Swag Spotlight artist, Hailey Whitters has been riding the high from the release of her debut full-length record The Dream. Clearly feeling like the album’s journey was not completely finished, the profound songstress is releasing a deluxe version of the project adding five new songs to the record, officially out today!

The record features familiar songs and fan-favorites like “Ten Year Town” and “Janice at the Hotel Bar.” The former is her dynamite former single, a song that paints the picture of what it was like for Whitters as she was trying to figure out if she should continue to try to ‘make it’ in Nashville. Written with the exceptional Brandy Clark, the track is one that will be a staple for Whitters for a long time coming.

The latter is another one of our favorites. Reminiscent of Lori McKenna’s awe-inspiring, “Humble and Kind”, Whitters combined forces with McKenna to express a real-life tale about an encounter with a wise woman named Janice. The song offers advice on how to live a good life, suggesting simple lessons like “get on the pill if you ain’t ready to start a family” and “make good love, good company.”

The songstress continues to remind us to be appreciative of life’s little moments in “The Days,” while expressing her truth in the breathtaking “Loose Strings,” a song about both love and loss. In “Heartland,” Whitters once again sings about life not going the way she thought it would, but alas, she knows she can always fall back on her Midwestern roots. “Heart – land in the middle of nowhere.”

The record also features “Happy People”, a song that Whitters wrote and was recorded by Little Big Town on their album, The Breaker. This new version is a mid-tempo jam that is laced with authenticity, gritty lyrics, and a traditional-country rooted instrumental. It focuses on the simple, yet complex concept of happiness and how to obtain it.

Whitters even collaborates with LBT on a brand new song on the record called “Fillin’ My Cup.” The track is a fun-loving, traditional-country jam, filled with banjos and eloquent harmonies. We’d love to see Little Big Town and Whitters perform this one live!

Like “Fillin’ My Cup,” the other four brand new songs are also collaborations. On “How Far Can I Go,” the songstress fulfills a childhood dream and duets with country superstar, Trisha Yearwood. The duet is truly timeless, and it feels like the two women have been singing together forever. Similarly, “Glad To Be Here,” Whitters’ dueling duet with Brent Cobb is just as enticing. The song is a nostalgic track about appreciating where you are, especially your hometown.

One of our favorite collaborations off the record is “How To Break A Heart.” A song that is truly songwriting and storytelling at its finest. It’s no surprise that Whitters combined her talent with two extraordinary musicians, Lori McKenna and Hillary Lindsey. The song is so beautiful and captivating both lyrically and melodically.

Whitters also collaborates with fellow rising country star, Jordan Davis on “The Ride,” the final song on the record. Although different than the other collaborations, Whitters and Davis prove how talented they both are. Their ability to stay true to their individual sounds, while creating something new and fresh has superstardom written all over it for both of them.

Of course, we would be remiss if we did not mention the closing track off the original version of the album, a song entitled “Livin’ The Dream.” Whitters inspires people to look at every step, every trial, and every hardship as part of ‘The Dream.’ For the songstress, her grind in Nashville, which included waiting on tables and living in a small apartment are all important parts of her journey, her story, and ultimately, her dream.

“Oh the one thing I’ve learned is that the world keeps on spinning / Love is the only thing that makes it go round / I’ve given it all with the time I’ve been given / I’m out here livin’ / Yeah we all just livin’ / the dream”

Whitters is an artist that is done trying to fit whatever mold the industry tries to push female singers into. Her artistry rivals that of any established superstar in country music, but it is her infectious vocals, stellar songwriter, and pure talent and perseverance that is going to take her far. Moreover, the fact that she chose to collaborate with the artists and songwriters that have helped her or inspired her on her journey just shows how proud she is of her craft.

NYCS Picks:

  1. “Ten Year Town”
  2. “The Ride”
  3. “Janice at The Hotel Bar”
  4. “How To Break A Heart”

LIVING THE DREAM Deluxe Tracklist:

  1. Ten Year Town
  2. The Days
  3. Red Wine & Blue
  4. Dream, Girl
  5. Loose Strings
  6. Heartland
  7. Janice at the Hotel Bar
  8. Happy People
  9. The Devil Always Made Me Think Twice
  10. All The Cool Girls
  11. The Faker
  12. Living the Dream
  13. Fillin’ My Cup (feat. Little Big Town)
  14. Glad To Be Here (feat. Brent Cobb)
  15. How To Break A Heart (feat. Lori McKenna & Hillary Lindsey)
  16. How Far Can It Go? (feat. Trisha Yearwood)
  17. The Ride (feat. Jordan Davis)

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Hailey Whitters releases.

To keep up with Hailey Whitters, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Living The Dream is now 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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Carly Pearce: ’29’ – Album Review

Carly Pearce’s brand new album 29 is available now, February 19th, everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the 7-song project.

Carly Pearce's new album '29' is available everywhere now, February 19th

Carly Pearce’s new album ’29’ is available everywhere now, February 19th

What was a hard year for the world was a year just as hard personally for Carly Pearce. Navigating heartbreak, loss, and self-worth, she released “29”, a remarkable 7-song record out today, February 19th.

The first two tracks are the previously released “Next Girl” and “Should’ve Known Better”. The latter is a mid-tempo Pearce, Jordan Reynolds and Emily Shackleton co-write about how she should have known better than to let her ex in and he should’ve known better than to mess it all up. “Next Girl”, Pearce’s current single is a buzzy, upbeat 90s-sounding song where Pearce is warning the “next girl” on what happens ‘next, girl’.  Both are a familiar yet new sound to add to Pearce’s repertoire.

Title-track “29” is filled with guitar and melodic fiddle and perhaps the most country Pearce has ever been. “29 is the year I got married and divorced…From a Ms. to a Mrs. then the other way around/The year I was gonna let it up/Now I’m never gonna live it down”. The sound is reminiscent of The Wrecker’s “Tennessee” – it’s sweet, sad, but there are also hints of acceptance surrounding it as well.

“Liability” is a real stand-out. It has a real groove to it, and it’s clear that this song is meant to be played live. The chorus is incredibly clever: “Your fabricated love’s become a lie… ability, and oh it’s killing me”. Her vocal range on this song is also showcased very well.

Although Pearce’s marriage to fellow singer-songwriter Michael Ray and subsequent divorce is the major theme of “29”, losing Busbee, her longtime producer is another. “Show Me Around” is a gorgeous, spiritual song about when they’ll find each other again. “I think these songs are not just for me, but for anyone who just has life and is trying to get through it and trying to figure it out as they go,” she said in 29: The Interview. Although specific to her experience, one of the strongest elements about this record is how universally personal it feels.

“Day One” is the perfect track to close off the collection. It’s all about making it through and just getting through “day one” – because eventually, you will be okay. You just have to be patient. You can feel through the words that Pearce is not fully healed herself yet, and that’s okay. She knows she will be – she’s already on the mend, and it’s almost similar to opener “Next Girl” in the way it feels like an older sister coaching you through another phase of life.

It’s unclear where Carly Pearce will go next, and that’s part of what makes this such a strong collection. It is cohesive and yet it leaves you wondering. Without the glitz and the glamour that she experiences by being a major country artist, she falls, gets back up, and survives just like all of us. It’s a really great reminder for the time we’re in right now.

NYCS Picks:
1. “Day One”
2. “Liability”
3. “Should’ve Known Better”

Carly Pearce, ’29’ Tracklist:

1. “Next Girl” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
2. “Should’ve Known Better” | Carly Pearce, Jordan Reynolds, Emily Shackelton
3. “29” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
4. “Liability” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
5. “Messy” | Carly Pearce, Sarah Buxton, Jimmy Robbins *
6. “Show Me Around” | Carly Pearce, Emily Shackelton, Ben West
7. “Day One” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Matthew Ramsey

produced by Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne
* produced by Jimmy Robbins

 

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Carly Pearce releases.

To keep up with Carly Pearce, follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

29 is now 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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Lainey Wilson: ‘Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ – Album Review

BBR Music Group’s artist on the rise, Lainey Wilson has released her new firecracker of a debut album Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’, today, February 19th. Take a look below as we dive deeper into the record.

The fiery, smokey, opening track “Neon Diamonds” is the perfect way to set the scene. It sounds like a dive bar meets a stadium show: it will be an absolute number once performed live. There are a bunch of songs on Sayin What I’m Thinkin’ that match this energy. Songs like “Small Town Girl” and “Straight Up Sideways” have that southern rock, outlaw feel to it. It’s reminiscent of some of Brothers Osborne’s more recent work, but at the same time, feels very distinct to Wilson.

The current single “Things A Man Oughta Know” leans on the softer side of the record. Simple kick drum, guitar, and mandolin flood the track beautifully, and you can hear traces of Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss in her voice. Lyrically, it’s actually a very empowering song; the hook is “I know a few things a man oughta know”. Throughout the record, Wilson is able to both enable and break gender and geographical stereotypes, which makes it an interesting dynamic.

Lainey Wilson's debut album, Sayin' What I'm Thinkin', is available everywhere now, February 19th

Lainey Wilson’s debut album, Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’, is available everywhere now, February 19th

Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ was produced by the iconic Jay Joyce, and it’s hard to think of a better fit for Wilson’s sound. Together, they found a middle ground in both the gritty and the sweet parts of life.

“Keeping Bars In Business” is a standout moment on the record. It is conversational and vulnerable and still has that clever chorus. Between Wilson’s vocals and Joyce’s dreamy guitars, you feel as if you’re in a trance. “My best friend’s ship is sinking, she thinks her man’s been cheating/And me I put my dog down yesterday”. The lyrics remain captivating as the song continues – it’s about the highs and lows of life and where you go to celebrate or mourn. “As the world keeps on spinning/we’re keeping bars in business”.

The last two songs are perhaps the best on the record, respectively, “Rollin’ Stone” and title-track “Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’”. “Rolling Stone” has the rhythm of a train on a track, and it’s all about how Wilson doesn’t feel like she can be tied down. “Like a feather in the wind, I can be gone/No you don’t give a rock to a rolling stone”, she sings matter-of-factly on the chorus.

“Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’” is where Wilson’s vocals sound most pristine, and it’s the closest thing to a requited love song, whether it be to a significant other, friend, or herself. “With you, I’ve only ever been who I am,” she sings in a whisper before the chorus. “Even I can’t believe I’m sayin’ what I’m thinking”, she states.

As a whole, Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ is one of the most authentic records released in a while. It doesn’t feel overdone or like a persona, it feels like a mission statement. It’s clear that this is only the beginning for Lainey Wilson, and with 12 songs as compelling as these, the sky is the limit for her.

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NYCS Picks:
1. Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’
2. Rolling Stone
3. Things A Man Oughta Know
4. Keeping Bars in Business

Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ Track Listing:

1. “Neon Diamonds”— (Lainey Wilson, McV, Matt Rogers)
2. “Sunday Best” —(Lainey Wilson, Brice Long, Shane Minor)
3. “Things A Man Oughta Know” —(Lainey Wilson, Jonathon Singleton, Jason Nix)
4. “Small Town, Girl” —(Lainey Wilson, Chris Yarber, Dallas Wilson)
5. “LA” —(Lainey Wilson, Hannah Dasher, Frank Romano)
6. “Dirty Looks” —(Lainey Wilson, Smith Ahnquist, Brent Anderson)
7. “Pipe” —(Lainey Wilson, Luke Dick, John Pierce)
8. “Keeping Bars In Business” —(Lainey Wilson, Jordan Schmidt, Matt Rogers)
9. “Straight Up Sideways” —(Lainey Wilson, Reid Isbell, Jason Nix, Dan Alley)
10. “WWDD” —(Lainey Wilson, Casey Beathard, Michael Heeney)
11. “Rolling Stone” —(Lainey Wilson, Tammi Kidd, Brent Anderson)
12. “Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’” —(Lainey Wilson, Jay Knowles)

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Lainey Wilson releases.

To keep up with Lainey Wilson, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ is now 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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Kip Moore: ‘Wild World Deluxe’ – Album Review

Kip Moore adds four brand new songs in his Wild World Deluxe Album, available everywhere today. The singer-songwriter will also play a live show at The Ryman tonight to celebrate the release of the project.

Kip Moores’s 'Wild World Deluxe Album' is available everywhere now, February 12th

Kip Moore’s ‘Wild World Deluxe Album’ is available everywhere now, February 12th

Kip Moore released his Wild World Deluxe Album today, February 12th, which includes four additional songs. The original album, Wild World, was released in May of 2020 and included songs like “She’s Mine”, which was the album’s first single, “Red White Blue American Dream”, and the title-track. The deluxe version of Wild World will include two pre-released songs, “Don’t Go Changing” and “How High”, both of which have incredible music videos, as well as two brand new songs, “Midnight Slow Dance” and “Man’s Gotta Do”. 

To celebrate the release of the deluxe album, Moore will be playing “Wild World Deluxe: Live From The Ryman”; a socially-distanced show and global livestream event at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee at 8 PM CT (9 PM EST) on February 12th. One dollar from every ticket sold will be donated to ACM Lifting Lives. Get tickets here

With the deluxe version of the album, Moore adds four new songs to the 13-track record. First of which is “Don’t Go Changing”. The track reminds listeners of the importance and need of a constant in an ever-changing and uncertain world. While listeners can gather this from the lyrics of the song, Moore gives the song a much deeper meaning in its music video seen above. Moore uses the song as a metaphor to highlight the suffering of the live music industry in the current pandemic. In the music video, Moore highlights several well-known music venues across Music City and sits down with Chris Cobb, the owner of a local venue and co-founder of Music Venue Alliance Nashville, an organization whose current focus is to help independent music venues that are working to survive through the pandemic. The hope is that the music video will encourage fans to donate and help support the venues that are home to the very shows that they are longing to return to. To learn more about Music Venue Alliance Nashville and donate, click here.

These days keep changin’ like the weather / Everybody’s light as a feather / I don’t see no signs of things gettin’ better / so, girl, just keep wearing leather / And don’t go changin’ on me, baby / ‘cause this world is turnin’ crazy / I’ll stay your boy, you stay my lady / And don’t go changin’ on me baby

In the next song, “Midnight Slow Dance”, Moore sings about two strangers who catch each other’s eyes from across the room. These two know they want the same thing and they don’t want to wait to see where things might go, but be together tonight. They don’t want to lead each other in circles and put off what they both want.

Well I’ve been watching you for hours / And you’ve been looking my way too / Well maybe I’ll just get your number / But what I’d really like to do / I wanna feel what’s in your heart / press against your lips / set this room on fire with a long wet kiss / take you in my arms / wrap you in romance / I want a midnight slow dance

The most recently released track, “How High” compares the affection that someone could have for another to the smoke that fills up a room, to a balloon that gets released in the sky, and to the stars in outer space. “How High” takes on a deeper and less obvious meaning through the euphoric story that is told through its music video.

The music video, seen above, develops the story of an elderly woman living life how she desires, without allowing age to become any kind of a factor. Reminiscing through photos of her younger self, this woman makes a decision to live life as carefree as she did back then. As she breaks every stereotype of how she should seemingly be living, she dances her way through the streets smoking and drinking, and not caring about how she looks or what others may be thinking of her. She teaches everyone she passes, despite their judgment, how to live a little bit more like her. When she reaches the end of her journey, the amazing moments from throughout her life flash in her mind and she is overwhelmed with a sense of happiness and relief knowing that she lived her life to the fullest. This story is a reminder about how short life really is, and how we need to enjoy every second that we have here.

How high, I get on you / It’s your eyes, it’s your touch / It’s tonight, it’s your love / It’s a ride and it’s  a rush / It always feels just like a drug / Take me there, take me on / Let down your hair, anything you want / yeah, I need ya’ like the air / Girl, I swear you keep me stoned

The deluxe album rounds out at 17 total tracks with “Man’s Gotta Do”. This is the story of a man that wants more for his own kid than what he had growing up. When he was just a boy, his father left him and his mom, and he was forced to grow up quickly and be the man he needed to be for his family. When he’s faced with the similar situation of being a dad earlier than he planned, and having to grow up too quick for the second time in his life, he chooses to be the man that his father wasn’t. 

Sometimes right, it don’t go as you planned / No matter how hard you try, it’s out of your hands / And sometimes life shows up, long before you want it to / And sometimes a boy’s gotta do what a mans gotta do

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Kip Moore releases.

To keep up with Kip Moore, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Wild World Deluxe is now 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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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
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Florida Georgia Line: ‘Life Rolls On’ – Album Review

Trailblazing country duo, Florida Georgia Line released their fifth album, Life Rolls On today, February 12th. The record contains 16 tracks, six of which were a part of the 6-Pack EP, as well as the number-one hit, “I Love My Country” and their most recent top-15 single “Long Live.”

On January 1st, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley shocked the country world when they announced the two of them will be focusing more on their solo careers going forward after the release of Life Rolls On. Although they confirmed it was not “a breakup,” fans are speculating when or if there will be new Florida Georgia Line music in the future, which makes this record that much more special.

“We’ve been on a 10-year journey together and we wouldn’t change it for the world,” Hubbard said in the announcement video. “We’re going to continue to make music as much we can—as a matter of fact, we’re probably going to be making even more music now. We created this freedom around ourselves where we can do whatever we want to do, creatively and musically…It’s a beautiful place to venture out and have a voice of our own and have individuality.”

Florida Georgia Line's new album 'Life Rolls On' is available everywhere now, February 12th

Florida Georgia Line’s new album ‘Life Rolls On’ is available everywhere now, February 12th

Fittingly so, this album’s main theme is nostalgia. Florida Georgia Line incorporates many songs that reflect on love and southern life, specifically the first two, “Long Live” and “Life Looks Good.” The latter is a feel-good, sing-along tune. Kelley backs Hubbard as he sings about laying on a blanket and looking at the stars with his better half. “Good To Me” is another track in which the two show their gratitude. Written by Hubbard, Kelley, Canaan Smith, and producer Corey Crowder, they admit they have made their fair share of mistakes, but God has always had their backs. Faith has been the focus of many Florida Georgia Line cuts recently, including “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.” with Chase Rice and their collaboration project with Christian singer, Chris Tomlin.

Hubbard and Kelley make the love they have for their wives very apparent on this record, both emotionally and physically. The vulnerable “Second Guessing” from NBC’s Songland was featured on this album — the singer acknowledges his indecisiveness until he meets the woman who makes it all clear. In “Always Gonna Love You,” they compare the love they get from their wives to a cold beer after work and your team scoring a touchdown, assuring it will always be this way and their love is forever. “Hard To Get To Heaven,” “Eyes Closed,” and “Long Time Coming” are more steamy. All three songs describe the physical side of love, the latter being the most personal. In “Long Time Coming,” the singer explains that between the kids and his busy work schedule, they have not made enough time for themselves, and he can’t wait to share a glass of wine and get into bed with the love of his life.

The duo has always experimented with hip-hop beats, and this record is no different. In “Countryside,” “Ain’t Worried Bout It,” and “New Truck,” Hubbard and Kelley blend banjos and steel guitars with clap-tracks to create sounds that fans of all genres can enjoy.

The generally lighthearted record takes a turn with the final two songs, “U.S. Stronger” and “Life Rolls On.” The former was included on the 6-Pack EP and was inspired by COVID-19. Written by just Hubbard and Kelley, the two encourage listeners to help each other out during these trying times. The only way to beat this virus is to figuratively come together; perseverance is in the blood of all Americans. The latter reminds us that in good times or bad, God has a plan for us, and we are always right where we belong.

The decision to pursue solo projects as well as Florida Georiga Line may be an underlying message throughout this album. Several songs, such as “Always Gonna Love You” and the title track, can relate to their relationship. While we look forward to new music from Hubbard and Kelley individually, we are celebrating all the great projects they have created and the revolutionary impact they have had in country life and country music.

NYCS Picks:

  1. “Life Looks Good”
  2. “Good To Me”
  3. “New Truck”
  4. “Second Guessing”
  5. “Ain’t Worried Bout It”

Florida Georgia Line’s LIFE ROLLS ON Track Listing:

  1. Long Live” – Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, David Garcia, Josh Miller
  2. Life Looks Good” – Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, Jaren Johnston
  3. Countryside” – Blake Redferrin, Jake Rose, Michael Whitworth
  4. Always Gonna Love You” – Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Ross Copperman, Corey Crowder, Michael Hardy
  5. I Love My Country” – Kane Brown, Corey Crowder, Chase McGill, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak, Will Weatherly
  6. Hard To Get To Heaven” – Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, Josh Thompson
  7. Long Time Comin’” – Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Jordan Schmidt, Canaan Smith
  8. Interlude” – Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder
  9. Ain’t Worried Bout It (Album Version)” – Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, Dallas Davidson, Ben Hayslip    
  10. Beer:30” – Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, Canaan Smith, Ernest Keith Smith
  11. New Truck” – Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, Jeff Gitelman, Raysean Hairston, Blake Redferrin, Priscilla Renea
  12. Eyes Closed” – Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Ross Copperman, Corey Crowder, Michael Hardy
  13. Second Guessing (From Songland)” – Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, Ester Dean, Andrew DeRoberts, Shane McAnally, Griffen Palmer, Ben Simonetti, Ryan Tedder, Geoff Warburton
  14. Good To Me” – Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, Canaan Smith
  15. U.S. Stronger” – Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley
  16. Life Rolls On” – Ben Burgess, Alysa Vanderheym, Emily Weisband

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Florida Georgia Line releases.

To keep up with Florida Georgia Line, follow them on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Life Rolls On is now 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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Devin Dawson: The Pink Slip EP – Review I NYCountry Swag

Artist and songwriter, Devin Dawson’s latest project, The Pink Slip EP is officially available now, January 15th on all streaming platforms. Listen to the brand new record and take a look below as we dive into the new music.

It has been three years since singer-songwriter Devin Dawson graced music fans everywhere with his debut record Dark Horse. The soulful crooner proved right then and there that he was going to continue to make great music throughout his blossoming career. Flash forward to today, we finally have a brand new EP to dig in to, Dawson’s latest project The Pink Slip EP.

Keeping up with his soulful, eclectic, and edgy vibes, the collection of music proves that Dawson knows exactly who he is as an artist. The six-song project features heartfelt lyrics, groovy instrumentals, and a whole lot of heart. Opening up with two out of the three previously released songs, “Range Rover” and “I Got A Truck,” Dawson showcases his talent and charm right off the bat.

“Range Rover” depicts a story of a girl that everyone thinks is perfect, but in actuality, she is a gold digger. Without saying it per se, Dawson finds a way to convey that message pretty clearly through the hooky song. With a killer production to back the lyrics, Dawson creates something innovative and unique.

“I Got A Truck” is just as anthemic, featuring truth-telling and a meticulous knack for song-writing. We first got a taste of the incredible song two years ago at his sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom and learned about the song’s evolution from a true story about Tim McGraw to now.

“I tricked myself into writing a song for myself. […] It’s become more evident every single time I play it now that it’s part of my repertoire. I was writing a song about his [McGraw] life, but it’s also about my life too, and the parallels between it,” shared Dawson in a recent conversation with our Managing Editor, Christina. Check out the full virtual interview in the video above.

“Not On My Watch” continues the standing your ground mentality that was fermented in the opening tracks. Dawson once again proves that he knows how to create songs that personify all sorts of emotions.

The next set of tracks off the new project lean into a more romantic and vulnerable side of the singer. One of our favorites, “Whatever Forever Is” is all about that one of a kind love that led him to his wife. “I used to write love songs about where I wanted to be and now I write love songs about where I’m at,” shared Dawson in our virtual interview. The statement is a perfect statement to describe “Whatever Forever Is”.

Next up, “He Loved Her” is the last song Dawson pre-released prior to the record drop date. The song honors his grandfather, calling it “one of the most important songs [that he] has ever written or released.” Infused with funky beats, when stripped down, “He Loved Her” is true-blue country music, story-telling at it’s finest.

Finally, the record ends with “Whose Gonna Hold Ya.” The song is as rhythmically pleasing as the lyrics are catchy. Inspired from thinking about faith and fidelity, Dawson finds a way to resonate with fans, while still remaining true to his authentic roots as an artist.

You can really picture the singer-songwriter just jamming with his friends and the excitement on his face, while this project came to fruition. It is clear that our dark horse has found a semblance of peace and happiness. The Pink Slip EP represents the evolution of Dawson, and we are here for it!

Devin Dawson's The Pink Slip EP is available now

Devin Dawson’s ‘The Pink Slip EP’ is available now

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Devin Dawson releases.

To keep up with Devin Dawson, follow him on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

The Pink Slip EP is now 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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Morgan Wallen: ‘Dangerous’ The Double Album – Review

Morgan Wallen’s highly-anticipated record Dangerous: The Double Album is officially available now, January 8th on all streaming platforms. We spoke with the superstar about the process of writing the project, releasing it in 2021, and giving fans exactly what they want; a ton of new music. Check out the full virtual interview in the video below, then read further on and check out our full album review as we dig a little deeper into the music.

Morgan Wallen is an artist that is on the brink of superstardom with international recognition during his few years in the limelight. His debut record If I Know Me continues to garner him more and more fans and accolades, but his brand new sophomore album Dangerous is sure to secure his staying power. The double album is one of a kind, gritty, elevated, and creative, all qualities that Wallen clearly possesses in his own right.

With thirty songs in total, plus two bonus songs exclusively for Target buyers, the singer-songwriter shatters any expectations that fans or industry executives might have had for his sophomore project. Each of the songs convey a different side of Wallen’s personality, but they all bare a part of his soul and heart. He sings and writes about universal truths in love and heartbreak, but also expresses his undeniable gratitude for his country roots and values.

Disc one opens up with “Sand In My Boots,” a track that combines all the elements. Wallen recounts falling in love with a girl, who he thought accepted his upbringing and hometown. It turns out that was not the case, but still, the singer finds a way to convey some hope in the expressive song. Lyrics like “I said girl you never seen stars like the ones back home / And she said maybe I should see them for myself” make you envision a love affair like this one.

Previously released songs and fan-favorites “More Than My Hometown” and “7 Summers” both have a similar feel to the opening track. All create imagery like no other, and it’s clear that Wallen knows a thing or two about heartbreak. On the contrary, brand new song, “Silverado For Sale” creates imagery in a different way. The artist tells the story of falling in love and needing to sell his truck to have the life he wants with his soulmate. Simple, yet beautiful, the more you listen to the love song, the more you will recognize how certain gestures can touch your heart.

Wallen also included his rendition of “Heartless” and of course, “This Bar” on the record. The latter is reflective and personal. The singer shares personal accounts of his 21st birthday, a break-up, and other experiences that have helped him grow into the person he is today. His willingness to share and be honest with his fans through his music is one of the many reasons we have fallen in love with his artistry.

“Making mistakes and making new friends / I was growing up and nothing made sense / Learning how to live with a broken heart / I found myself in this bar”

That reflective nature is also evident in songs like “Whiskey’d My Way” and “Livin’ The Dream,” which both happen to be two of our favorites off the record. On the former, Wallen considers all the options that he could have used to get over his ex, admitting that whiskey was what worked. Singing that he should be in the “moving on hall of fame” and later declaring “Tequila made me crazy / Cold Beer wouldn’t do / So I whiskey’d my way over you” just further shows Wallen’s ingenuity with lyrics.

“Livin’ The Dream” which was pre-released with songs “Somebody’s Problem” and “Still Goin’ Down” reflects on a little bit more than a break-up. One of Wallen’s most honest and raw songs to date, “Livin’ The Dream” co-written by Wallen and HARDY, as well as, Ben Burgess and Jacob Durrett, expresses the less glamourous side of success and fame. With this song, Wallen gives fans a vulnerable account of his thoughts and feelings in what seems like a journal entry, including both his struggles with alcohol and his priorities.

Continuing to lean into the vulnerability, Wallen included a song with “Little Rain” vibes on the record. “Me on Whiskey” is flirty and sensual in all the best ways. “Outlaw” a collaboration with Ben Burgess also conveys a similar, yet hopeful message on finding and holding on to love. Wallen also collaborates with superstar, Chris Stapleton. Their song “Only Thing That’s Got” is a brooding, break-up song with killer guitar riffs and even better vocals.

Of course, it would not be a Wallen record if the singer didn’t include songs that were primed for concert season and live performances, as well as, express his immense pride for East Tennessee Roots. “Somethin’ Country,” “Beer Don’t,” “Still Goin’ Down,” “Country A$$ Shit,” and “Whatcha Think Of Country Now” all remind the listeners that Wallen is a good ole boy and proud of it. Out of the group of songs all primed for the stage, “Whatcha Think Of Country Now” is a standout.

“Half way down your first country mile / You called your mama said it’s gunna be a while / didn’t think way out was your style / but now you know what it’s about / whatcha think of country now”

Wallen also explored sonically with the title-track “Dangerous,” 865,” and “Warning.” All super catchy, both “Dangerous” and “Warning” explore a more hip-hop edge, while “865,” arguably a top pick off the record focuses on unique and exciting phrasing. Vocally, “865” challenges Wallen in the best way, but sonically, the song soars with a killer instrumental and phrasing that we just cannot get enough of.

The hitmaker said it best in a recent press release, sharing, “I know 32 songs sounds like a lot to digest, but I truly did my best to make sure there’s not a song that I would press ‘next’ on. I also wanted the songs to speak to multiple phases of life and have multiple different sounds based on my influences and based on what I enjoy.” Both sonically and lyrically, Wallen nailed it with this incredible project that is sure going to take him to next level!

Morgan Wallen Dangerous

Morgan Wallen ‘Dangerous The Double Album’

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Morgan Wallen releases.

To keep up with Morgan Wallen, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

NYCS Picks:

  1. “865”
  2. “Sand In My Boots”
  3. “Whatcha Think Of Country Now”
  4. “Whiskey’d My Way”
  5. “Livin’ The Dream”

 

Dangerous: The Double Album Tracklist:

Disc 1-

  1. Sand In My Boots
  2. Wasted On You
  3. Somebody’s Problem
  4. More Surprised Than Me
  5. 865
  6. Warning
  7. Neon Eyes
  8. Outlaw feat. Ben Burgess
  9. Whiskey’d My Way
  10. Wonderin’ Bout The Wind
  11. Your Bartender
  12. Only Thing That’s Gone feat. Chris Stapleton
  13. Cover Me Up
  14. 7 Summers
  15. More Than My Hometown

Disc 2-

  1. Still Goin Down
  2. Rednecks, Red Letters, Red Dirt
  3. Dangerous
  4. Beer Don’t
  5. Blame It On Me
  6. Somethin’ Country
  7. This Bar
  8. Country A$$ Shit
  9. Whatcha Think Of Country Now
  10. Me On Whiskey
  11. Need A Boat
  12. Silverado For Sale
  13. Heartless
  14. Livin’ The Dream
  15. Quittin’ Time

Target Exclusive Bonus Tracks*

  1. The Side Of A Dust Cloud
  2. Bandaid On A Bullet Hole

Dangerous: The Double Album is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

 

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Rob Bellamy ‘Hungry Heart’ EP Review

Rob Bellamy’s brand new EP Hungry Heart is available now on all streaming platforms. Take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the new songs off the new EP.

Rob Bellamy

One of our favorite local artists, Rob Bellamy makes great music and has a killer voice. He creates music that is authentic to who he is which relates to country fans everywhere. The singer-songwriter just released his newest project, an EP entitled Starving Eyes a few months ago, and now is back again with seven more brand new songs on a project he is calling Hungry Heart.

Bellamy kicks the record off on a high-energy note with “I’d Rather Have a Beer in My Hand.” Leaning into the blue-collar, everyday story, the song is all about wanting to kick back with friends, rather than working. We can all relate to this song, as he sings “Man this week sure got the best of me / Punching the clock is the last place that I want to be.” A similarly fun track, “Dance With Me” is a sexy, honky-tonk vibe, where Bellamy’s vocals shine and soar.

The project continues into a more romantic sound. “Only Drunk I Wanna Get,” one of our favorites off the EP is a hopeful, love song. Bellamy sings about wanting to get drunk on love with his sweetheart. The soothing and honest quality of the song, as well as, the well-crafted lyrics makes you want to root for this blossoming relationship. “No Space Between” is another romantic and well-thought-out song on the project.

“Until The Weekends Through” is also one of the best off the record. Bellamy leans into the singer-songwriter vibe on this one. Although topically the song is about drinking after a long work week, the singer makes the song feel fresh and innovative.

With a strong instrumental, heavy on guitars, “Wish We Could Have Stayed” is story-telling at its finest. You cannot help, but to fully engage with the lyrics Bellamy is passionately singing. The melody and the backing track amplifies the already captivating track.

“Looking back we had it made / I know time rolls on / But I wish we could have stayed.”

Finally the record ends with Bellamy’s acoustic rendition of “Firebird.” Vocally, the song is exquisite, as the singer takes us through the story of loving a car and loving the simple life. The song was the perfect way to end an already incredible project.

These seven songs could easily join the other group of songs off Starving Eyes to become a full-length project by the promising talent.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Rob Bellamy releases.

To keep up with Rob Bellamy follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

NYCS Picks:

  1. “Wish We Could Have Stayed”
  2. “Only Drunk I Wanna Get”
  3. “Until The Weekends Through”

Hungry Heart EP Tracklist:

  1. I’d Rather Have a Beer In My Hand
  2. Dance With Me
  3. Only Drunk I Wanna Get
  4. Until the Weekends Through
  5. No Space Between
  6. Wish We Could Have Stayed
  7. Firebird (Acoustic)

 

Hungry Heart EP is now 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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The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

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