NYCS First Impression Wade Bowen ‘Twelve Twenty-Five

Wade Bowen

Texas native singer + songwriter Wade Bowen released his Christmas album, Twelve Twenty-Five produced by Sean McConnell, just in time to start celebrating the holiday season. The album takes on classic holiday classics as well as modern hits. This chases a deluge of other projects such as Inconsistent Chaos, a documentary about mental health.

Bowen pays homage to artists such as Wham on “Last Christmas,” Mariah Carey on “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” Dolly Parton on “Once Upon A Christmas,” and Merle Haggard on “If We Make It Through December” featuring Cody Canada. The album also features Bowen’s two sons, Brock and Bruce Bowen, on “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “White Christmas.”

The country singer + songwriter stated in a press release, “I’ve always wanted to make a Christmas album that reflects all of that. All that I’ve grown to love. I can remember sitting around listening to Christmas music with my mom and sisters and singing every word. So when it came time to choose the songs for this album, I wanted those to be part of the project. But on top of the classic songs I grew up with, I want to introduce my kids to the modern holiday songs by my favorite singers or things that I’ve watched on TV that also became part of what Christmas means to me. So this record is a reflection of all of that… with a timeless feel. It was made with friends and family, singing songs that came to mean something to me over the years. And maybe, if we’re lucky, something on this album might become a small part of what Christmas means to you. I hope you enjoy it.”

“Holly Jolly Christmas” finds Bowen blissfully singing the classic sing-along with his son Brock tailing off his sentences. “White Christmas” presents the same rundown with the singer’s son Bruce creating one big family affair. That’s what the holidays are all about. He also put a modern country twist on country Christmas classics such as Dolly Parton’s “Once Upon A Christmas” and Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It Through December” featuring Cody Canada.

To keep up with Wade Bowen follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Twelve Twenty-Five Tracklist:

1. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

2. O Holy Night

3. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

4. I’ll Be Home For Christmas

5. Holly Jolly Christmas (ft. Brock Bowen)

6. Please Come Home For Christmas

7. White Christmas (ft. Bruce Bowen)

8. All I Want For Christmas Is You

9. Til The Season Comes Round Again ft. Sean McConnell

10. Once Upon A Christmas

11. If We Make It Through December ft. Cody Canada

12. Last Christmas

13. Silent Night

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NYCS First Impression Josh Kerr ‘How Do You Remember Me’

Josh Kerr How Do You Remember Me

I love being a songwriter, and that’s really what this record is about.”- Josh Kerr

With several years as a hit songwriter and producer under his belt, Josh Kerr is stepping out into the limelight for the first time as an artist, releasing his first project to date. The singer-songwriter’s debut album How Do You Remember Me premiered today, and it is the type of record that will make you feel something. Perfectly named, the album is both memorable and emotive. From sadness to nostalgia to retrospection, Kerr delivers eleven songs that will entice each and every type of country fan because of its raw honesty and creative innovation.

Kerr’s entire project is a relatable story, laced with thought-provoking lyrics and vulnerable vocals. Regardless of the instrumental arrangement or the production behind each track, every song displays his song-writing genius in the best light, while still maintaining a strong vocal delivery.

The record is anchored by two polarizing songs, including the title track and “The World Didn’t Stop Spinning.” The first is a pensive song that begs to understand how an ex-lover remembers the protagonist. We all have specific memories that bring us back to moments with the individual we once loved, but Kerr flips the script, wondering how his ex remembers him. On the other hand of the spectrum, the last track, “The World Didn’t Stop Spinning,” is a raw ballad sans production that painfully reminds listeners that life goes on; despite the devastation that comes from a break-up. In a hopeful sentiment, Kerr realistically depicts that things do, in fact, get better with time.

In the pre-released track, “In Case I Never See You Again” and the smooth, “Whole Damn Thing,” Kerr relies on his past experiences with love, but looks to the future with promise and excitement. The former is a fun tune about running into a potential love interest and not wanting to miss your opportunity. Similar to the vibe of Brett Young’s “Ticket to L.A.,” Kerr seizes the opportunity of potential on this track. The latter is the ultimate love song, where the singer acknowledges that everyone has a past, but that no one is too un-perfect to love. It also helps that the song is as catchy as can be!

“Girl I want the whole damn thing / The good, the bads, the highs, the lows / the in between / Every crack put back together / The broken piece / I want everything”

Kerr continues to reflect on his own experiences in the retrospective songs, “Still Our Town,” his debut single, “It Wasn’t That Long Ago,” and “Oklahoma.” The three tracks are contemporary and unique. “Still Our Town” is the age old story of feeling like your town, your favorite places, and your favorite activities no longer belong to you because they remind you too much of a broken relationship, while “It Wasn’t That Long Ago” solemnly reminds us that things can change in an instant. On the other hand, “Oklahoma” is a tearful ballad, where Kerr sings about losing a lover to her home state. Heather Morgan lent her vocals to the track, which completely upped the ante.

“And what’s worse I didn’t lose you to a person / I lost you to a place / Don’t wanna hate you Oklahoma / But you’re why she had to leave / Truth is that I don’t even know ya / I just know she loves you more than me.”

The theme of reflection and nostalgia continues to carry through in “If I’m Being Honest,” “How Do You Know, and “Love Me Now.” All three songs tug at your heartstrings, as the hurt is evident in each track. The first expresses the pain associated with the love of your life marrying someone else. “How Do You Know” is a stripped down vocal that focuses on the inner turmoil of getting over someone. Finally, with a more cheerful backing track, “Love Me Now” expresses the desire of wishing that a relationship could have happened now, rather than in the past. Similar to the sentiment of “Man Enough Now” by Chris Bandi, Kerr admits that things could have been different if we only knew what we know now.

Of course, the record would not be complete without a final, soft, love song. “Only” is one of the most romantic songs on the record. The soul and passion radiate throughout the song, and if you weren’t already a believer in Kerr’s talent, you will be after listening to this heartfelt track.

“Baby I’m only for you / Only / Nobody knows you like you / know me / I’ll do what I got to do / Girl, just to prove to you / That I won’t ever leave you / Only / Baby I’m only for you.”

Overall the record truly encompasses the seasons of Kerr’s life in a fresh and alluring way. Clearly, a songwriter at heart, Kerr made sure that all aspects of his debut project were authentic to him, whether it be his story or songs that he loves, which every music lover can appreciate.

To keep up with Josh Kerr follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

How Do You Remember Me Track Listing
1. How Do You Remember Me (Josh Kerr, Jordan Minton, Jordan Reynolds, Nick Wayne)
2. In Case I Never See You Again (Kerr, Jacob Davis, Michael Hardy)
3. Still Our Town (Kerr, Minton)
4. Oklahoma (feat. Heather Morgan) (Kerr, Davis, Sean McConnell)
5. If I’m Being Honest (Kerr, Cary Barlowe, Trent Harmon)
6. It Wasn’t That Long Ago (Kerr, Minton, Reynolds)
7. How Do You Know (feat. Amy Wadge) (Kerr, RaeLynn, Amy Wadge)
8. Love Me Now (Kerr, Tom Douglas)
9. Only (Kerr, Reynolds)
10. Whole Damn Thing (Kerr, Minton)
11. The World Didn’t Stop Spinning (Kerr, Ben Roberts)
NYCountry Swag Picks: 
1. Still Our Town
2. Love Me Now
3. Whole Damn Thing

How Do You Remember Me 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.

 

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
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NYCS First Impression Luke Combs ‘What You See Is What You Get’

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Since the 2017 release of his debut album, This One’s for You, Luke Combs has become one of country music’s fastest rising stars. In a sea of tight pants, trucks, and auto-tune, Combs has emerged from the pack as a true talent, known for relying on honest lyrics and traditional country with a modern twist.

Today (November 8), Combs released his sophomore album on Columbia Nashville, What You See Is What You Get, which once again pairs him with the man behind his debut album, producer Scott Moffat. In many ways, this offering is a natural extension of the first album, showing Combs stretching himself, lyrically and musically, without compromising the sound that endeared him to millions.

Luke Combs What You See Is What You Get

Combs previewed the album’s first five tracks earlier this year when he released his stellar The Prequel-EP in June. Opening with the first single, and number one smash, “Beer Never Broke My Heart,” the album sails through those songs, including the single-worthy “Refrigerator Door” and the poignant current top 5  radio single, “Even Though I’m Leaving.”

The Prequel-EP was the perfect preview for the seventeen track album, which shows Combs effortlessly flowing from raucous party songs to romantic reflections of love. While some of what Combs does would be considered cliche for any other artist, he manages to pull it off in a way that seems authentic. There’s “Blue Collar Boys,” which celebrates the working man, and while the concept has been done before, Combs just does it oh-so-well.

Likewise, “1, 2 Many” is a drinking song in the vein of Blake Shelton’s “The More I Drink,” but Combs shines here. By pairing him with Brooks & Dunn, he continues to establish himself as a traditionalist with a modern touch. He also shows himself to be a stellar vocalist, matching verses with Ronnie Dunn, one of the genre’s great voices.

Speaking of greats, Combs also joins forces with Eric Church on “Does To Me,” a song celebrating the accomplishments in one’s life that might seem inconsequential, including a little league hit and a date to the prom. “So say I’m a middle of the road/ Not much to show/ Underachieving average Joe/ I’m a hell of a lover/ A damn good brother/ And I wear this heart on my sleeve,” Combs proclaims. “That might not mean much to you, but it does to me.”

The theme of Combs as a relatable every-man continues to be prevalent through the album, including on the album’s title track “What You See Is What You Get” and the rollicking “Angels Working Overtime.” He’s reflective on “New Every Day,” as he moves on from a breakup, “learning something new every day,” and on “Reasons,” where he reflects on the decisions that change one’s life. “So if you see me soaking in these thoughts I’m thinking/ Drowning in some bar room off the deep end,” He sings. “I’ve got my reasons.”

While the album runs the gamut of sounds and emotions, it’s the last track that is sure to stir the heart. The final song, “Better Together,” is a striking piano ballad that shows a softer side of Combs. “Some things just go better together/ Probably always will,” He sings of fiancé , Nicole Hocking, “What’s the point of this old guitar/ If it ain’t got no strings / Or pouring your heart in to a song  / That you ain’t gonna sing / It’s a match made up in heaven / Like good old boys and beer/ And me, as long as you’re right here.”

While many artists fall into a sophomore slump, there’s no sign of that on What You See Is What You Get. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, and it turns out what we see and get from Luke Combs is exactly what we want.

NYCountry Swag Picks
1. Does To Me
2. Even Though I’m Leaving
3. What You See Is What You Get
4. Refrigerator Door

What You See Is What You Get Track List
1. “Beer Never Broke My Heart” (Luke Combs/Randy Montana/Jonathan Singleton)
2. “Refrigerator Door” (Luke Combs/Jordan Brooker)
3. “Even Though I’m Leaving” (Luke Combs/Wyatt Durrette/Ray Fulcher)
4. “Lovin’ On You” (Luke Combs/Thomas Archer/Ray Fulcher/James McNair)
5. “Moon Over Mexico” (Luke Combs/Ray Fulcher/Dan Isbell/Jonathan Singleton)
6. “1, 2 Many” (feat. Brooks & Dunn) (Luke Combs/Dan Isbell/Tyler King/Drew Parker)
7. “Blue Collar Boys” (Luke Combs/Erik Dylan/Ray Fulcher/Derrick Moody)
8. “New Every Day” (Luke Combs/Ray Fulcher/Josh Thompson)
9. “Reasons” (Luke Combs/Ray Fulcher/James McNair)
10. “Every Little Bit Helps” (Luke Combs/Chase McGill/James McNair)
11. “Dear Today” (Luke Combs/Erik Dylan/Rob Snyder)
12. “What You See Is What You Get” (Luke Combs/Barry Dean/Jonathan Singleton)
13. “Does to Me” (feat. Eric Church) (Luke Combs/Ray Fulcher/Tyler Reeve)
14. “Angels Workin’ Overtime” (Luke Combs/Josh Phillips/Josh Thompson)
15. “All Over Again” (Luke Combs/Corey Crowder/Ray Fulcher)
16. “Nothing Like You” (Luke Combs/Drew Parker/Robert Williford)
17. “Better Together” (Luke Combs/Dan Isbell/Randy Montana)

Combs is currently on tour through early 2020 in support of his new album and will hit Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT, with Morgan Wallen and Jameson Rogers, on November 22.

To keep up with Luke Combs follow him on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

What You See Is What You Get 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.

 

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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.

—————————-

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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NYCS First Impression: Miranda Lambert ‘Wildcard’

Wildcard

In many ways, the title of Miranda Lambert’s new album, Wildcard, is appropriate. For one, it marks her first release on Vanner Records/RCA Records Nashville. She also co-wrote all of the collection’s fourteen songs, and parted ways with her longtime producer, Frank Liddell, in favor of working with Jay Joyce. Sonically, the album also delivers on the title, showing Lambert returning to her roots as country’s femme-fatale/rebel with a cause, while also exploring her more rocking and tender sides.

For Lambert, Wildcard is quite the departure from 2017’s The Weight of These Wings. Her previous album was dark and brooding, showing the often clever songstress dismayed and different than the artist fans have come to know. “I always have a little bit of cheeky sarcasm in my songs and records. I feel like I missed that a little bit on The Weight of These Wings,” Lambert told Rolling Stone. “And I also needed to have fun. There were some fun moments on The Weight of These Wings, but just that whole portion of my life and art was not the funnest time. With this one I just wanted to cut loose a little bit and get back to the me that was willing to have fun with it and make fun of myself.”

Wildcard shows her cutting loose right out of the gate, opening with “White Trash.” It shows Lambert embracing her past and her reputation in a way that’s snarky and sarcastic. She may no longer live in a trailer park, but she’s still the same ol’ girl she always was. “I can’t keep my white trash off the lawn,” Lambert sings on the tongue-in-cheek track, “I can’t hide it in a closet/ I can’t stuff it in a trunk/ I always know there’s treasure/ Buried somewhere in the junk/ I can keep my roots from showing/ But I’m still dishwater blonde/ I can’t keep my white trash off the lawn.”

The album continues with up-tempo tracks, traversing from the poppy “Mess With My Head” with its heavy bass line to “It All Comes Out in the Wash,” which was Lambert’s first release from Wildcard. On “It All Come Out in the Wash,” Lambert sings one of country music’s most clever lines as of late, “Don’t sweat it, Tide stick’ll get it.”

Other highlights include the Gospel-tinged “Holy Water” and Lambert’s collaboration with Maren Morris on “Way Too Pretty for Prison.” The latter is a humorous take on the reasons why the duo shouldn’t kill a cheating husband. Think Brandy Clark’s “Stripes” here, as they sing “But we’re way too pretty for prison/ Hard time ain’t our kind of livin’/ And I don’t want to talk about/ The way those jumpsuits wash us out/ We’re way too pretty for prison.”

While the album is certainly a departure from Lambert’s previous downcast project, there are still moments of vulnerability and introspection. These songs include the album’s final track “Fire Escape,” “Settling Down,” “How Dare You Love,” and “Track Record.” On “Track Record,” Lambert is candid about the failures of her past relationships, owning up to her mistakes. “I can’t help it, I’m in love with love,” She admits here, recounting her failed relationships and her past as “checkered as the floor at the diner on Main Street.” “Girls like me don’t mean it,” She reasons lyrically, “But we don’t know better.”

“Bluebird” is one of the album’s most magical moments, having come from a poem. “Luke (Dick) had texted me the line from an old poem he had seen. It said something about keeping a bluebird in your heart and he said, ‘I want to write that with you because I feel like that’s what you did and that’s what we all do,’” Lambert revealed at an album preview show in Nashville, according to Billboard. “When we got in the room to write it, it felt really magical. Something about a bluebird is hopeful, even through blue times. When I sing this song, I feel a little flutter and I feel every single word I sing.”

Another highlight of the album is “Pretty Bitchin’,” which plays to Lambert’s strength as a lyricist, with an uncanny ability to turn a phrase, playing here on the word pretty. “I use what I’ve got/ I don’t let it go to waste/ I’m pretty from the back/ Kinda pretty in the face/ I hate to admit it/ But it didn’t stop me, did it? / Yeah, life’s pretty weird/ And life’s pretty great/ And life’s pretty good if we live it/ 1-2-3 Mississippi/ Sitting pretty damn pretty on this pretty life I’ve been given/ It’s pretty bitchin’.”

In fact, it’s “Pretty Bitchin'” that may best sum up Wildcard, which is, all in all, pretty bitchin’.

Wildcard Track List
1. White Trash (Lambert, Luke Dick, Natalie Hemby, Laura Veltz)
2. Mess with My Head (Lambert, Dick, Hemby)
3. It All Comes Out in the Wash (Lambert, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose)
4. Settling Down (Lambert, Dick, Hemby)
5. Holy Water (Lambert, Brent Cobb, Mike Harris, Joshua Taylor)
6. Way Too Pretty for Prison with Maren Morris (Lambert, Lindsey, McKenna, Rose)
7. Locomotive (Lambert, Ashley Monroe, K.S. Rhoads)
8. Bluebird (Lambert, Dick, Hemby)
9. How Dare You Love (Lambert, Monroe, Jamie Kinney)
10. Fire Escape (Lambert, Lindsey, McKenna, Rose)
11. Pretty Bitchin’ (Lambert, Dick, Hemby, Jon Randall)
12. Tequila Does (Lambert, Randall, Jack Ingram)
13. Track Record (Lambert, Lindsey, McKenna, Rose)
14. Dark Bars (Lambert, Rose)

NYCountry Swag Picks:
1. Pretty Bitchin’
2. Track Record
3. Bluebird
4. Way Too Pretty for Prison

Lambert will kick off her Wildcard tour on January 16th in Tupelo, MS. While no New York-area shows have been announced just yet, keep an eye on NYCountry Swag for announcements. In the meantime, Lambert will hit Nashville on January 24, Dallas, TX on February 8, San Diego, CA February 21, and Vancouver, BC on April 25. Support acts on the Wildcard Tour include Elle King, Pistol Annies, LANCO, Maren Morris, Tenille Townes, Ashley McBryde, and Cody Johnson. For a full list of tour dates, visit mirandalambert.com.

To keep up with Miranda Lambert, follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Wildcard 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.

 

Want a chance to win an autographed vinyl copy of Miranda Lambert’s album?
Fill out the form below to enter to win!
Then head to Instagram, for additional chances to win
*All winners will be notified by Monday, November 11th via e-mail or DM. 

 

 

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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.

—————————-

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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NYCS First Impression: Jon Langston ‘Now You Know’ EP

Rising country singer-songwriter, Jon Langston released his new Extended Play, Now You Know on Friday featuring songs such as “Now You Know”, “Dance Tonight”, “When It Comes To Loving You”, “Cigarettes And Me” plus two brand new songs in “Dial One Up” and “Sunday Morning Heart”.  The Georgia-native co-wrote all six tracks.

The title track, “Now You Know” was just released on June 14th and is the song Langston used to open his sets on Luke Bryan’s Sunset Repeat Tour. Like Langston, it is very heavily influenced by rock n’ roll. In the song, he mentions all the things he does that make him a true southern boy, like fishing, hunting, drinking, etc.

I just go with the flow, with a whiskey and Coke / If you ever wondered how I roll / Well, now you know

The next two songs, “Dance Tonight” and “When It Comes To Loving You” are both slower, love songs. They were originally released as singles in February of 2019 and February of 2018, respectively. “Dance Tonight” is simply about sharing a dance with the person you love. In “When It Comes To Loving You”, Langston says nothing, not even a cold beer on a Friday night or watching college football with his grandpa, compares to a night with this girl.

“When it comes to loving you / All my walls fall down / Your touch in the dark lights a fire in my heart / That can’t be put out”

“Dial One Up” contains a blend of all different genres including country, pop, and rock. In this song, Langston sends a message to all the lonely girls out there that if they’re looking for a good time, dial his number. In the bridge, he mentions that if he has a good time tonight that he’ll be the one to call her tomorrow.

“I got you covered if you need a little crazy / We can watch the sunrise in the bed of this truck / If you want another late night, baby / I’ll be the one to dial one up”

The girl featured in “Sunday Morning Heart” leaves Langston in awe as he is amazed at how such a nice, sweet girl can tear up a Saturday night with the best of them. To him, the most impressive part is not how she can close down the bar but how she can put on a smile and be ready for church the next morning; her “Sunday morning heart” is his favorite thing about her.

“She’s got a Saturday night wild streak, and a sweet southern charm / and a Sunday morning heart”

“Cigarettes And Me” was originally released on his 2015, self-titled EP. This track was written for his father as Langston praises how he never gave up on him. Although the lyrics are the same, there were changes made to the song as some extra sounds were added, the electric guitar became more prevalent and he threw in a couple of transitional words like “oh yeah” and “come on”.

“All those junkyard parts that never fit / My daddy never quit / Cigarettes, Chevy trucks, and me”

The Sunset Repeat Tour wraps up today in Detroit as Langston also continues his headlining tour that ends November 30th. He will then hit the road with Morgan Wallen on his Whiskey Glasses Roadshow tour starting January 2nd. For tickets, head to his website.

NYCountry Swag Must Listens: “Dial One Up” and “Sunday Morning Heart”

To keep up with Jon Langston follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Now You Know is available everywhere you buy or stream music. To thank the fans for their loyalty and support, Langston has personally signed each physical copy of the EP. Check out these songs and more newly released music on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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.

—————————-

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!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

NYCS First Impression: Old Dominion Release Self-Titled Album

Old Dominion

It has been two years since the phenomenon that is Old Dominion put out a new record. After a widely successful headlining tour earlier this year, making a stop at New York City’s Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden on May 25th, 2019, the band’s self-titled album has finally been released in its entirety, and well, it was definitely worth the wait.

The record is full of twelve well-rounded tracks, covering the whole gamut of emotions and of course, showcasing their stellar songwriting. The band promised via Twitter, back when their album date was released that the record would be different, stating, “We pushed ourselves to be more raw and vulnerable with our songwriting on this album. It’s a side of us we haven’t shown as blatantly on our projects,” they lamented, setting the tone for the impressive tracklist.

The lead single, “Make It Sweet,” encourages listeners to make the most of life; despite, the negative. The track reached the top spot on the charts, making it the ACM Vocal Group of the Year’s seventh career number one. Its rhythmic tempo is just as charming as the clever lyrics. Transitioning into “Smooth Sailing,” a song with an air of ease and a beachy vibe, Old Dominion show off their songwriting yet again. They continue to keep things positive, without living in a dreamland, singing about looking to get back on track in this catchy tune.

“Come hell or high water / The sun’s gonna shine / Might not be tomorrow / But I know I’m going to find smooth sailing / Watch me sail away”

Old Dominion

Mike Spotz (@illkoncept) for NYCountry Swag

Both fan-favorite ballad “One Man Band” and one of the pre-released tracks, “My Heart is a Bar” are definitely cut from the same cloth. The former expresses one’s desire to be in a relationship. The group uses their perspective as musicians to write a heartfelt and emotional tune. “My Heart is a Bar” is equally as profound, but for a more melancholy reason. Lead singer, Matthew Ramsey compares his broken heart to a bar; lamenting that people use him until they feel better and then, they pick up and leave. Although a heartbreaking sentiment, the song is one of the best on the new project.

“My heart is a bar and I’m closing it down / So find somewhere else to get drunk in this town / I’m tired of being a shoulder and never having one around”

Next up, the upbeat track “Never Be Sorry” aims to remind people who have had their heart broken that falling in love is never something to apologize for. Breakups can be messy, but we can and should learn to cherish the memories and the lessons learned from our previous relationships. In the same vein, they sing about finally getting it, now that the relationship has ended in “Hear You Now”. After all, is said and done, they finally hear their ex loud and clear, as all the things she said finally came true. If nothing else, these two songs teach us tough lessons, inspiring us to grow from the hardships. It’s safe to say Old Dominion’s unique talent shines on these tracks.

For fans who love Old Dominion’s hard-hitting and cheeky stuff, the self-titled release has that too. “Midnight Mess Around” fits the bill. The song, written with the late Andrew Dorff, is straight to the point. Even though it’s a new vibe for the band, the song’s lyrics will resonate with fans, who love their hits “Hotel Key” and “Snapback,” except this song is sexy and racy in all the best ways. If you’re looking for another song that’s full of clever innuendos and flirty lyrics, look no further than track number seven, “Do It With Me.”

“I’ll Roll” and “American Style” both have that traditional mixed with modern country vibes. Laced with confidence throughout, the former is a laid-back song about just living life and letting it ride. The band doesn’t put much pressure on making decisions in this unique bop. Meanwhile, the latter, “American Style” is sure to be a staple at live shows. It starts with a fun drum instrumental and we can picture fans singing the lyrics back to the guys on stage.

“Rock and roll / and peace and love / and breaking in your baseball glove / Ain’t ever going to go out of American style”

Nearing the end of the record, “Paint the Grass Green” is one of our favorites, standing out for its romantic notions and killer displays of affirmations. Ramsey’s delivery as he pours heart out into the lyrics, highlight a man willing to give his love everything and anything to keep her happy.

Just like “Paint the Grass Green,” the final song off the new record is one of the most lyrically-driven songs of the year. “Some People Do” is arguably the most vulnerable cut by Old Dominion yet, showcasing a whole new level of artistry for the songwriters and artists. The song questions humanity’s ability to change and learn from their mistakes. Although ultimately a break-up song, the track poses philosophical questions that will keep you thinking and playing the song again and again.

“Some people quit drinking too much / And some people quit lying / Some people decide to grow up / But it’s never good timing / Most wouldn’t forget / What I put you through / But I’m here tonight / Hoping some people do”

Prior to album release day, the group shared via social media, “Part of our job as songwriters is, to tell the truth, even if it’s hard to go there.” They did not disappoint, and this sentiment is the common thread that links all the songs together in this cohesive, heartwarming, and creative record.

NYCountry Swag Must Listens: “Paint The Grass Green”, “Hear You Now”, “My Heart Is a Bar”

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

Old Dominion 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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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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!

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NYCS First Impression: Bailey Bryan ‘Perspective’

Bailey Bryan EP

It’s officially Fall, the season of shifting and change. Nashville based singer/songwriter Bailey Bryan is embracing this whole-heartedly, as she celebrates the release of her sophomore EP, Perspective, out today, October 11th. “I’m trying to allow myself the space to experiment, whether it’s the sound of my music or the things I wear, to figure out who I am and how to be true to me,” Bryan shared in a recent press release.

This statement rings true on “Perspective”, as she blends her pop influences with a country sound. The EP opens up with previously-released “Songbird” which was co-written by the songstress along with songwriter turned artist Michael Hardy, along with Dennis Matkosky. The guitar compliments Bryan’s vocals perfectly as she sings, “I am just a songbird/trying to find my way”. It’s a quintessential opening track- it asks the questions the rest of the EP explores.

She follows it with “Where We Started”, a song about a relationship that is on the rails that she wants to save. It’s poppy and singer-songwriter at the same time, a seamless transition from country to a more pop-heavy sound. This song has real hit potential, as it’s relatable and catchy at the same time.

The title track “Perspective” is next, and instead of including the original single put out at the beginning of 2019, she included the demo. This song is Bryan’s mission statement, and it marks her official transition to pop music. “Now I got a new perspective/All ’cause you respected / Finally liking what I see”, she sings on the soaring chorus.

Next is the fourth song “Watered Down”, which is the standout of the 5 song EP. It’s Nashville writing at it’s finest: it’s vulnerable, authentic and memorable. “You get a lot of people telling you things like, ‘You’re great. What you do is cool.” Bryan explains. “But the way to make [this relationship] work would be to tone yourself down.”  The production is low key, but perfect for the message of the song. It’s filled with synths and balanced out with some guitar, adding to the elements of her pop/singer-songwriter identity.

The EP closes with anthemic “Pressure”. “There’s this weight on us—when you’re scrolling through social media or talking to your parents or comparing yourself to your friends—to know exactly who you are and to present yourself as if you’re having the time of your life,” Bryan explains. “[It] really sums up my last couple of years.”

Transitioning and melding one genre into a different one can be tricky for some artists. For Bryan, it was the most natural thing she could have done. Her songwriting remains honest throughout, writing each of the songs on the project and it seems that the songbird herself finally found her voice. She should be proud because this is her best work yet.

Bryan’s second EP, Perspective, is out now. Catch her on her upcoming “Perspective” limited-club tour next month. For more info and tour dates head to www.baileybryan.com

To keep up with Bailey Bryan, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Perspective 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.

 

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
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NYCS First Impression: Kelleigh Bannen ‘Favorite Colors’

Kelleigh Bannen Favorite Colors

If you’re searching for a record that is emotional, raw, fierce, honest, and impactful, look no further than Kelleigh Bannen’s debut record Favorite Colors. The independent artist showcases true artistry in all of her music, but this record is all her. She throws caution to the wind, and delivers an album that is authentic to who she is as a person.

All co-written by Bannen, the record consists of fourteen well-rounded and vulnerable tracks. All reflective in nature, the songstress leans on themes of love, love lost, empowerment, and story-telling. Beginning with, “Damn I Still Love You,” the singer-songwriter reflects about running into an old flame, surprising herself with the revelation that she’s still in love. On the contrary, “Sleeping Alone” is reflective and a tad melancholy, but ultimately, it is a powerful song about being on the other side of things, overcoming the heartache.

Both “Happy Birthday” and “Time Machine” are songs that revisit the past, leaning on the nostalgia that is laced throughout the entire project. The former shows off Bannen’s vocals as she reminisces about all the birthdays she spent with her ex. She just calls to say “Happy Birthday.” The latter skews towards a more general wondering, eventually transitioning into remembering memories with an old lover. She cleverly calls songs, a “stranger’s perfume,” and landmarks- time machines that bring you back to those exact moments.

Like “Happy Birthday,” Bannen included the two other songs off her EP on this record, “John Who” and “The Joneses.” The first song is smooth, soulful, and thoughtful. It is inspired by a whirlwind romance with a man named John, who Bannen is seemingly trying to get over after he just up and leaves. She sings “I need a clean slate from this heartache / I need a reason to forget,” later adding “I need a don’t look back / Kiss that stops me in my tracks.” In “The Joneses” Bannen uses quick, impactful lyrics to describe the old age adage that there’s no point in trying to “keep up with Joneses.” Like with her music, Bannen refuses to fit in and continues to blaze her own path and create her own mold. To learn more about these songs, check out our Swag Spotlight with the singer-songwriter from earlier this year.

Four of the songs were pre-released, including “Deluxe,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Diamonds,” and “Faith in You.” Although all different in nature, the group of songs are all inspiring and hopeful. “Deluxe” is inspired by an extravagant type of love. She compares a man’s advances to high-end luxury in the sonically-pleasing song. “Boys Don’t Cry” is a plea to girls who are going through a break-up, not to compare themselves to how guys go through a break-up. She encourages the ladies to “pull yourself together,” and of course to “get to getting over.” Finally, both “Diamonds” and “Faith In You” pay tribute to having someone to lean on, when times get tough, describing long-term commitment as the holy grail.

Favorite Colors boasts two true-blue upbeat tunes with “Suit” and “Haters.” The songs are on the opposite side of the spectrum, when it comes to context and instrumentals; however, they are both indicative of passion and truth-telling. “Suit” is a romantic, flirty track, where Bannen daydreams about her wedding day, cheek-fully singing “I can see you in a suit and tie / I can see you at the end of an aisle.” On the other hand, “Haters” confronts the social media monsters, calling out the trolls that hide behind their technology to bring others down. Both of these songs prove that no topic is off-limits.

Finally, “Your Favorite Colors” and the closing track, “Long Shadow” may be the best of the beautiful collection of songs on this project. Both showcase her songwriting chops, projecting the brutally-honest vulnerability that is so important in great story-telling. “Your Favorite Colors” depicts the ebbs and flows of getting through heartbreak. She admits the truth that “I don’t know where love goes when it’s gone.” In the later, “Long Shadow” the singer contemplates her thoughts, ultimately realizing that the ones we loved and lost, never really leave us.

Overall Bannen’s body of work is innovative and pleasing to listen to. It’s safe to say that Bannen’s goal of “telling stories and bringing people together” has been accomplished, as her record far exceeded expectations.

To keep up with Kelleigh Bannen follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Favorite Colors 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.

 

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
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NYCS First Impression: Stephanie Quayle ‘If I Was A Cowboy’ EP

Stephanie Quayle

Last Friday, one of our favorite female artists, Stephanie Quayle released her newest EP entitled If I Was a Cowboy. Quayle is both a Swag Spotlight alum, as well as, a past performer at our 2nd annual Babes, Booze & Brunch event last March. She is as talented as they come, and her new EP is a perfect snippet into her musical style, showcasing heartfelt delivery.

The new project begins with the spunky title track. Written by extraordinary songwriters, Ross Copperman, Shane McAnally, and Nicolle Gaylon, “If I Was a Cowboy” is a nostalgic anthem for female empowerment and strength. The lyrics create pronounced imagery, as Quayle sings candidly about the differences between how men and women deal with heartache.

“Cowboys don’t cry / Cowboys can lie to themselves and to everyone else when it’s over / Cowboys ain’t fragile, they’re back in the saddle / Don’t wait for their heart to unbreak / They just ride away”

The songstress slows things down a bit in the equally impactful and cleverly titled, “Evel Knievel.” Co-written by the Montana native with Karen Kosowski and Tori Tullier, the track inspires listeners to take that risk and to chase your dreams. It is inspired by a fearless stuntman from her home state. In the poignant chorus, Quayle shares “ain’t no one born with nerves of steel,” adding “sometimes we gotta take our hands off the wheel to fly like an eagle, like Evel Knieval.” In other words, take that leap of faith. It’s always worth it.

Quayle switches gears yet again, singing about her curiosity about a man, whose drinking alone at the bar in another track she co-penned. In her current single, “Whatcha Drinkin’ Bout,” she sings along to an enticing mid-tempo instrumental. The track cuts right to the chase lyrically but still packs a punch. “Whatcha Drinkin’ Bout’ should definitely be a staple at her live shows.

Continuing to rely on her strong and sassy vibe, Quayle shows off her personality in “Second Rodeo.” She preaches, yet again, to keep going, despite adversity. This time, relying on her past experiences to tell listeners that everyone is both working towards something and fighting their own demons. Quayle reminds us to “get back on the horse” and that “ain’t nobody got their shit together” just yet, and that’s okay.

Finally, the EP concludes with arguably the most poignant song of the project simply called “Untitled.” The ballad feels like Quayle’s lyrical autobiography. In the first verse, she cleverly reminds us of the lyrics to songs that we know all too well in order to explain that her story has just begun. We are ultimately all on our own journey to find ourselves and to live in our own authenticity. It is the perfect way to wrap up the well-rounded project.

“I’m still making it up as I go along / But for now I’m calling this song untitled / It’s untitled”

Overall the record encompasses all the aspects of Quayle’s unique talent. She exudes courage of conviction, strength, and vulnerability, through her five-song EP. We are eager to see what her full-length record will encompass in the future.

If I Was a Cowboy 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.

To keep up with Stephanie Quayle follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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.

—————————-

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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NYCS First Impression Kalie Shorr ‘Open Book’

Kalie Shorr Open Book

If you’re looking for a record that is honest, raw, and relatable with a delightfully unique perspective, look no further than Kalie Shorr’s debut record Open Book. The new project gives us a front row seat into the songstress’ life experiences, her thoughts, and her feelings, all wrapped up with pretty melodies and enticing vocals. Shorr delivers an impressive melding of genres while remaining true to her songwriter roots, co-writing and co-producing each and every one of the 13 tracks.

The record begins with the essence of an old-western instrumental in “Too Much To Say,” but it is the opening line that packs quite the punch. The track sets the tone for the rest of the album, as Shorr exclaims in the opening lyrics, “I’ve never been worse, thanks for asking / Is it making you nervous, all this honesty?!,” only to add later that she’s an “open book.” She reminisces again in “Big Houses,” a cut that comes later on the tracklist that depicts positive moments with her mother, while still having a somber layer of wishing to be anywhere but ‘here’.

 “Escape” and “Messy” follow the first song. The former is the listener’s first introduction to her demons. She unapologetically attests to how her struggles in her childhood led her to seek love in the wrong places and to find her own version of an escape. She sings, “Everybody needs an escape / And mine was leaving.” The later also shows off Shorr’s vocals. In “Messy,” the singer-songwriter plays with her vocal range while seeking answers as to why her relationship ended the way it did.

Shorr continues to explore how she felt in a former relationship in “The One.” Between the clever wordplay and tempo-changes, “The One” is a stand-out song on the tracklist. For different reasons, “F U Forever” is arguably one of the most impressive songs off the project. In the upbeat jam, the songstress empowers women to wear their heartbreak and vulnerability like a badge of honor.

Her impressive use of wordplay and expressive singing is apparent again in “Alice in Wonderland.” Besides being cleverly titled, the song is another explorative track with strong imagery about wanting to escape from a bad relationship. Relating the song to the movie ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is not only brilliant but reminds us all of our vulnerabilities. “Wonder if you’re good enough / Or if you’re the only one / You wonder if he’s lying again.”

 As we delve deeper into Shorr’s masterpiece, she openly shares her grieving process with us in “The World Keeps Spinning.” In memory of her late sister, the singer laments about how hard it is to get through a day, when you lose someone you love, “The sky didn’t even have the decency to cry / And that damn sun / Still found a way to shine / When my heartaches hitting / I think it’s kinda cruel that the world keeps spinning.” The powerful ballad is for anyone that has ever experienced loss.

After tugging at our heartstrings, Shorr switches gears and delivers three more upbeat tracks that fans of recent Taylor Swift and Alanis Morissette would love. In “Gatsby,” she sings the sarcastic sentiment, “people like me because I’m happy.” The song rivals the Morissette classic “Ironic.” As for, “Thank God You’re a Man,” the play of tempos feel like Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” or “Red” by Swift. It will have you singing along after just one listen. Finally, “Vices” will have you relating to Shorr’s struggles with her “vices” and hopefully help you to give yourself compassion for not always making the ‘right’ decisions.

Continuing to play with the gamut of emotions, Shorr shares her journey through heartbreak in her current radio single “Lullaby”. The ethereal song was inspired by the end of a six-year relationship. She takes us through the process of moving on both lyrically and rhythmically. The beautiful track begins with just Shorr’s voice shining through an acoustic guitar evolving into a full instrumental backing track. She sings “This is the sound of letting it go / of learning to sleep and your sleeping alone / of figuring it out how to love when you don’t.

The record ends with “Angry Butterfly.” The obscure titled song begins with heavier guitars and polarizing vocals. Shorr admits to being a ‘walking contradiction,’ relishing in the “beauty in the breakdown.” It’s the perfect way to bookmark a thoughtful and innovative debut.

Open Book is a catalog of songs for the individual, who is looking to find healing in the music. As Shorr shared in a recent press release, “These songs are like three minute journal entries,” adding, “I’m happy to have the freedom to share my truth on this album.” Shorr’s refreshing perspective is one that will surely resonate with music fans across many genres, but her niche at perfectly speaking her truth, while still standing up for women is arguably what will keep her successful in the industry for a long time to come.

To catch some of these songs live along with your favorite cover songs, come to our Manhattan By Sail on October 11th where we will feature Kalie Shorr as our musical guest. More information and tickets available here.

To keep up with Kalie Shorr follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Open Book 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.

 

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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.

—————————-

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!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook: