Nashville is filled with a plethora of unsigned and ridiculously talented artists, and one of the most striking in Music City would be Nick Wayne. Wayne is one of the few born and raised in Nashville, cultivating a unique and soulful sound that’s resulted in projects like his new EP, American Original.
The title track and the first on the EP was written by Wayne, Bob DiPiero, and Jason Grant. It’s the most country-rock of the collection and has the same vibe production-wise as “Ex To See” by Sam Hunt. Lyrically, it’s a foot-stomping, feel-good song about his love for fiancé and fellow singer-songwriter Hannah Ellis. “That needle hits the groove/And she moves/In her own direction”, Wayne sings on the first verse, before sailing into the chorus, where he declares that his love is “an American original”. Melodically, there are a lot of effortless note changes that come when you least expect them to. It’s a song made to be played in the car with your friends, sung at the top of your lungs.
Next is the soulful and groovy “Just Getting Started”, written by Wayne, Trent Harmon, and Mark Trussell. Dispersed throughout the entirety of the song are some really great samples of concert crowds, a busy bar, and glasses clinking. Rhythmically, it’s the most pop/r&b of the bunch, almost sounding like a Niall Horan cut. Something that Wayne does seamlessly is he combines multiple different sounds and genres together, making for something distinctive that sounds like him. The harmonies in this song hit you out of nowhere, and it showcases his vocal versatility.
The closer is the upbeat, almost traditional country track, “Hang On, My Wife’s Calling”, written by Wayne, Jason Massey, and Mark Trussell. It’s made to sound like it was performed outside during a party of some kind, intentionally casual. The guitar is cool rhythmically and melodically. Wayne sets the scene, describing the party he’s at and the shots he’s about to drink with his friends when he pauses from “the buzz in his pocket…/Woah, hang on my wife’s calling”, to which his friends laugh. He continues to answer his phone throughout the whole night, because “guys like me/don’t get girls like her”. There’s tambourine that hits by the second chorus that makes it even hookier. It’s a breezy, fun way to end the EP.
Nick Wayne has released other projects before, and each time he does, he raises the bar even higher than before. He’s got an incredible, smooth voice, and a real ear for hooks and rhymes, and continues to challenge himself and his fans sonically. There are big things ahead of Wayne, and it will be exciting to see and hear what happens next.
American Original 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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