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Kelsea Ballerini & Halsey Collaborate on CMT Crossroads

On the heels of the release of her studio album entitled kelsea, country’s princess Kelsea Ballerini joined pop superstar Halsey on stage for an episode of CMT Crossroads. Filmed at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater in October 2019, the two powerhouses performed for a live crowd, while rain poured down, almost threatening cancellation. Luckily the show went on, and boy are we thankful it did!

Perfectly paired the two even share a song on Ballerini’s new record. The songstresses performed that tune, “the other girl,” trading verses to the impactful song. The new duet tells the story of solidarity among two women who are seemingly dating the same man, who is cheating on them both.

Ballerini and Halsey join forces on several of their songs, during the course of the night, including a rendition of Ballerini’s “Peter Pan” and the inspiring “homecoming queen.” Ballerini also lends her vocals to Halsey’s hit “Bad At Love,” a song about problematic relationships, as well as, “Graveyard” and “Without Me.”

Just prior to performing ‘homecoming queen,” Halsey praised Ballerini for bringing the song to life. “If there is anything song that I wish I wrote,” she said, “ it is “homecoming queen” by Kelsea Ballerini!” Of course, fans erupted into cheers, as the two singers went on to sing the heartfelt ballad.

On the contrary, during Halsey’s songs, the two singer-songwriters jammed out and showed off their sassy style. Both performances of “Bad At Love” and “Graveyard” were highlights of their creative and fun set. The same energy was applied to their rendition of Ballerini’s “Miss Me More.”

Another highlight came when the two ladies gave a dazzling cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” Their vocals shined on the mesmerizing tune. It was almost hard to believe that it wasn’t an original.

Overall, once again Crossroads delivered a special and enticing combination of two top-notch songstresses in the music industry. Halsey and Kelsea are true superstars, and we hope to see them perform together again in the future.

To keep up with Kelsea Ballerini follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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

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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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NYCS First Impression Kelsea Ballerini Releases ‘kelsea’

kelsea

Some might say a debut album is most important; it’s the introduction. Some might say the sophomore album is most crucial; it’s where you prove you survived the “slump”. But perhaps an artists’ third album is the most prominent. It’s where an artist really comes into themselves and their sound. Kelsea Ballerini’s new album, kelsea, proves to be just that: self-aware.

“I had to get to know myself at 26 and realize that I’m not the same person who wrote the first or second albums,” Ballerini told The Washington Post. “I still have bits of that confidence and that swagger in this album. But it’s definitely paired with a lot more truth-telling.”

The opener is “overshare”, where Ballerini sings, “Momma says, that I never met a stranger/Strange thing is everybody’s strangers”. All about sharing a little too much, it takes on a similar approach to Thomas Rhett’s “Life Changes”. She paints the picture with humorous anecdotes and is sure not to take herself too seriously. Ballerini wrote the track with Jesse Frasure (a writer on “Life Changes”), Josh Osborne and Tayla Parx. As she explains all of this, she continues to overshare, even if it’s “TMI”.

Insecurity and reflection anchor both sides of the record. On songs like “needy” and “love me like a girl”, she dives into the feeling of being secure enough as an individual to need her significant other. “You’ve never needed anybody, but now you need me/I was the same/But things have changed/I’m needy.” She has established boundaries, and she knows when she wants to change them. The previously released “homecoming queen” served as the lead single and is a refreshing and beautifully simple take on self-worth.

A standout on the record is the heart-wrenching ballad “love and hate”. Penned by Ballerini, Ross Copperman, and Ed Sheeran, the track is about how humans walk the line between love and hate. Her vocals are stunning, and the harmonic strings soar throughout, making for a pixelating experience.

Ballerini has two collaborations on kelsea, one with indie-popstar Halsey and the other with legendary country superstar Kenny Chesney. “the other girl” is a glitzy and ominous story about two girls figuring out which one is the “other girl” in their shared partner’s mind. “I bet you’re bold/I bet that’s why/You seem to occupy his mind/I bet you’re smart/But do you know about me?” Ballerini sings on the first verse. What’s special about it is that neither girl blames the other, and neither is bitter – it’s simply introspective. Ballerini and Halsey’s voices blend well together, creating a sound that is equal parts curious and hurt.

“half of my hometown” is the moment on kelsea. It’s an ode to Ballerini’s hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, and and pays homage to those who are as lost as they are found about where they stand as they grow up. In both “la” and “half of my hometown”, Ballerini seems to be pulled in two different directions. It was written in Florida with the incredible Nicolle Galyon, Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman and Jimmy Robbins (the fivesome now calls their writing group The Wet Dandelions, according to Ballerini’s live stream). Chesney, a Knoxville-native as well, appeared on Ballerini’s live stream March 19th to discuss his connection to the song. “It spoke to me in a lot of ways… [reminded me] of how I grew up, the streets I drove down, because, when I listened to that song and it just reminded me so much of my own family, the struggles I experienced when I first left,” Chesney explained. This reflects perfectly in the slow, nostalgic guitar-driven tune. “The other half of my hometown/They all got out/Some went north/Some went south/Still lookin’ for a feelin’ half of us ain’t found/So stay or leave/Part of me will always be/Half of my hometown”. Regardless if this becomes a single, this will always be a pivotal part of Ballerini’s catalog in years to come.

“la” wraps the album up, which is a deeply personal poem-set-to-music that Ballerini wrote herself. What’s special about Ballerini as a songwriter is that everyone can find their story within hers. It extends beyond universality – she is just like the rest of us. In a song like “la”, you can hear her struggle, and it’s so easy to empathize with.

Ballerini notes several times throughout the album that she always has something to say. Sometimes it’s to the wrong people at the right time. But often, it’s coming straight from her heart and it needs to be said. She’s as glittery and envelope-pushing as she is transparent and sincere creating the perfect balance. She’s found her way, and now she wants to re-introduce herself to you. On that note, it’s nice to meet you again, Kelsea.

kelsea by Kelsea Ballerini Tracklist:

overshare
club
homecoming queen?
the other girl (with Halsey)
love me like a girl
love and hate
bragger
hole in the bottle
half of my hometown (feat. Kenny Chesney)
the way I used to
needy
a country song
la

NYCS Staff Picks:

love and hate
half of my hometown
the way i used to
needy

To keep up with Kelsea Ballerini, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

kelsea 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!

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

Women Who Inspire Us: Nashville Edition

March is the month dedicated to women, and it’s a month with so much to celebrate within the country music community. Right now, two solo women occupy spots in the top 10 on radio, which is a rare feat in this genre; Kelsea Ballerini, Ingrid Andress, and more are set to release highly anticipated LPs in the coming weeks; and on March 8th, which is International Women’s Day, NYCountry Swag is hosting its Babes, Booze & Brunch event featuring Songs & Daughters’ Madison Kozak, an event for women celebrating women. In honor of all of the amazing women making waves in country music, we compiled a list of our favorite women who are ruling Nashville and beyond from center stage and backstage.

 

  1. Leslie Fram

Leslie Fram, senior VP of Music Strategy at CMT is one of the most influential and incredible women in country music. She has dedicated her career to promoting all artists, no matter their gender, race, or sexuality and help them to succeed in this genre. She has helped initiatives like CMT Next Women of Country, Change the Conversation and #EqualPlay launch and is continuing to introduce change so great music can be heard. Read more about Leslie Fram and her initiatives in our Woman of the Month feature and find her here on Instagram and Twitter.

 

  1. Mickey Guyton

Mickey Guyton is not only one of the best singer-songwriters to come out of Nashville, but she has also made it her mission to use her platform to help people. She is a woman of color and is actively helping country music become more diverse. She makes sure to post her #WCWs and incredible clips of songs written/sung by black women, using the hashtag #blackgirlsrock, every week. Her new single, “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” is a stunning, gut-wrenching plea to society that all women can relate to, and it’s a song so good radio should be lined up ready to play it. Guyton is proving that it’s her time to shine and that 2020 is the year of women. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.

Kelly Ford Women

  1. Kelly Ford

Kelly Ford is one of the morning radio hosts at NY’s Country 94.7 and is not only so fun to listen to on-air, but she has used her platform to do incredible things. In February, she spearheaded a campaign to get Valentine’s Day Cards to the troops, helped host a radiothon for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, where they raised over $400,000 and has been vocal about increasing airplay for women on country radio. She is one of the voices of the tri-state area, but she uses it to help the world beyond New York. Read more about Kelly Ford and her journey into radio in our Woman of the Month feature, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter here.

 

  1. Savana Santos

Savana Santos is a part of the girl-trio Avenue Beat, and the three girls have created a fresh take on country-pop, using the lyrics to be relatable and the production to get the songs stuck in your head forever. Not only does Santos have a hand in writing all of their songs, but she is responsible for the production of all of them too. There are very few women who sit in the producer’s chair right now, and it’s inspiring to see that a new generation is taking charge. You can find Santos on Instagram, and you can find Avenue Beat here.

  1. Hailey Whitters

Hailey Whitters is one of Nashville’s brightest rising stars. She just finished touring with Maren Morris and is currently touring with Jordan Davis in support of her debut album The Dream, which she helped produce, and is making singer-songwriter leaning country in a genre that’s very pop-leaning currently. She does all of this while being unsigned, which is rare in a radio-driven genre. She is an incredible songwriter and has a beautiful voice, and it’s about time people start to remember her name. To keep up with Whitters, follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

 

  1. Laura Veltz

When you look at the CMA Triple Play award recipients this year, you will find that each winner has something in common: they are all men. It’s crazy to see that list, because there are so many amazing women making ground-breaking music, and one of them is Laura Veltz. She is the writer behind songs like “Speechless” (Dan + Shay) and “The Bones” (Maren Morris) to name a few and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-out songwriters in town. Next year without a doubt her name be up on that list where it belongs. You can find her here on Instagram.

 

  1. Kelsea Ballerini

Who has time to headline arenas, be a member of the Grand Ole Opry, write amazing songs and still make sure her voice is heard in country music? That would be Kelsea Ballerini, who is about to release her third album, kelsea, on March 20th. She has been one of the genre’s most prominent stars in the last few years, and she has been making history and great records while fighting for equal play and learning how to get involved with current issues that are important to her, like the fires in Australia or stricter gun laws in America. She’s using her voice for herself and those who feel silenced. Make sure you’re following Ballerini on Instagram and Twitter.

 

  1. Nicolle Galyon

Last but certainly not least on this list is Nicolle Galyon. She is an award-winning and chart-topping singer-songwriter, responsible for hits like “Tequila” (Dan + Shay) and “Automatic” (Miranda Lambert); she has a three-song EP, featuring songs like Lady Antebellum’s “It Ain’t Pretty”; and Galyon is also a label executive for her all-female record label Songs & Daughters. She discovered and signed Madison Kozak, who will be performing at NY Country Swag’s Babes, Booze & Brunch event this Sunday. She is soon launching her own podcast, and without a doubt holds the title for Instagram Mom of the Year. She is the definition of an inspiring woman ruling country music. Follow her on Instagram to keep up with all things songwriting and Songs & Daughters.

Tickets are still available for  Babes, Booze & Brunch and we’d love to celebrate International Women’s Day with you!

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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!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook

Kelsea Ballerini Releases Vibrant Drinking Song “hole in the bottle”

 

Kelsea Hole in the Bottle

It’s a crazy season for new music, and Kelsea Ballerini is spearheading it, preparing to release her third studio album, kelsea, out March 20th. Ahead of its release, Ballerini surprised fans by releasing “hole in the bottle”, first heard at Amazon’s “Country Heat” CRS showcase. It’s a fun, vibrant drinking song that shows off her songwriting chops as well as her vocals.

“hole in the bottle” was written by Ballerini, Hillary Lindsey, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley, and Steph Jones. The song begins with a clever sample all about alcohol. “There are many people who drink in moderation with no problems, social, moral or medical,” a woman’s voice says. “They learn to enjoy liquor without letting it upset the functioning of their body and mind.” Ballerini concludes, “I just had one sip!” and laughs as the beat drops and the guitar starts sliding and the drums start slapping.

Lyrically and melodically, “hole in the bottle” is smart and catchy. It’s easy to start singing along to, and the words prove that Ballerini isn’t afraid to have fun and she doesn’t always take herself too seriously. In the first verse, she describes going out to forget an ex and let go. “The way it looks / ain’t what you think / This cabernet has a way of vanishin’ on me,” she sings casually. Part of what makes this song so enjoyable is how ear-pleasing it is. Melodically, it hits each note you want it to, but lyrically, you don’t necessarily know where it’s going to go. “There’s a hole in the bottle / Leakin’ all this wine / It’s already empty and it ain’t even suppertime,” she sings on the chorus nonchalantly. At the very end of the song, the sample returns, simply saying, “She has abused her system and she’s paying for it.” It sums up the whole song perfectly and makes Ballerini seem just like anybody else: someone who sometimes gets lost in a wine glass.

The production on this song is unlike anything fans have heard before. Ballerini produced it with Frasure, and they created this neo-country-pop jam, making it sound new and vintage at the same time. The electric guitars have honky-tonk undertones that make it sound tipsy, which plays on the lyrics perfectly. It’s an ode to tradition as well as the new country generation that Ballerini is a part of.

Ballerini has released a diverse range of singles leading up to the release of kelsea, but they all cohesively follow a theme of self-awareness. The nine remaining tracks are out March 20th, and the album is available for pre-order now.

To keep up with Kelsea Ballerini, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Make sure to check out kelsea, out March 20th.

“hole in the bottle” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen 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.

Saturday Night Live Combs

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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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Kelsea Ballerini Releases “la” and New Album Details

Kelsea Ballerini la

Every album Kelsea Ballerini has released so far has had a solo-write. The First Time had “First Time”, Unapologetically had “High School”, and kelsea, Ballerini’s third album due March 20th now has “la”. The latter was released today as an instant-grat track to celebrate the news of her upcoming record.

“I’ve got a love and hate relationship with LA”, she sings on the first line that doubles as the hook. It instantly grabs your attention, because it’s clear that she’s about to tell a story.

And she does. It’s the story of a girl who loves the city lights but misses home/Nashville. In California, she plays dress-up, debates calling famous friends, and questions if she’ll be invited to the party. It’s this tug of war feeling like she’s not cool enough to be in her own shoes and feeling like LA is her place. Each time she dips her toe into the ocean or takes a step onto a red carpet, however, she finds herself looking at real estate and falling in love with the red sunsets.

The storyline is so compelling because of its overall relatability. It’s about anxiety and navigation, and how to find your place in a world that feels so foreign. The bridge of the song is where it all comes together brilliantly. “Sometimes it feels like it’s all real but nothing here is as it seems,” she sings softly. “I ask myself, does it feed my soul or my anxiety / Carpet’s red, ego’s fed, but it’s myself that I have to face / I’ve got a love and hate relationship with LA”.

Vocally, Ballerini’s performance is beautiful. She sings delicately and honestly as if reading an entry from her diary. Technically she is. “It’s the most vulnerable thing I’ve publically shared,” she said on Instagram. “It came out as a stream of consciousness that fell into the form of a poem.”

Ballerini produced the song with Jimmy Robbins, who co-wrote and co-produced her last two singles. Together, they have created a sound that is guitar-heavy and stacks of vocals and harmonies. It’s memorable and distinctive, and perfectly reflects the vibe of the song.

“la” is the 13th and final track off kelsea, and it makes sense that it is. It tells Ballerini’s whole story, which is that she’s as lost as she is found. Each song that’s been released from this project so far has said the same thing: that she’s human. It’s a new year, a new decade, and a new Kelsea.

To keep up with Kelsea Ballerini, you can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Her new album kelsea is out March 20th, and you can pre-order it here.

“la” 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.

—————————-

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:

Kelsea Ballerini Speaks Out About Lack of Women Played on Country Radio

Song Suffragettes, an all-girls songwriting circle and group has been asking country radio the same thing for years: “Let The Girls Play”. It doesn’t seem like a hard request; women have always added flavor to country music, and radio should reflect the talent coming out of the genre. But it’s been a struggle.

A part of the second-ever Song Suffragettes show back in 2014 was country superstar Kelsea Ballerini. She sat alongside four other girls on stage, singing her then-unknown debut title track “The First Time”: a girl and a guitar with something to say.

Five years later, however, little has changed. On Monday, Chris Willman tweeted that he heard an LA radio station play a Gabby Barrett song followed by a Ballerini song with no interruption. “Can’t they get fined for that?” He said as a joke, clearly excited but shocked that two female artists were played one right after another. Michigan radio station 98 KCQ tweeted Willman back in response. “We cannot play two females back to back. Not even Lady Antebellum or Little Big Town against other female. I applaud their courage.”

 

The tweet reached Ballerini, and she was appalled. “I’m really sorry that in 2020, after YEARS of conversation of equal play, there are still some companies that make their stations play by these rules. It’s unfair and it’s incredibly disappointing.” There were thousands of responses to her post, ranging from artists and songwriters to radio stations and fans.

Artists like Kacey Musgraves, Karen Fairchild, and Lindsay Ell, just to name a few, commented on Ballerini’s post in support and tried to make light of the situation. Musgraves also tweeted, “Smells like white male bullshit and why LONG ago I decided they cannot stop me.” Despite selling out Bridgestone Arena and venues all over the world, Musgraves has yet to have had a #1 as an artist.

There’s a glimmer of hope, though. Jennifer Nettles, whose vocals are as powerful as her tone, told Ballerini, “I know exactly how we do it. And I will call you.” Karen Fairchild commented, “Unbelievable. CHANGE is coming!!!!!!”

 

 

But perhaps the most powerful post of all was from CMT’s Leslie Fram, one of our Women of the Month, who has been creating opportunities for female artists left and right her entire career. “I am committed to change”, her post read simply. And that sentence right there is enough to keep artists creating the art they are creating, and hopefully, snowball into radio finally deciding that it’s time to change the conversation.

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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!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Kelsea Ballerini Releases Introspective “club”

club kelsea ballerini

It’s not every day that an artist can release a song that’s as catchy as it is authentic and relatable, and that’s always been how Kelsea Ballerini writes her songs. Her second single off her upcoming third LP, slated for next spring, “club”, does not deviate from this pattern.

Although this song was written with “homecoming queen?” collaborators Nicolle Galyon and Jimmy Robbins, this song tackles a different side of the singer-songwriter.“I don’t want to wake up on the floor of a bathroom / Looking at the stamps on my hand like a tattoo / Saying I’ll never do that again if I don’t have to / And I don’t have to, go to the club,” Ballerini sings on the bridge.

It shines as a confessional about Ballerini being in her 20s and wanting to have fun, but not the kind of fun that requires being reckless. It’s definitely more “sassy”, a word she often describes herself as. It’s anthemic like “Miss Me More” is, so fans of that song will love the new track.

“club”  is the first track Ballerini has had a hand in producing. She co-produced it with Jimmy Robbins, and it’s a pop-country smash. In an interview with Smooth Country, she said, “This is the most involved I’ve been [with my records]. For the last two records, I popped in, did vocals and left, and let the producers do their thing. And this time I’m super involved in it, which has been a challenge, but I’ve learned a lot, which is fun.”

Vocally, Ballerini has been exploring new sounds, she can be found singing in her head voice more often on her two most recent releases, which sonically sounds beautiful and gives a new rich texture to the lyrics. The song has a swelling guitar and driving drum track that flows throughout the track, and later on, in the choruses, Ballerini has some of her friends sing backup vocals with her.

To keep up with Kelsea Ballerini, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“club” 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:

2019, The Year of Women in Country Music

As country music has become more mainstream, we seemingly have forgotten about the powerful female forces that once ruled the genre. However, this year, 2019, female entertainers seemed to have taken back their power and their voices. 2019 was the year of women empowerment and women (and men) supporting other women. From all-female tours to opening gigs to being the CEO of a record label to exciting podcasts, women in country music are proving that they are going to fight for their right to be heard.

Here are six reasons that this is the year of women in country music!

Carrie Underwood Women

Justin Aharoni (@jaharoni) for NYCountry Swag

1. All Female Tours.

This year superstar Carrie Underwood pulled off the unthinkable and headlined an all-female tour, playing at the most coveted venues across the country. Taking supporting acts, trio Runaway June and duo Maddie & Tae on the road with her, she sold-out shows across the nation, including the iconic Madison Square Garden in NYC. Other female artists are following in her footsteps. Maren Morris’ highly successful ‘GIRL: The World Tour’ boasts an all-female lineup. For the first leg, Cassadee Pope and RaeLynn joined the songstress, while the second leg featured Hailey Whitters and Kassi Ashton. Finally, Miranda Lambert welcomed newcomers, Caylee Hammack, Tenille Townes, and Ashley McBryde, along with Elle King and Maren Morris to perform as part of her ‘2019 Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour’. We love seeing the female tours that are popping up, and we cannot wait until it becomes the norm in country music.

2. Number One Hits and Chart Accomplishments.

Unfortunately when it comes to country radio, female artists are working hard to get the recognition and airtime they deserve. However, we took some giant leaps forward in 2019 when both Kelsea Ballerini’s “Miss Me More” and Maren Morris’ “GIRL” reached the top spot on the charts and just this week, Carrie Underwood’s “Southbound” claimed the coveted number one spot.  Although only three songs by a female artist have gone number one on country radio this year, it is still a magnificent feat. Ballerini and Morris, who were both co-writers on their smash hits found success with songs that are both empowering and emulate confidence, two concepts that are gaining in popularity in the country genre. Underwood also co-wrote the summertime smash, “Southbound”. Furthermore, Runaway June’s radio single “Buy My Own Drinks” is the first single by a female country music trio in more than a decade to break into the Top 5 on the Country charts. This is progress!

Nicolle Galyon Women

3. CEO of a Record Label.

We proudly highlighted the extraordinary Nicolle Galyon in one of our Women of the Month features. She is a leader in empowering women in the industry and advocating for an equal playing field. Galyon was recently announced as the head of a brand new record label in Nashville named ‘Songs & Daughters.’ Big Loud Records out of Nashville is partnering with Galyon on this new imprint to sign rising female artists. This “music house for female creatives,” as she calls it, will definitely change the game. We can’t wait to catch the flagship artist, Madison Kozak this December when she opens up for Morgan Evans.

4. The Highwomen.

Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hemby recently joined forces to compose an all-female phenomenon entitled The Highwomen. The four magnificent singer-songwriters created an unprecedented musical group, where there is not a definitive lead. Additionally, each of the members have successful careers of their own. In celebration of women-hood in general and of course in country music, these talented ladies challenge societal standards, break and create molds, and of course exceed expectations. They are blazing the path for more female artists in the industry, inviting all artists to come as they are. Take a listen to their self-titled debut album, The Highwomen here.

Maren Morris

Justin Aharoni (@jaharoni) for NYCountry Swag

5. Inspiring Music.

Although we appreciate a good break-up anthem and some clever songs about boys or cheating, we are loving the shift in what is acceptable for women to sing about. Both Morris with “GIRL” and Ballerini with “homecoming queen?” sing about their vulnerabilities and question their self-confidence, but somehow beautifully remind girls that it’s okay to be themselves, encourage us to love ourselves, and remind us all that we are just trying to do our best. Other artists, such as our 6 favorite rising female artists and our 6 undiscovered female artists that we are loving are doing the same, writing and recording songs with substance, heart, and with a greater purpose.

Women in Country

New York’s Country 94.7’s Katie Neal, Warner Music Nashville’s Diane Monk, NYCountry Swag Founder, Stephanie Wagner, New York’s Country 94.7’s Kelly Ford, NYCountry Swag’s Managing Editor, Christina Bosch

6. Women Supporting Women.

We believe that this is the key reason for why women are finding more success this year. Podcasts, such as radio personality, Elaina Smith’s ‘Breaking Thru,’ formally called ‘Women Want to Hear Women,” and radio programming such as Radio Disney’s ‘LET THE GIRLS PLAY,’ are shattering stereotypes and evoking necessary conversations about equality. Here at NYCountry Swag, we highlight a different woman in the industry each month in our ‘Woman of the Month’ segment with the hopes of bringing you stories from inspiring women who are chasing their dreams and who have worked hard to be successful. Additionally, we host our annual ‘Babes, Booze and Brunch’ event, and this Friday, we will be hosting our final sail, featuring two incredible female artists, Kalie Shorr and Lauren Davidson, all in the name of supporting other women.

With a little over two months left in the year, we hope to continue to see and champion women in the industry as they achieve the success and accolades they deserve. The CMA Awards, taking place on November 13th will also honor women with three female hosts, Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, and Reba. And just yesterday, Miranda Lambert penned a note on social media in support of Carrie Underwood taking home the big award of the night, Entertainer of the Year.

 

We don’t need to wear anyone else’s crown, as Maren says, “there’s enough to go around.”

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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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Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
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Kelsea Ballerini Releases Stunning Anthem “homecoming queen?” + Lyrics

Kelsea Ballerini homecoming queen?

Country music’s princess, Kelsea Ballerini continues to release tracks that promote equality and women empowerment. Her last single, “Miss Me More” was the first single by a woman to reach the top spot this year, followed by Maren Morris’ “Girl” which snagged the spot back in August. For the last few days, Ballerini has been dropping hints about a new song, leaving fans on the edge of their seat, gearing up to listen. Today, she finally released “homecoming queen?” with a stunning music video to go along with it.

Penned by the songstress with our most recent Woman of the Month, Nicolle Galyon and Jimmy Robbins, “homecoming queen?” is an honest and raw track. Ballerini channels her insecurities and gives herself permission to feel how she feels in the most relatable way. She paints a picture of the “perfect woman,” a high-school homecoming queen, but we quickly learn as listeners that everyone has their own demons. She effortlessly reminds listeners of the age-old adage that no-one is perfect, adding that we should not just have compassion and empathy for others, but ourselves too.

“Does it get hard / to have to play the part? / Nobody’s feeling sorry for ya / But what if I told you the world wouldn’t end / If you started showing what’s under your skin / What if I let ‘em all in on the lies / Even the homecoming queen cries”

The music video is the perfect personification of the message of the beautiful, sonically simple tune. It’s straightforward and uncomplicated as images of her leaving the stage are quickly replaced by images of a younger self, staring down her body in the mirror at various stages in her life flash before our eyes.

As the camera spins around the superstar performer, she is shown without makeup, in sweats, showcasing what most girls look like after a long day of “performing”, making it look like they have it all together. Cowriter Galyon shared on Instagram “THIS SONG ISN’T REALLY ABOUT A HOMECOMING QUEEN. —— It’s about waking up to yourself. And making sure the outside matches the inside. It’s about the bravest thing we can really do – which is to let ourselves be seen as we really are. Thank you @kelseaballerini for “letting em all in on the lie” with me and @jammyrabbins. I know a little girl down the hall that’s gonna need these words somewhere down the road…. Signed, 2001 SHS Homecoming Queen”

Ballerini shared via her social media that she’s “Never been so proud to release anything and start a new chapter… here’s my heart in a song,” and it’s clear that she really did tap into her most vulnerable self to deliver us this beautiful anthem. In a world of filters, fake eyelashes, spray tans and social media highlight reels ruling all, “homecoming queen?” pulls back the curtain, allowing girls of all ages to not only love themselves but realize, we are all just trying to do our best.

To keep up with Kelsea Ballerini follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

“homecoming queen?” 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.

Full Lyrics of “homecoming queen?” below.

“HOMECOMING QUEEN?”

Hey homecoming queen
Why do you lie
When somebody’s mean?
Where do you hide?
Do people assume
You’re always alright?
Been so good at smiling
Most of your life

Look damn good in the dress
Zipping up the mess
Dancing with your best foot forward
Does it get hard
To have to play the part?
Nobody’s feeling sorry for ya

But what if I told you the world wouldn’t end
If you started showing what’s under your skin
What if you let ’em all in on the lie?
Even the homecoming queen cries

Hey homecoming queen
How’s things at home?
Still walking on eggshells
When that curtain’s closed
Did your daddy teach you
How to act tough?
Or more like your momma?
Sweep it under the rug

Look damn good in the dress
Zipping up the mess
Dancing with your best foot forward
Did you want the crown
Or does it weigh you down
Nobody’s feeling sorry for ya

What if I told you the world wouldn’t end
If you started showing what’s under your skin?
What if you let ’em all in on the lie?
Even the homecoming queen cries
Yeah, what if I told you the sky wouldn’t fall?
If you lost your composure, said to hell with it all
Not everything pretty sparkles and shines
And even the homecoming queen cries
Oh yeah
Even the homecoming queen cries

Hey homecoming queen
Why do you lie?
When somebody’s mean
Where do you hide?

 

 

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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,
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Kelsea Ballerini Reacts to Female Vocalist of the Year Nomination

Kelsea Ballerini CMA

With the CMA Award nominations being all the buzz this morning, Kelsea Ballerini who was casually walking through the airport when she found out she was nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year made sure to hop on Instagram stories to thank the members of the CMA for the honor. “I’m trying to be calm, but I’m not,” she smiles in her video. On the next story she also shared the graphic which highlights each of her fellow nominees with a little GRL POWER Gif.

Watch the video here.

Ballerini is nominated alongside Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, and Carrie Underwood.

For the full list of nominations click here. 

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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!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook: