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Matt Stell ‘Better Than That’ EP Review

Matt Stell’s new 8-track extended play, Better Than That, dropped today and is available now on all streaming platforms. Take a look below as we dive deeper into the project.

SONY Nashville recording artist, Matt Stell released a new EP titled Better Than That today (October 16th) containing eight songs, four previously released tracks, and four brand new ones. Stell produced the EP with Ash Bowers and has writing credits on five songs.

“Everywhere But On,” originally featured on his EP of the same name, begins the record. It is about a man who has moved all over the country to try and get over this particular girl, but no location can erase his memory of her. This track hit number six on Country Airplay last week and continues to climb to the top of the charts. “Prayed For You,” ironically, reached the top spot the same time last year and has racked up over 75 million streams to date.  In this track, the singer found a girl he never met but knew she was the one he always wanted.

Better Than That EP Matt Stell

Matt Stell – Photo Credit Dustin Haney

Other previously released tracks include “If I Was A Bar” and the title track. The latter of which tells the story of two old flames at the same bar. Despite wanting to say hello, the ex-boyfriend holds back as a new guy steps in to make a move, calling out every wrong gesture the new guy is making. Stell knows she deserves better than that. “If I Was A Bar” is another breakup song. In this one, he describes how if he was a bar, the ‘getting over her’ process would be must faster. In the last song, he is upset at the bar and feeling bad for himself, but in this one, there’s a hint of anger and resentment still left in him. These tracks contain heavy electric guitar and percussion, displaying his rock-n-roll influence.

The first of the new tracks is “I Love You Too,” which sounds like it would be a sweet love song. However, the singer describes a relationship where the woman has settled with a man who does not reciprocate the same amount of love and effort the woman does. Stell is telling this story from the third-person, so we are not sure if he had any relationship to the two in the story, but one can speculate that this song is about the same girl from “Better Than That.”

With young love comes immediate infatuation and a lot of mistakes made, and Stell paints that picture beautifully in the next track. “Sadie” is a somber, folk-influenced song that, although not written by Stell, could be very personal to him. The singer admits his wrong and confesses that he would do anything to get this girl back. It is impressive when such a personal song like this can relate to almost anyone who has been in a relationship at a young age.

“Sadie / If you need to k-k-keep me waiting / Just do what you got to, girl / I-I-I-I-I-I-I’d start a riot for ya /  I-I-I-I-I-I-I’d fall in the fire for ya”

“Chase It Down” is about gaining the courage to leave your hometown to follow your dream. People from the singer’s hometown generally end up staying there forever, but him and his girl are determined to make a name for themselves. The final song, “Look At Me Now” has the potential to become a common first dance-wedding song. A troubled man’s life was turned around when he met the love of his life. He went from a lone “hell-raiser” to tearing up watching his soon-to-be wife walk down the aisle.

“Look at me now, tears in my eyes / Even though I swore that I wouldn’t cry / Lost in the second I saw you in that dress and your daddy was walking you down / Thought I’d never do this but look at me”

Stell sings from the heart, and listeners can hear his honesty and humbleness in these eight, terrific tracks. He has shown country music his versatility as he has something for everyone: heartbreak, love, and vengefulness, all demonstrated in different ways sonically. He is open and honest with his fans which makes us feel a part of his life and leave us wanting to hear more stories. That is an incredible trait of any new artist. Expect to see his name atop the charts for years to come.

NYCS Picks:

  1. Sadie
  2. Look At Me Now

BETTER THAN THAT EP TRACKLISTING

  1. Everywhere But On– Matt Stell, Paul Sikes, and Lance Miller
    2. If I Was a Bar 
    – Dan Isbell, Zack Kale, and Jonathan Singleton
    3. Prayed For You – Matt Stell, Ash Bowers, and Allison Veltz
    4. Better Than That-Matt Stell, Joe Fox, and Phil Barton
    5. I Love You Too – Matt Stell, Seth Alley, and Ryan Peterson
    6. Sadie – Nate Cyphert, Sam Roman, Parrish Warrington, and Diederik van Elsas
    7. Chase it Down – Matt Stell, Jarrod Ingram, Blake Hubbard, and Brian Maher
    8. Look at Me Now – Joe Fox, Seth Ennis, and Thomas Finchum

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

To keep up with Matt Stell, follow him on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Better Than That is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. Specially selected foundations that support our heroes will receive donations from each purchase. Honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice is what we are dedicated to.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
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Matt Stell to Release ‘Better Than That’ EP + Drops Title Track

Matt Stell has announced a brand new EP “Better Than That” due out on October 16th and released the title track, available on all streaming platforms now.

Up and coming country star, Matt Stell released a new track titled “Better Than That” and announced a brand new EP of the same name, out October 16th. This EP will be the follow-up to Everywhere But On and contains previously released songs such as “If I Was a Bar” and his multi-week number-one hit song, “Prayed For You”.

Matt Stell Better Than That

The title track, “Better Than That” tells the story of two old flames at the same bar. Despite wanting to say hello, the ex-boyfriend holds back as a new guy steps in to make a move. Calling out every wrong gesture the guy is making to try to win her attention. From shots of Jägermeister to trying to kiss her, Stell sings of how he knows her ‘better than that.’

Going from verse to chorus, the song contains a loud build-up and a heavy percussion, channeling Stell’s inner rock star. The uptempo track is a catchy tune that leaves fans wanting more from the rising star and if the rest of the EP matches its energy, it’s sure to produce some additional number ones for Stell.

The Better Than That EP was produced by Stell and Ash Bowers and will contain the eight songs listed below:

BETTER THAN THAT EP TRACKLISTING

1. Everywhere But On – Matt Stell, Paul Sikes, and Lance Miller
2. If I Was a Bar 
– Dan Isbell, Zack Kale, and Jonathan Singleton
3. Prayed For You – Matt Stell, Ash Bowers, and Allison Veltz
4. Better Than That -Matt Stell, Joe Fox, and Phil Barton
5. I Love You Too – Matt Stell, Seth Alley, and Ryan Peterson
6. Sadie – Nate Cyphert, Sam Roman, Parrish Warrington, and Diederik van Elsas
7. Chase it Down – Matt Stell, Jarrod Ingram, Blake Hubbard, and Brian Maher
8. Look at Me Now – Joe Fox, Seth Ennis, and Thomas Finchum

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

To keep up with Matt Stell, follow him on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

“Better Than That” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes 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:

[Listen] Matt Stell’s Rockin’ New Track, “If I Was A Bar”

Matt Stell If I Was A Bar

 

Matt Stell was put on the map with his singles “Prayed For You” and “Everywhere But On”, but those don’t quite capture his rock country vibe that he brings to his live shows but his new single, “If I Was A Bar” certainly does. He tells the story of a breakup, describing how if he was a bar, he’d be getting over it must faster. There’s a hint of anger still left about the breakup, leaving a bitter taste on the tongue, providing the perfect stage for a gritty, dirt road anthem that’s got a lot of punch.

“I wouldn’t have this broken heart, wouldn’t take your leaving half as hard / Wouldn’t be falling this apart if I was a bar”

Stell always writes from the heart, but this one cuts a little deeper, to someone who’s been wronged and feels the need to let it out. He sings about “letting your exes drink for free” creating camaraderie against the injured. It’s a head-banging, electric guitar track that creates solidarity against the girl who walked out. He creates the armor needed to get through the breakup, and sometimes that works better than sinking into despair. Stell has shown his fans that he can do both: the heart-wrenching love songs and the breakup anthems, both the rock and the country that they love.

To keep up with Matt Stell follow him on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

“If I Was A Bar” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more 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:

Matt Stell, Chris Bandi & Ray Fulcher Perform in NYC

Ray Fulcher

Having seen Ray Fulcher in this same venue opening for Josh Abbott a few months ago, we were excited to see what he brought this time around. We were instantly reminded again of his Eric Church vibe, both in look and sound. He told a story of going to see Church in 2006 in Athens, Georgia, and knowing it was a moment that changed his life. He knew then and there that he had to write songs that made people feel the way Eric Church made him feel. Fulcher co-wrote “Doe to Me” performed by Eric Church, and played his version of it, hoping to do his legend justice. He told the story of writing his “Somebody Like Me” hit, which resulted from kind of but not really dating someone, then her moving away to Austin, Texas on short notice, realizing he was never really dating her anyway. Fulcher finished with the classic, catchy “When It Rains It Pours” which he wrote for Luke Combs.

Chris Bandi NYC

Photo Credit: Kaiser Cunningham

Chris Bandi was up next, and he was so excited to play his first show in NYC. His almost raspy voice was incredibly addicting, and with the beard and sound, he was giving us Sam Hunt vibes. A definitely more pop-country vibe than the classic country of Fulcher, he’s got a fun edge to draw some non-traditional country fans. He sang a new song “Free” as well as covers of “Gives You Hell” by The All-American Rejects, and a few more rockin’ country songs he hasn’t released yet.

His brand new EP comes out this summer, but until then he is promoting his current country radio single “Man Enough Now”. Bandi moved to Nashville 7 years ago, with the idea of writing a song that can take you back to a memory in 3 minutes, saying, “Nothing else can do that.”

Photo Credit: Kaiser Cunningham

 

Matt Stell was ready to rock the night, with his full band jamming as he opened with “Sex, Drugs, and Country Music”. You can hear the country influence, but the crowd definitely felt like they were at a rock concert with his show. He kept thanking everyone in the audience and expressing how happy he was to be playing a show in New York City, and that none of this is possible without his fans. He played a cover of Rhett Akins’ “That Ain’t My Truck” which definitely has an old school country vibe, but contrasted it with his version of Ariana Grande’s “God is A Woman”. Stell played a few new songs, “Chase it Down” and “Love You Too”, that definitely got everyone excited for his new music. A cover of Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire” was in the mix, with another contrasting of John Michael Montgomery’s “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)”, an awesome display of his ability to slide between pop/rock and country so seamlessly. His last song was what he explained changed his life last year, “Prayed For You”, his single that went number one, and expresses his true emotions.

What an awesome night for male country artists in New York City, and the fans were there for it all.

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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:

New York’s Country 94.7 Kick Off to Summer with Russell Dickerson

Kick Off

The perfect way to kick off not only the summer but Memorial Day Weekend is with some cold drinks, a beautiful sunny day and country music. New York’s Country 94.7 and Radio.com hosted its annual summer kick off at Headliner on the Jersey Shore on Friday featuring Jessica Rose, Matt Stell, and Russell Dickerson.

Stell who kicked off the event was also celebrating the release of his brand new EP, Everywhere But On, by taking the stage in New Jersey. Fans of the artists and the radio station came out early to support, grab a drink and listen to the great music. He performed songs from the EP including “Last Habit”, and “Better I Drink” as well as his radio single, “Prayed For You” which is currently climbing the charts. Although it was early, the fans raised their drinks and danced along as Stell covered Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” as well as the classic John Michael Montgomery hit “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)”

Matt Stell Kick Off to Summer

Next up, Russell Dickerson took the small stage, to bring his high-energy set to the intimate crowd in New Jersey for an afternoon of hits and even revealed a few new songs. Rocking a tie-dye shirt and pink sunglasses, Dickerson danced around the stage performing songs from his debut album, Yours, including “Float”, “Would You Love Me”, and “All Fall Down”.

Russell Dickerson Kick Off

He played two brand new songs for the New Jersey crowd, “Some Things Never Get Old” and “Something To Dance To”.  The afternoon wouldn’t be complete without his latest radio single “Every Little Thing” and the two songs that have reached the top of the charts “Blue Tacoma” and “Yours,”. All three tracks had the crowd singing along. Closing out his set in the most epic way, Dickerson not only climbed the stage but with the help of New York’s Country 94.7 radio personality and morning show host, Kelly Ford, got his shoes off and ran through the crowd, jumping and doing a cannonball into the pool.

Dickerson now heads out on the Very Hot Summer Tour with Dustin Lynch, Rhett Akins, and headliner Thomas Rhett. The tour hits our area on September 20th at the iconic Madison Square Garden. Grab your tickets now.

Keeping the music going, New York City artist and local Nash Next winner, Jessica Rose entertained the crowd next, closing out the afternoon. She performed her songs “One of The Boys”, “Rose Tattoo” and even covered Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman”. The perfect weather along with the high-energy performances, it was the ultimate way to kick off the weekend.

Keep up with New York’s Country 94.7 by following them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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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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NYCS First Impression: Matt Stell ‘Everywhere But On’ EP

Matt Stell Everywhere But On

Photo Credit: Dustin Haney

Country newcomer Matt Stell is one to look out for this year. We have had the chance to host a Swag Session with the rising artist, spotlight his talent in an exclusive interview, and be in the audience as he performed at Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 for the first time. Now, we are excited that the singer-songwriter has officially released his new EP, under Sony Music Nashville/Arista Nashville, titled Everywhere But On.

The new record is a compilation of seven songs, all co-written by Stell. One of the tracks is of course, the singer’s lead single, “Prayed for You.” The coveted love song is currently climbing the charts, and we suspect that it will be Stell’s first top ten song, sometime in the near future. Co-written with Allison Veltz and Ash Bowers, Stell pours his heart out on the lyrics, singing a love letter to the girl of his dreams, whom he dreamt about and prayed for before he found her. Stell played this song for us, during our live Swag Session back in September.

On the contrary, just before the release of his EP, Stell premiered the heartbreaking title track. The singer-songwriter shows off his knack for creating catchy hooks and choruses and tugging at the listener’s heartstrings. “Everywhere But On” is Stell’s take on dealing with heartbreak, and struggling to move on, exclaiming “I’ve moved everywhere, but on.” The intriguing wordplay mixed with the entertainer’s raspy undertones is the perfect combination for this break-up song.

In the same vein, Stell sings about turning to alcohol to move on from a break-up. In “Better I Drink” the singer-songwriter shows off his outlaw side, delivering a song with heavier instrumentals and deeper vocals. The track is a stark difference from the previous songs he has released, but it gives the EP more versatility, which only adds to Stell’s talent. “Gonna drown my heart in a whiskey rain / The more I feel the better I drink.”

Stell sings about alcohol again in “I Bet Whiskey Would.” This time, using the liquor as a way to get comfortable with a new girl in a bar. The song is smooth, enticing, and sexy, even though its seemingly at first about alcohol. Once again, relatable, the lyrics mixed with Stell’s impressive vocals will keep this song stuck in your head.

Continuing with a more hard-hitting sound, Stell sings about not being able to break free of the love spell some girl has him under in the first track, a mid-tempo song. “Last Habit” is the singer’s realization that he’s addicted to a girl’s love and that he just can’t/doesn’t want to help it. “Yeah, the stars are just made for me wishing that dark was just made for your kisses / And all I wanna do is keep on holding you, keep on holding you / You’re my last habit.”

One of the stand-out tracks off the EP is “Home In a Hometown,” featuring fellow rising country artists, and one of our 2018 Artists to Watch, Jimmie Allen. The duo take turns, trading verses, paying homage to their perspective hometowns. Plenty of artists share their appreciation for the people and places that raised them, but Stell does so through honest and raw lyrics that stand out amongst the crowd. You’ll truly feel the nostalgia while listening to this track. “Put the back in the road / When we pull off the highway / The score on the board / On a November Friday / The hey how you been when you ain’t been around. The home in the hometown.”

Arguably the best track off the EP, Stell closes out his record with “The Reason Why.” Co-penned by the singer with songwriters, Paul Sikes and Matt Alderman, the mid-tempo love song has the ‘it’ factor. Throughout his EP, Stell has pure love songs and break-up songs, but “The Reason Why” is the perfect middle ground. It is his honest interpretation of wanting to give up on love but finding that one person that makes you want to give it another try. His cleverly crafted lyrics paired with the intriguing instrumentals will have you both crying, smiling, and singing along, which is everything you want in an uplifting anthem. “Love is a gamble, it’s a game / But those dice ain’t been rollin’ my way / It’s a song we’ve all heard / But I don’t seem to know the words / I swore I had given up on it / But you walked in and made me want it / You’re the reason why.”

Overall, Stell’s EP Everywhere But On is a solid representation of his artistry that will make you want to root for his success. We can’t wait to see where his career takes him next and will continue to champion him on as he carves his own path in the country music industry.

If you’re in the tristate area later today, head to Neptune City, New Jersey for a free Summer kickoff event, where Stell will be performing. Additionally, the singer-songwriter will be a staple at many country music festivals this summer, including CMA Fest, Carolina Country Music Fest, and Country LakeShake Festival. For tickets and more information, head to mattstell.com.

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

Everywhere But On is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

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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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[Listen] Matt Stell’s New Single “Everywhere But On”

Everywhere But On Matt Stell

Photo Credit Dustin Haney

It’s been a busy few months for rising country star Matt Stell, who made his Opry debut on April 27, signed with Arista Nashville, and continues to see his song “Prayed for You” climb the charts. On May 24, he’ll release his EP, Everywhere But On, and today (May 10), the title-track was released.

Running from lost love, “Everywhere But On” tells the story of a man avoiding the memories of an ex by moving from place to place, picking up odd jobs (“loading trucks, pouring coffee, pouring concrete”), and doing anything possible to get over an ex. On the somber ballad, Stell admits that moving on was “supposed to be easy,” but instead finds himself lost in memories, finally realizing he’s moved “everywhere but on.”

“I’ve been from Savannah to Long Beach/ Trying to keep your memory out of reach / But there you were in the Delta nights, the Santa Fe Sun, the Colorado sky / I could add another pushpin to the map / But that don’t stop me from missing you looking back/ Guess there’s just one place I haven’t gone/ I’ve moved everywhere but on.”

In many ways, “Everywhere But On” is the evil twin of of “Prayed for You,” showing the negative, heartbreaking side of love as opposed to the hopeful optimism of “Prayed.” Back in September, Stell previewed this track for NYCountry Swag listeners as a part of a Swag Session, which you can watch below.

The Everywhere But On EP will be released on May 24, and will feature seven tracks co-written by Stell, in addition to a collaboration with Jimmie Allen. “I can’t tell you how excited I am to release my new EP, ‘Everywhere But On’,” shares Stell in a press release. “I’m lucky that I get to write songs almost every day. Every so often I have the chance to go into the studio with a batch of songs and turn a killer band loose on them. This EP has been my favorite project yet. I can’t wait to share how it turned out!”

Everywhere But On EP Track Listing:
1. Last Habit (Matt Stell, Jamie Moore, Brian Maher)
2. Better I Drink (Matt Stell, Autumn McEntire, Larry McCoy)
3. Everywhere But On (Matt Stell, Paul Sikes, Lance Miller)
4. Home In A Hometown feat. Jimmie Allen (Matt Stell, Ash Bowers, Matt Rogers)
5. I Bet Whiskey Would (Matt Stell, Chris Tompkins, Zach Abend)
6. Prayed For You (Matt Stell, Allison Veltz, Ash Bowers)
7. Reason Why (Matt Stell, Paul Sikes, Matt Alderman)

Pre-order the project now at https://smarturl.it/MStellEP and instantly receive the title track, “Everywhere But On.”

To keep up with all things Matt Stell, visit MattStell.com and follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Everywhere But On” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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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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Matt Stell Performs at Stage 17 for Nash FM 94.7

Matt Stell

This evening, one of our recent Swag Sessions, Matt Stell performed at Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 for Nash FM 94.7 and some very lucky NYCountry Swag winners. After a warm welcome from Nash FM 94.7 DJs Jesse Addy and Katie Neal Stell took the stage to give the listeners at home and in the studio audience a sneak peek at some new music and play his current single.

He sang a song he wrote with Ash Bowers, “Home in Hometown” as well as a great breakup song, about not being able to move on. “I could add another push pin to the map, that won’t stop me from missing you or looking back / there’s just one place I haven’t gone, I’ve moved everywhere but on,” he sang in the chorus.

“I grew up in a place nothing like here, at all, and it amazes me that so many people love country music and I think it’s a real testament to country music, that it speaks to us all,” he said to the audience. In honor of playing above Madison Square Garden, Stell worked up his own version of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind”. The acoustic guitar puts an entirely new spin on the classic tune.

Katie Neal and Jesse Addy came back to the stage to chat about Stell’s decision to forgo heading to Harvard Medical School to pursue his dream of writing and playing music in Nashville. “Honestly, I haven’t regretted it once,…that’s how I knew I need to be playing music”.

Matt Stell

They also discussed one of his more unique influences, Alanis Morrisette and her album Jagged Little Pill. “Music, in my opinion, is a means to an end, a means to a feeling, and she just did it in spades and every song on that record was so great,” he said.

He answered some questions from the studio audience like, “Whiskey or bourbon?” to which he quickly answered, bourbon. “Dream collaboration?” he said Levon Helm, who hailed from his home state of Arkansas and he named Hootie and the Blowfish as other influences in his life.

Finally, the DJs discussed Stell’s very first debut radio single, “Prayed For You” which applies to single people looking for love, people in loving relationships or even anyone fighting a battle and overcoming hardships. He closed his set by playing one of the most requested songs on Nash FM 94.7 in 2019, “Prayed For You”.  Watch the full Facebook Live below and thank you to all of our followers who entered our contest to win tickets.

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Swag Sessions: Featuring Matt Stell

 

Country newcomer Matt Stell has received continued praise for his breakout single, “Prayed For You”. The love song was not only picked up on all three of Spotify’s leading country music playlists including Hot Country, Wild Country & New Boots, but was also included in NYCountry Swag’s “What We’re Listening To: September Picks” playlist.

Back in August, we featured Stell as one of our Swag Spotlight Artists of the Week,where Stell chatted with us about his influences, growing up country and his latest project.

In our most recent Swag Session, Stell joined NYCountry Swag in The Boogie Woogie Room at Mondrian Park Avenue Hotel to perform two songs “Prayed For You” and an unreleased song “Everywhere But On”,  as well as chat with Founder Stephanie Wagner about new music, upcoming shows and what’s next for the rising artist.

Watch the full Swag Session above and take a listen to Stell’s music below.

Keep up with Matt Stell on social media – InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC!

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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What We’re Listening To: September Picks

We recently welcomed a team of writers to the NYCountry Swag Squad. With that, we’re excited to share a new monthly feature with our “What We’re Listening To” playlist, where we’re highlighting the wide range of our team’s favorite songs and artists when it comes to the country music genre.  At the end of the day, we are all fans first with a passion for country music and are eager to share with you all what we’ve got on repeat each month.

Find below each of our team member’s favorite songs and why in our September picks. Then be sure to give our Spotify account a follow and listen to our favorite tracks!

 

SEPTEMBER PICKS:

 

Stephanie Wagner, Founder

Pick: “Prayed For You” – Matt Stell
Songwriters: Matt Stell / Allison Velos / Ash Bowers

It’s funny how music hits you. Sometimes you listen to a song just because you want to, sometimes a friend tells you to listen, and sometimes a song randomly comes on and stops you in your tracks. That was the case for me with Matt Stell’s “Prayed For You” who also joined us for a Live Swag Session to play the song. The beautiful track evokes the idea of praying for that special person that you just know is your soulmate before ever even meeting them. “Every single day, before I knew your name / I couldn’t see your face, but I prayed for you.”  

Holding on to the faith that your one true love is out there, the hopeful love song goes on to paint a picture of the characteristics in the heart’s desire: “For Someone to love me like you do / Graceful eyes to see me through / A smile that steals me, a heart that heals me / A touch that kills me too”.

Whether single or a couple in love, the lyrics are relatable and meaningful, making this one of the best love songs in country music right now.

 

Christina Bosch, Managing Editor 

Pick: “Better On Paper” – Brett Sheroky
Songwriters: Andrew Peebles / Brett Sheroky

“Songwriter turned artist, Brett Sheroky released his latest single “Better On Paper” earlier this summer and the song stopped me in my tracks at first listen. This song is not primed for radio nor will you hear it blaring from speakers as you walk to the venue at a concert during a tailgate but for anyone who has dealt with the disintegration of a relationship, these lyrics will hit you harder than you can imagine. “Better On Paper” refers to the pictures you look back on, the post-it notes that served as love letters and ultimately the divorce papers that have to be signed.

“Oh here we are, the end of us is all typed out in ink / I never thought it’d get to where we couldn’t even speak,  it’s hard to believe / the worst of us would wind right here later, better on paper, a couple of strangers, just better on paper.”

I can’t help but hope that more songwriters take a note from Sheroky and write songs that mean something rather than chasing the commercial dream.  Check back tomorrow when New York Country Swag exclusively premieres the video for “Better On Paper”. “

 

Kelly Cunningham, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Here Tonight” – Brett Young
Songwriters: Ben Caver, Brett Young, Charles Kelley, Justin Ebach

“The song just dropped last weekend, but Brett Young’s been playing “Here Tonight” on the road this past month and this song perfectly shapes his new album Ticket To LA, coming out in December. It has a fall vibe attached to it just in time for the season. The lyrics and upbeat tempo reflect the different place he is in life right now in contrast to his last album. His self-titled album Brett Young was more about heartbreak and love gone wrong and now his new album, Ticket To LA, is giving us a more “life is good” side of Brett’s music.”

 

Crystal Fenton, Contributing Writer

Pick: “First Time Again” – Jason Aldean feat. Kelsea Ballerini
Songwriters: Blake Bollinger, Jaron Boyer, Ben Stennis, and Michael Tyler

“Lately, I’ve been listening to First Time Again on repeat. This song tears at my heart; I especially love/cry when you can actually hear the twinge of despair in her voice when she sings “Begging baby please just stay”. Also, I can relate to pretty much every lyric line in this song, as I’ve had a similar experience. Plus, it’s been rainy here in NYC making it the perfect weather to listen to a song where the emotion really resonates through each word.”

 

Molly Holmberg, Contributing Writer

Pick: “One Shot” – Molly Holmberg
Songwriters: Hunter Hayes

“Hunter Hayes has been out of the scene the last few years focusing on songwriting while playing a few shows here and there. Although in the last two months Hayes has come back full swing with honest lyrics and a vulnerable side that we’ve been waiting for. In the new track “One Shot,” it’s clear that Hayes is having a blast. Musically, he blends the new and old, incorporating elements of pop, country, and even a bit of jazz making “One Shot” feel like the total package. In the chorus of “One Shot,” Hayes sings about something that most people can relate to: “I started with one shot / To have a good time / Everybody knows how easy one can turn into five / Don’t judge me, ’cause it ain’t nobody’s life but mine / And I only get one shot / So I take it one shot at a time.”

We all know how easy it can be to keep going along with the motions while having a great time with friends! It’s fun, infectious, yet also conveys a solid message at the same time.  Hayes delivers all around with his amazing singing, songwriting, production, and with his charismatic personality. It is the perfect upbeat song to add to any playlist and I know that my friends and I have been playing it since the moment it came out!”

 

Nicole Piering, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Bittersweet” – Paul Brandt featuring Lindsay Ell
Songwriters: Ben Stennis, Brad Rempel, Paul Brandt, Seth Mosley

“Although I’ve heard the name Paul Brandt thrown around for years, I only recently discovered his music. The Canadian artist has a huge catalog of phenomenal songs, including “My Heart Has a History” and “All About Her,” but it’s his newest release, “Bittersweet” that I can’t stop listening to. Featuring fellow Canadian Lindsay Ell on electric guitar and co-written with High Valley’s Brad Rempel, “Bittersweet” is an up-tempo country song that you can’t help but tap your feet to. The lyrics touch on life and the moments that you don’t want to forget, but that are bound to only become bittersweet memories. “From the moment to memories, this life is bittersweet,” Brandt sings, and I couldn’t agree more. “We’re living and dying and laughing and crying, and finding the beauty between.” If you haven’t heard Paul Brandt’s music just yet, I highly recommend “Bittersweet” as the gateway into his vast catalog.”

Pick: “Miss Me More” – Kelsea Ballerini
Songwriters: Brett McLaughlin, David Hodges, Kelsea Ballerini

Last weekend I saw Kelsea Ballerini on the Graffiti U World Tour at Mohegan Sun. Since then her song, “Miss Me More,” has been stuck in my head on repeat; naturally, I had to choose it as my September pick. It’s one of my favorite songs off her sophomore album, Unapologetically, because of her sassy lyrics and ear-catching beat.

“I miss me more / I miss my own beat of my own snare drum / I miss my own sheets in the bed I made up / I forgot I had dreams, I forgot I had wings / Forgot who I was before I ever kissed you / I thought I’d miss you, but I miss me more,”

At the show I couldn’t help myself, shouting at the top of my lungs, singing the lyrics right back to her and of course dancing like nobody was watching. What I love about Ballerini is how relatable her music is and this song, in particular, she sings with such confidence, belting out the lyrics. “Miss Me More” is an empowering song that every girl should listen to at least once. I can’t wait to see her again when the tour comes to the Barclays Center next month!”

 

Danielle Tornatore, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Tragic” – Jillian Jacqueline
Songwriters: Andrew DeRoberts, Bob Dipiero, Jillian Jacqueline

“Back in May, I was lucky enough to see Jillian Jacqueline perform at Nash FM 94.7 Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 where she performed a new song by introducing it as one of the few off of her next EP Side B. As soon as she sang the first chorus, I knew I NEEDED the studio version. I was counting down the days until Side B was released just for this very song. After waiting a long four months, I finally have “Tragic” on repeat. The lyrics “Bottom line, I survived. Spent all year being so dramatic. It was sad and I was lonely, but I’m standing here alive in this moment, so why’s it gotta be, why’s it gotta be tragic?” are something I believe everyone should hear.”

 

Shanna Vitaliano, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Heart Like A Wheel” – Eric Church
Songwriters: Eric Church

“One of the songs I have on repeat as of late is Eric Church’s “Heart Like A Wheel.” Church slows things down with bluesy vocals and unique flair to bring to life a romantic story about opposites attracting. Opening lyrics such as “She’s caviar and mascara, I’m corduroy and leather It’d take one hell of an imagination to ever paint us together” set the tone for the gospel sounding ballad.  “Heart Like A Wheel” is almost like a seductive follow up to another fan favorite “Like A Wrecking Ball.” Give this song a listen as we look forward to Church’s new album Desperate Man which will be available out October 5th.”

 

Erica Zisman, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Hell or High Water” – Ben Danaher
Songwriters: Ben Danaher / Maren Morris

“Earlier this month, we published a First Impression reviewing country singer Ben Danaher’s debut album, Still Feel Lucky. I really related to the entire vibe and raw emotion throughout all the tracks; however, my favorite song (right now) is “Hell or High Water” by the singer This song is such a jam! The track, co-written by country star, Maren Morris, is one of those songs that can translate across multiple genres of music. It embodies soul, country, and rock all in one. Not to mention, “Hell or High Water” features killer guitar riffs. I encourage you to go listen to Danaher’s radio-friendly tune because soon you will be loving the entire album as much as I do.”

 

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