NYCountry Swag’s “What We’re Listening To” playlist highlights 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 March 2021 picks of the current best country music songs. Then be sure to give our Spotify account a follow and listen to our favorite tracks!
MARCH 2021 PICKS:
Pick: “Shoulda” – Kylie Morgan
Songwriters: Shane McAnally, Ben Johnson, Kylie Morgan
Kylie Morgan’s “Shoulda” is a song that I have had on repeat since its release a few weeks ago. The catchy, upbeat, and edgy track is nearly impossible to listen to without wanting to jump up, dance around, and scream sing along to every word.
Morgan creatively turns a break-up into a power anthem, looking back on all of the things you should’ve, could’ve, would’ve done differently, but doing exactly what you wanted anyway.
“Shoulda locked down, shoulda laid low // Shoulda poured two for one alone // I know it now but it’s too late // Shoulda hung up when I saw your name // Oh, I knew better than to ever think that you could change // Should, woulda, coulda // I ain’t never been no good at staying home when I know that I // Shoulda // Shoulda, woulda, coulda // I ain’t never been no good at staying home when I know that I // Shoulda, shoulda // Shoulda, shoulda”
Pick: “Knowing You” – Kenny Chesney
Songwriters: Adam James, Brett James, Kat Higgins
Admittedly, I never got Kenny Chesney. Maybe it’s because I’m from the city or because of my age, but I never really seemed to get the hype. I heard Luke Laird sing one of his Kenny cuts “American Kids” days before lockdown, and suddenly, I felt my perspective change. About a month later, I read an article about “Knowing You”, and it moved me enough that I felt compelled to listen. Upon first listen, I was crushed in the best way. It wasn’t overly specific. It’s not earth-shattering – if anything, it was how simple and frank it was that made me love it. Something about the melody and the phrasing of the chorus drew me in.
“But God, we were so alive // I was a kid on a carnival ride”
Spring usually makes me reflect, but this last year of immense loss and change keeps me coming back to this song. I think about what it means for me, and also how everyone in the world can relate to its sentiment. I can’t remember a time I was this excited about a mainstream radio single. Safe to say I get Kenny now.
Pick: “Want It Again” – Thomas Rhett
Songwriters: Jon Henderson, Josh Miller, Josh Thompson, Lynn Hutton, Matt Dragstrem, Thomas Rhett
I’ve been listening to this song non-stop since it came out! I love anything Thomas Rhett drops, but it was nice to hear a vulnerable, stripped-down song from him. Sometimes I feel like these poppy-productions take away from the lyrics of his songs, but with “Want It Again,” you can feel the raw emotion in his voice.
I also like how this sad song has a happy ending to it – you can put it on if you want to cry, or you can put it on if you are feeling extra grateful for the person you love. I’m very excited for part one of his album and I hope to hear a lot more songs like this one!
“And oh, I hope one day you’ll find // Your way back into my arms // So girl, I’ll put this heart of mine // Somewhere good and safe, in case you want it again someday”
Pick: “How Far Can It Go?” – Hailey Whitters ft. Trisha Yearwood
Songwriters: Hailey Whitters, Hillary Lindsey, Nicolle Galyon
When I first heard this song and even knew Trisha Yearwood was featured on it, it immediately reminded me of the song “She’s In Love With The Boy.” The upbeat tune is about young love and as the song title says, seeing how far it’ll go.
Whitters has such a unique voice so pairing that with a traditional, timeless voice like Yearwood’s makes this catchy tune a hit in my book. This is the second song Whitters has out with some big names attached. She also has a song “Fillin’ My Cup” with Little Big Town out now. I love listening to new talent in the country music world and can’t wait to see what’s next for this up-and-coming star.
Pick: “I Remember Everything” – Brandi Carlile
Songwriters: John Prine, Pat McLaughin
I first heard Brandi Carlile on the soundtrack of the Nicholas Sparks film Safe Haven and was immediately transfixed. Vocally, she is timeless yet vintage; one of those artists that creates an intricate atmosphere of cigars, whiskey, and sadness, while, at the same time, incorporating a real sense of universality and togetherness. An incredibly strong gift.
John Prine’s “I Remember Everything” through Carlile’s voice brings a new life to the words of the late country legend. Presented on the Grammy stage, the song connects the past to the present; inner turmoil to complete devotion.
The weight of this tribute song, with more to come through an album of the best from Prine, has not withered with time. And, with Carlile’s lasting effect as if hearing her for the first time over classic country-folk productions, this upcoming project is on the top of the anticipation list.
Pick: “Cross Country” – Breland ft. Mickey Guyton
Songwriters: Daniel Breland, Mickey Guyton, Sam Sumser, Sean Small, Will Gittens
I was an immediate fan of BRELAND’s original version of this song. While autobiographical of his own journey through the music industry, it is also a very relatable story of struggling to find your own purpose and place in this world. I think songs can have different meanings to different people, dependent on the different stages of life that they are going through. I related to this song strongly in the sense that he was searching his whole life to make it possible for him to do what he wanted to do.
In the remix, Guyton is able to add her own story into the song, showing that this personal struggle to get to where they are now, was something they had in common, and something that many others can relate to as well.
Both BRELAND and Guyton have been inspirational and boundary-breaking throughout their entire careers and especially in the last year. This song perfectly expresses the powerful impact they each have on the music industry and specifically on Nashville. It is an incredible blend of two stories, of two artists, who are breaking boundaries for people of color in country music.
“Took a couple of years and a lot of tears ‘til I made my mark // And I started to see who I wanted to be in this world of ours // Gotta play your part”
Pick: “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” – Miranda Lambert & Elle King
Songwriters: Elle King & Martin Johnson
Pick: “Another” – Adam Doleac
Songwriters: Adam Doleac, Kyle Jacobs, Trannie Anderson
Pick: “Hey Y’all” – Cole Swindell
Songwriters: Brandon Kinney, Cole Swindell, Michael Carter
This month, I chose Cole Swindell’s “Hey Y’all” from his debut album. Released over seven years ago, the song remains one of my favorites to this day. “Hey Y’all” has also been on repeat for me even more so because I’m really missing Swindell’s concerts and this song puts me right back there. I can picture everyone waving their hands from side to side and singing the chorus back to the talented entertainer. Hopefully, we will all be enjoying a show soon!
Pick: “Please Come to Boston” – William Michael Morgan
Songwriters: Dave Loggins
My pick for March is William Michael Morgan’s cover of the Dave Loggins song, “Please Come to Boston.” The song is such a classic, and Morgan’s rich traditional voice is perfect for it. The song has such a bittersweet feeling, and it’s heartbreaking in all of the best ways. The female background vocals lend so much to the track, and I’ve had it on repeat since its release a few weeks ago.
Pick: “4 Goodyears” – Brett Sheroky
Songwriters: Andrew Peebles, Brett Sheroky, Daniel Wilson
Though a lot of great songs came out this month, it’s Brett Sheroky’s newest release, “4 Goodyears” that I keep coming back to. Sheroky is one of those artists that create a story and put it to song. “4 Goodyears” is another exemplary example of that.
Lyrically, the song is a masterpiece, and the nostalgia that the song embodies is almost palpable. I always respect songwriters for sharing their truth with their fanbase. Vulnerability and story-telling always outweigh radio-friendly and catchy tunes for me. With that being said, this song can appeal to both kinds of country lovers.
Sheroky is a one-of-a-kind talent, and I encourage everyone to go listen to “4 Goodyears” ASAP.
Listen to our picks on our “What We’re Listening To” playlist on Spotify and be sure to give it a follow, so you can catch our monthly updates.