Troy Cartwright: ‘Halfway To Houston’ – EP Review

Troy Cartwright’s major-label debut EP, Halfway To Houstonis out now, October 15th on all streaming platforms. Check out our full review and listen to the brand new music below.

Warner Music Nashville recording artist, Troy Cartwright is officially making his major label debut. The singer-songwriter’s brand new EP, Halfway To Houston features five new songs that showcase his artistry and undeniable talent. Halfway To Houston is out now.

The record kicks off with the title track. Written by Cartwright with Brandon Hood and Billy Montana, the rock-heavy tune explores the nuances of lust and love. The single showcases the gritty side of the country singer’s persona.

Next up is “Breaking Every Heart In Texas.” The touching slow-burn shows off the vulnerable side of the singer. Similar topically to “Marry Me” by Thomas Rhett, the song emotes the hard-to-explain feeling of watching someone you are in love with, marry someone else. The storytelling song is one of the best on the record.

“She’s breakin’ every heart in Texas // Leavin’ behind a bunch of could’ve-been should’ve-been’s // As her daddy gives her hand away // From Amarillo down to Galveston Bay // She’s makin’ all them cowboys jealous // Wishin’ they could hear her say, “I do” in his shoes // But they all try to force a smile // She don’t know it walkin’ down the aisle // She’s breakin’ every heart in Texas”

Cartwright continues to firmly plant his feet in vulnerability and honesty on the next track. “God is Good” sings about life and faith on this stellar new song. His vocals shine on the heartfelt tune that is a true ode to a friend who is battling an illness, while remaining steadfast in his faith. This song is one anyone can relate to, regardless of your relationship with God.

On the other hand, “Hammer” leans into the more gritty side of the singer-songwriter. The imagery the song conveys is what makes this break-up track so intoxicating. Cartwright shows off his present and his readiness for the live show on this absolute jam.

Finally, the record ends with Cartwright’s “Shine On Me.” The single is the autobiographical song on the new EP. It is clear that the entertainer has always been just a kid with a big dream. As a listener, it is inspiring to listen to Cartwright convey his story, his heart, and his journey on this catchy and heart-filled song.

“Cause if it happened for Waylon // Willie and the king // One of these days // Luck’s gonna shine a little light on me // It’s gonna shine on me // Yeah, I know it’s gonna shine on me // It’s gonna shine on me // Yeah, I know it’s gonna shine on me”
Overall, Halfway to Houston is an EP you are going to want to listen to. It is the perfect introduction to all of the talent Cartwright has to offer, while keeping you invested for much more in the future!

Halfway To Houston EP Tracklist

  1. Halfway To Houston (Troy Cartwright, Brandon Hood, Billy Montana)
  2. Breaking Every Heart In Texas (Brett Tyler, Wynn Varble, Jeff Outlaw, Troy Cartwright)
  3. God Is Good (Troy Cartwright, Brandon Hood, Billy Montana)
  4. Hammer (Troy Cartwright, Brandon Hood, Billy Montana)
  5. Shine On Me (Nolan Sipe, Ben Caver, Troy Cartwright)
Troy Cartwright's debut EP 'Halfway To Houston' is out now, October 14th.

Troy Cartwright’s debut EP ‘Halfway To Houston’ is out now, October 14th.

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

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

Halfway To Houston is 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.

Zac Brown Band: ‘The Comeback’ – Album Review

Zac Brown Band’s latest album The Comeback is out now, October 15th on all streaming platforms. Check out our full review and listen to the brand new music below.

Today (October 15), Zac Brown Band released their seventh studio album titled The Comeback. The 15-track project is their follow-up to the controversial The Owl from 2019 and contains seven previously released tracks including “Old Love Song,” “Out in the Middle,” “Slow Burn,” their current single, “Same Boat,” among others. Keep reading below as we dive deeper into this new record.

 Fans of Zac Brown Band love their feel-good, traditional-sounding tunes that made them one of the most popular country groups of the 2010s. With The Owl, the band went outside their comfort zone and experimented with new sounds and topics, which received mixed reviews from fans and critics. Now, The Comeback is Zac Brown Band’s…well, comeback into the traditional country music scene. 

Starting with the previously released tracks, “Same Boat” came out on June 11th and is currently sitting at number nine on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. It has a similar sound as arguable their biggest hit to date, “Chicken Fried” but with a more “islandy” theme. Penned by Zac Brown with Ben Simonetti and Jonathan Singleton (who have cuts all over this record), this upbeat and fun tune reminds us that we are all going through life together and are all merely humans trying to make sense of everything going on. “Old Love Song” and “Out in the Middle” are both Luke Combs co-writes. The former is a traditional love song while the latter is a southern-rock anthem in which Brown sings about the beauty of growing up in the fly-over states. He touches upon his southern roots again in “GA Clay.” 

Love found is one major themes on this album. “Stubborn Pride” features and was co-written by Marcus King and is about a man who finally finds true love and settles down. The slow, acoustic vibe highlights the raw emotion in Brown and King’s voices. The electric guitar solo in the bridge brings added excitement to the blues-influenced country tune. “Love and Sunsets” also touches on romance, but in a different and more cheery fashion. The singer doesn’t have a lot of money to his name, but luckily for him, she doesn’t need a mansion, expensive truck, and diamond rings; love and sunsets are free and that’s good enough for them. In “Closer to Heaven,” he speaks on the faults of the man he was before this women, but now since he’s with her, he’s closer to heaven. Two-time Grammy Award-winner, Gregory Porter brings his jazz influence onto the track, taking the second verse and chorus and providing backing harmonies with Brown in the final chorus.  

While Zac Brown Band touches on the fun side of love, there is also a challenging side of it—love lost. In the western-themed track “Wild Palomino,” he sings about the girl who was difficult to lock down. He compares her to the untamed horse that you simply cannot rein in. Even though he lost her, he will never stop loving her. “Any Day Now” may be the most emotional track on the record. The woman in the story tells the man that any day now she is going to walk out on him, to which he replies ‘I’m going to change my ways any day now.’ Unfortunately for him, the former came before the latter and he never got his chance to make it up to her. 

“Any day now, I’ll make up for the heartache // Any down now, but you couldn’t wait // Judging by the screen door slamming to taillights fading out of town // I guess it’s any day now”

The next two songs discuss young love—some prevail and some fall apart. In “Slow Burn,” the singer describes the feeling of not being able to get over a past fling. He paints vivid pictures of his girl’s sun-kissed skin on the Georgia lakeshore, and simple sights such as the stars in the night sky make her appear back in his mind. There is a lot of imagery and specific memories described in “Us Against the World” that helps the listener feel what these young lovers are feeling at that moment. However, whether or not this couple survived is not indicated in the song, leaving the end up to our interpretation. These songs are the two most studio-produced tracks on the album, but they also incorporate steel guitar and other country elements sprinkled throughout, making it a song for all types of country fans.

Zac Brown Band throws some light-hearted stuff in the project as well, such as “Don’t Let Your Heart” and “Fun Having Fun.” In “Don’t Let Your Heart,” Brown reminds us to keep our heads up even in the darkest of times. All is lost once you let go of love and hope. Keys are very prevalent in this track, which makes it fun to sing-along to. In the latter, the singer tells stories (hopefully fictional) of making reckless mistakes as a young boy in bluegrass fashion. When he is confronted by an elder, his excuse was simply “it’s fun having fun.” Life only comes around once and you have to enjoy it while you’re alive. 

“The Comeback” sits right in the middle of the album at track number eight. It hints at life during the pandemic; how there were no crops in the fields, no children in the classrooms, and no bands on stage. But Brown lifts our spirts by stating the comeback is best part of going through hardships. The backing vocals in this song make it feel almost like a Broadway show finale, which is cool when you compare it to finally climbing out of the pandemic and getting our normal, everyday lives back.

“It’s an underdog story the whole world can see // And the only good thing about getting knocked down is the comeback when it comes back around”

It’s not only Zac Brown Band’s comeback, it’s ours as well. Live music was always something we took for granted—an industry we always thought would be around—but for a year and a half, the world had other plans. So next time you’re on the fence about going out to a show because you have no one to go with, the tickets are expensive, or it’s a weeknight, remember how empty that year and a half felt. This record puts that in perspective—cherish the things in life we currently have because we don’t know how long it is going to be around for.

The Comeback Tracklist

  1. “Slow Burn” (Zac Brown, Ben Hayslip, Ben Simonetti)
  2. “Out in the Middle” (Brown, Luke Combs, Simonetti, Jonathan Singleton)
  3. “Wild Palomino” (Brown, Wyatt Durrette III, Simonetti, Singleton)
  4. “Us Against the World” (Brown, Simonetti, Singleton)
  5. “Same Boat” (Brown, Simonetti, Singleton)
  6. “Stubborn Pride” [feat. Marcus King] (Brown, Marcus King, Simonetti)
  7. “Fun Having Fun” (Brown, Kenny Habul, Kurt Thomas, Simonetti)
  8. “The Comeback” (Brown, Durrette, Ray Fulcher, Simonetti, Singleton)
  9. “Old Love Song” (Brown, Combs, Simonetti, Singleton)
  10. “Any Day Now” (Brown, Clay Cook, Josh Dunne, Fulcher, Simonetti, Singleton)
  11. “Paradise Lost on Me” (Brown, Durrette, Simonetti, Singleton)
  12. “GA Clay” (Brown, Durrette, Neil Mason, Simonetti, Singleton)
  13. “Love & Sunsets” (Brown, Luke Dick, Simonetti)
  14. “Closer to Heaven [feat. Gregory Porter] (Brown, John Driskell Hopkins, Simonetti)
  15. “Don’t Let Your Heart” (Brown, Durrette, Levi Lowrey, Jimmy De Martini, Simonetti)
Zac Brown Band's new album "The Comeback' is out now.

Zac Brown Band’s new album “The Comeback’ is out now.

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

To keep up with Zac Brown Band, follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

The Comeback is 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.

avenue-beat-new-debut-album

Avenue Beat: ‘the debut farewell album’ – Album Review

Avenue Beat’s debut and final album the debut farewell album is officially out on all streaming platforms today, October 15th. Listen to the full project below and check out our review.

Our favorite country-pop girl group, Avenue Beat is officially breaking-up. Although sad, it is the perfect, ironic timing for the trio to release their debut record. Sami Bearden, Savana Santos, and Sam Backoff established themselves as trendsetters and true individuals, and the brand new record is the perfect send off. the debut farewell album is officially out now.

The record kicks off with arguably the song of 2020, the iconic, “F2020.” A true embodiment of how we all felt during the height of the pandemic, Avenue Beat do not shy away from he truth in this song, a common thread throughout their music. Similarly their previously relate songs “woman” and “I don’t really like your boyfriend,” showcases their flirty and sassy sides of their artistry.

On “rock in outer space,” the threesome explore the idea that we take life so seriously, yet we are literally “floating on a rock in outer space.” Their approach is both interesting and introspective.

The ladies continue their cool-girl vibe on “dtf” and “space for you.” The former is a catchy tune about getting closer with someone you like. Although we all know what the acronym stands for, Avenue Beat changes it to “down to fly” and later, “down to fight.” The latter, “space for you” is a slow-burn that feels confident and deep. It is clear the songstresses know a thing or two about love.

Avenue Beat continue to explore the meaning of life and love on the next couple of tracks, “new strangers” and “parties.” “new strangers” is a harmonic masterpiece.  With lyrics like, “I feel like I’m not keeping old friends, I’m just making new strangers,” it is hard not to fall in love with this pensive jam. On the other hand “parties” is an explorative song about both anxiety and dealing with our twenties.

Before the last three songs off the project, Avenue Beat feature a personal interlude. The final three songs all convey the sadness the artists feel about Sami deciding to leave the band.

“different” showcases how Backoff and Santos feel about losing their band member. Their honesty and integrity shine on this sad, but beautiful track. “happy for you” takes things a step further and deeper into the vulnerability. “it’s weird that both these things can be true // that I’m happy for you // and I hate that I have to be happy for you.”

Finally, the record culminates with “this is goodbye” featuring Summer Overstreet, the unofficial forth member of the band. The song is a harmony-forward ballad. All their vocals shine on the track. It is clear that the ladies are saying goodbye to the incredible artistry that they have created together throughout their time at major label.

Although this record is a goodbye record, we sincerely hope there will be more from Sam Backoff and Savana Santos in the future. The twosome clearly love what they do, and country music, and fans around the world need them, even if its not Avenue Beat. Congrats to the ladies on a stellar project!

the debut farewell album Track List:

  1. F2020 | Sam Backoff, Sami Bearden, Savana Santos
  2. woman | Sam Backoff, Sami Bearden, Savana Santos, Joey Hendricks, Michael Whitworth*
  3. I don’t really like your boyfriend | Sam Backoff, Sami Bearden, Savana Santos, Summer Overstreet
  4. rock in outer space | Sam Backoff, Sami Bearden, Savana Santos, Summer Overstreet+
  5. dtf | Sam Backoff, Sami Bearden, Savana Santos, Summer Overstreet, Jordyn Shellhart, Emily Weisband^
  6. space for you | Sam Backoff, Sami Bearden, Savana Santos, Summer Overstreet^
  7. new strangers | Sam Backoff, Sami Bearden, Savana Santos, Jason Gantt
  8. parties | Sam Backoff, Sami Bearden, Savana Santos, Summer Overstreet
  9. interlude | Sam Backoff, Savana Santos
  10. different | Sam Backoff, Savana Santos
  11. happy for you | Sam Backoff, Savana Santos, Victoria Canal, Summer Overstreet
  12. this is goodbye (featuring Summer Overstreet) Sam Backoff, Savana Santos, Summer Overstreet

Produced by Savana Santos
*Produced by Savana Santos, Alysa Vanderheym
+Produced by Savana Santos, Julian Bunetta
^Produced by Savana Santos, Julian Bunetta, John Ryan, Afterhrs

OUR PICKS:

  1. “new strangers”
  2. “this is goodbye”
  3. “F2020”
  4. “different”
avenue-beat-new-album

Avenue Beat’s record ‘the debut farewell album’ is officially out now.

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

To keep up with Avenue Beat follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

the debut farewell album is 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.

Ryan-hurd-new-album-pelago-debut

Ryan Hurd: ‘Pelago’ – Album Review

Ryan Hurd’s long-awaited debut album, Pelago is out now, October 15th on all streaming platforms. Featuring eleven new songs, including “Chasing After You” with Maren Morris, check out our full review and listen to the brand new music below.

After making a name for himself as one of Nashville’s hottest songwriters, with #1 hits for Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Lady A and more, Ryan Hurd branched out as an artist of his own. And we’re oh-so-glad he did.

After a string of EPs and songwriting #1s, the rising superstar released his debut full-length album today (October 15) with Arista Nashville, Pelago. Inspired by growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan, the album was produced by Hurd’s childhood friend Aaron Eshuis, with assistance from Jesse Frasure and Teddy Reimer.

Having co-written ten of the album’s eleven tracks, Pelago truly continues Hurd’s introduction as both a brilliant songwriter and an incredibly talented artist. This is evidenced throughout the album, as he artfully weaves clever lyrics with catchy melodies that paint brilliant pictures, break your heart, or make you want to dance.

The album opens with the anthemic “Pass It On,” a bright and beachy invitation to listeners to share whatever it is that’s good in their life. It’s the kind of song that immediately turns a day around or a frown upside down, making it the perfect song to introduce the album. “What good is your dollar or your love or your bottle // If you keep it all to yourself // There’s enough to go around // So send it on down,” Hurd sings. “‘Cause you can’t take it with you when you’re gone // So pass it on, pass it on, pass it on.”

While it may seem out of place for a kid from Michigan to embrace the beachy musical tones that are often heard from the likes of Jake Owen or Kenny Chesney (name dropped on this album), those themes come just as natural to Hurd, and are absolutely authentic. Tracks like “Coast,” “June,  July, August,” and “Palm Trees in Ohio” continue that homage to the coastal life on the shores of Lake Michigan that filled Hurd’s childhood.

While the album is truly filled with standout tracks, one such highlight is “Palm Trees in Ohio.” The love song puts a unique spin on the idea of loving someone forever, putting Palm trees in Ohio up there with pigs flying and hell freezing. “‘Til there’s palm trees in Ohio // No traffic in LA // No snow in Colorado // No cold beer on a Saturday,” Hurd proclaims. “When the Great Lakes run out of water // When the sky stops turning blue // That’s when I // That’s when I // That’s when I’m gonna stop loving you.”

While Hurd shines on the tropical-tinted up-tempos, he’s just as convincing on the slower tracks, including the sultry duet “Chasing After You” with his wife, Maren Morris. “What Are You Drinking” and “The Knife or the Hatchet” are other album highlights. On the former, a moody piano ballad, Hurd wonders what an ex is drinking, curious if she’s celebrating with champagne or drowning her sorrows in a glass of something stronger. 

Likewise, “The Knife or the Hatchet” is a shining moment of the album, finding Hurd stuck in relationship limbo, unsure if his heart should stay or go. “Anything’s better than you and me living in the in-between,” He croons, his voice breaking with emotion. “So all I ask is// Twist the knife// Or bury the hatchet.”

Meanwhile, on “If I Had Two Hearts,” Hurd is admitting defeat and wondering how to move on after a relationship ends. The guy is broken and wishing for another heart to heal from its brokenness. “If I had two hearts // One wouldn’t be broken // If I had two hearts,” He admits.One would still be mine // On my sleeve out in the open // Knowing someday I’d be fine // But if I had one more to give you baby // I know what’s I’d do // Oh-oh-oh // Oh-oh-oh // I’d let you break that one too.”

For Ryan Hurd, each song on Pelago is a story in itself. “Writing’s my vocation, and I enjoy the people I work with,” says the singer-songwriter in a recent statement. “I’ve learned there are a lot of ways to do this. But then there’s the personal. As I move through life, every experience, every person, every story could be a song.”

While it would be easy for Ryan Hurd to make a living as a writer, evidenced by his ever-growing and impressive body of work, he’s even more magical as an artist. These songs and stories are uniquely his, making Pelago a personal and powerful debut album.

Pelago Track List:

  1. Pass It On
  2. Coast
  3. Chasing After You (with Maren Morris)
  4. June, July, August
  5. Palm Trees in Ohio
  6. If I Had Two Hearts
  7. Tab with My Name on It
  8. What Are You Drinking
  9. Hell Is an Island
  10. The Knife or the Hatchet
  11. I Never Said I’m Sorry

Our  Picks:

  1. Palm Trees in Ohio
  2. If I Had Two Hearts
  3. The Knife or the Hatchet
Ryan-Hurd-album-pelago-debut

Ryan Hurd’s debut album ‘Pelago’ is officially out now. 

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

To keep up with Ryan Hurd, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Pelago is 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.

Old Dominion: ‘Time, Tequila & Therapy’ – Album Review

Old Dominion’s new album, ‘Time, Tequila, and Therapy’ is out now, October 8th, on all streaming platforms. Featuring thirteen new tracks co-written and co-produced by the band, listen to the full project below and check out our review.

Since forming in 2007, Old Dominion has become one of country music’s biggest success stories. Today, the quintet released their fourth studio album, Time, Tequila, and Therapy, coming nearly two years since the release of their self-titled album, which featured hits such as “Make It Sweet” and “One Man Band.” 

Produced by Shane McAnally and Old Dominion, Time, Tequila, and Therapy features thirteen new tracks, all co-written by the band with help from longtime collaborators, McAnally and Josh Osborne. The LP continues to show Old Dominion doing what they do best: writing and releasing catchy and harmonic country music.

Unlike many of  their country contemporaries, Old Dominion has managed to find a sound that’s distinctively their own. From the opening notes to the toe-tapping choruses to the breezy instrumentation, there’s no doubting an Old Dominion song when you hear one, and this is apparent throughout this album. From “I Was On a Boat That Day” to “Blue Jeans” to “All I Know About Girls,” Time, Tequila, and Therapy is Old Dominion through and through.

Opening with “Why Are You Still Here?,” lead singer Matthew Ramsey finds himself pondering about a lost love on the breezy intro track. In the opener, the girl is gone but still haunting every aspect of someone’s life, as they muse, “If I lost you, then why are you still here?”

As songwriters before they were artists, all five members of Old Dominion contributed to each track on this album. This is apparent on the clever wordplay that weaves itself through every song on the LP. Two of the finest examples here are “All I Know About Girls,” “No Hard Feelings,” and “Ain’t Nothing Wrong with Love,” where interesting lyrical twists make them stand out. On “All I Know About Girls,” the band muses about how little they know about the opposite sex. “I’m a jack of all trades, and a master of none,” Rosen sings, before making his way to the lyrical plot twist. “All I know about girls is // I don’t know nothing at all.”

Meanwhile, “Ain’t Nothing Wrong with Love,” the album’s final track, finds the band musing about all of the reasons love hasn’t worked out for them. “Daddy had Mama // Johnny has June // Even that dish ran away with the spoon,” they sing. “So if there ain’t nothing wrong with love // Then it must be me.” Additionally, on  “No Hard Feelings,” we discover the LP’s title, as the song opens with “I took a little time, tequila and therapy // And threw it in a blender with ice.”

Other highlights of the album are “Hawaii,” “Blue Jeans” and “Lonely Side of Town,” which couldn’t be more different from each other, yet all work oh-so-well. “Lonely Side of Town” shows the band trading vocals with the legendary Gladys Knight. On the soulful and bluesy ballad, Knight provides an absolutely unexpected, but delightful, treat, harmonizing perfectly with the band in a way that’s absolutely magical.

“Blue Jeans” is a catchy, snappy up-tempo that sounds musically similar to the George Michael classic “Faith,” and celebrates the moment you meet your perfect match. “I feel you like music //  Pray for you like rain // Wait for you like Christmas // Count on you like change // I lost you like car keys // Then found you like faith,” They sing here. “You trip me like shoe strings // You fit me like blue jeans.” Meanwhile, “Hawaii” provides an aural vacation, which finds the band longing for the simpler days of a trip to the islands. “I wonder // why we // ever left Hawaii.”

The thing that makes Old Dominion great is that they are unapologetically themselves in all of their music. With a distinct sound that includes clever lyrics, snappy musicianship, and 5-part harmonies, everything Old Dominion does best is evident on Time, Tequila, and Therapy.

Old Dominion’s Time, Tequila & Therapy Tracklist

  1. Why Are You Still Here
  2. Hawaii
  3. Walk On Whiskey
  4. All I Know About Girls
  5. Blue Jeans
  6. No Hard Feelings
  7. Lonely Side of Town (feat. Gladys Knight)
  8. I Was On A Boat That Day
  9. Drinking My Feelings
  10. Somethings The Same About You
  11. I Want To Live In A House With You
  12. Don’t Forget Me
  13. Ain’t Nothing Wrong With Love

 

OUR PICKS:

  1. Blue Jeans
  2. Ain’t Nothing Wrong with Love
  3. Lonely Side of Town
Old Dominion's new album, 'Time, Tequila & Therapy' is out now, October 8th

Old Dominion’s new album, ‘Time, Tequila & Therapy’ is out now, October 8th

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

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

Time, Tequila & Therapy is 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.

lily-rose-new-ep

Lily Rose: ‘Stronger Than I Am’ – EP Review

Lily Rose’s debut EP, Stronger Than I Am is out now, October 1st on all streaming platforms. Check out our full review and listen to the brand new music below.

There’s something special about Lily Rose. Her voice shines with hints of 90’s country, while her music is a perfect combination of that, mixed with hints of pop, soul and R&B.

With an eclectic pop-country sound, Rose embraces being one of country music’s few openly gay artists, singing about the woman who broke her heart and the one she hopes to find love with. There’s no hiding herself here, and that makes the project all the more personal. Throughout the seven songs, Rose deals with a breakup, explores the possibility of new love, and celebrates the virtues of her hometown. 

Following the viral success of her song “Villain” on TikTok, Rose signed a joint deal with Big Loud Records, Back Blocks Music, and Republic Records to release her debut project, Stronger Than I Am, out today, October 1. The singer-songwriter co-wrote four of the seven tracks, which also include songs written by fellow genre-bending artists like Sam Hunt, Ernest, and Breland.

The viral hit, “Villain,” opens the album, having Rose sound like a country-leaning Adele on the breakup song. Over the groovy mid-tempo track, Rose sings of the two sides of a story that tend to accompany the end of every relationship. She’s okay with negative light for the sake of her ex, singing “You can be the hero // I can take the fall / If that’s how your story goes // Say it’s all my fault // Whatever helps you sleep at night // Yeah you can make me the bad guy // Make ‘em all believe it // If that’s how you’re feelin’ // I can be the villain.” Meanwhile, things take a turn near the end of the song, Rose admitting,“What they don’t know is I tried to make us work it out // but I couldn’t save us // I couldn’t save us.”

The album’s first few tracks all center around the theme of the various stages of grief that go with heartbreak. The clever title track is a highlight from the project and finds Rose dealing with her broken heart by occasionally finding strength and solace in a bottle of “something that’s stronger than I am.” While she admits that “sometimes I can handle my own,” it’s not all roses for Rose. “Tonight, I don’t feel like I can // That’s why I’m sitting here on something // That’s stronger than I am.”

Meanwhile, the previously-released “I Don’t Smoke,” has a vulnerable Rose admitting that it’s impossible for her to ignore her ex. “That’s like saying I don’t smoke when I drink,” she admits on the stunning track, a clear standout on the album.

On “Remind Me Of You”, Rose is trying to move on and it’s proving difficult. “Girl, you were all that I wanted // And that’s why falling in love with her // Is so hard to do,” she admits. “She don’t remind me of you // She’s checking every box on the list // But there’s one that she missed // I think I know what it is // She don’t remind me of you.”

Meanwhile, “Know My Way Around” shows a more hopeful singer, revealing the things she knows all too well and the one she wants to know more of. “Cause ever since you walked in // Only thing that I’ve been thinking ‘bout is my next move,”she sings to the girl who caught her eye. “I just wanna know my way around you.”

The seven track project ends with “Whole Lotta Hometowns,” arguably the most country song here as she celebrates the town she grew up in. “There’s a whole lotta hometowns,” she proclaims on the anthemic tune. “But only one of them’s mine.” With driving guitars that surround Rose’s lush vocals, “Whole Lotta Hometowns” is the perfect closer to the album, showing a different side to the profoundly talented singer-songwriter.

On Stronger Than I Am, Lily Rose has released an honest body of work that explores the various facets of a breakup in a way that’s remarkably real, raw, and relatable. 

Stronger Than I Am Tracklist

  1. “Villain” (Lily Rose, Mackenzie Carpenter, Kyle Clark)
  2. “Stronger Than I Am” (Griffen Palmer, Geoff Warburton)
  3. “I Don’t Smoke” (Daniel Gerard Breland, Lalo Guzman, Michael Tyler)
  4. “Remind Me of You” (Corey Crowder, Sam Hunt, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
  5. “Know My Way Around” (Lily Rose, Julian Bunetta, Savana Santos)
  6. “Breakin’ In” (Lily Rose, John Byron, Ben Johnson, Blake Pendergrass)
  7. “Whole Lotta Hometowns” (Lily Rose, Andy Albert, Kyle Clark)
lily-rose-new-ep

Lily Rose’s debut EP ‘Stronger Than I Am’ is out now on all streaming platforms.

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

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

Stronger Than I Am is 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.

Logan-mize-new-album

Logan Mize: ‘Welcome To Prairieville’ – Album Review

Logan Mize’s brand new album, Welcome to Prarieville is out now, October 1st on all streaming platforms. Check out our full review and listen to the brand new music below.

“There’s still a little bit of America left in America”, Logan Mize sings on the opening line of the first track, “George Strait Songs” off his brand new album, Welcome To Prairieville. No verse explains the project more: for the past decade, Mize has been chronicling the simple, middle-town America life through his songwriting, and it has all come to fruition on the 11-song project. The sonics are classic, almost 90s sounding, while still remaining modern enough. It would sound perfect on radio airwaves, as it was made to be listened to driving down backroads.

“There’s still these hardworking, great, open-minded people that want to be independent; these little towns that don’t need a Walmart, and that’s what ‘George Strait Songs’ is about”, Mize shared with us in a recent interview.

Next up, the title track “Welcome to Prairieville” was written in 2011, over ten years ago, and it ties the entire project together. “That sign ain’t right on the edge of town // And the population keeps on going down”, he sings on the first verse. “It’s a pretty drive if you’ve got the time to kill // Welcome to Prairieville”.

“I Need Mike” is the only song that Mize did not write on the project. It’s a really evocative story-song, and although it’s specific, everyone has a “Mike” they can relate this song to. Blake Chaffin penned the track and serves as Mize’s main co-writer on the album. Each of the two songwriters chose a solo-write to include on the project and “I Need Mike” was Chaffin’s. “When I put it up against the rest of the songs, I really felt like ‘I Need Mike’ was [one of] the best songs on the project”, Mize tells us. “It makes you feel something. I don’t think I could have left it off. It felt like me… it’s just as much my record as it is his.”

The album ends with closing track It’s About Time”. A tune that is probably the most stunning song sonically, and it’s a hopeful way to drive out of Prairieville. It’s visual and dreamy, and it leaves you feeling like things are going to work out both in Prairieville and outside of the town.

“But I made it home // Found a reason // And the words to rhyme // Oh, I finally feel just like myself // And it’s about time”

If you don’t know Mize’s music yet, even though he’s put out a number of albums before, in some ways this acts as a re-introduction to who he is and his songwriting style. It is full of passion and small-town soundbites that will leave anyone reminiscing for their hometown. There’s nothing that sounds like this record right now, but at the same time, it is simple and timeless. It has all the influences of Mize’s life in central Kansas, and the refined polish of the Nashville sound. Overall, it is purely a wonderful, cohesive 11-track collection.

Welcome To Prairieville Tracklist

  1. George Strait Songs (writers: Blake Chaffin, Logan Mize)
  2. Welcome To Prairieville (writers: Blake Chaffin, Logan Mize)
  3. River Road (writers: Blake Chaffin, Logan Mize, Tyler Johnson)
  4. Wine at the Church, Beer at the Bar (writers: Blake Chaffin, Logan Mize, Jason Blaine)
  5. Follow Your Heart (writers: Lynn Hutton, Logan Mize)
  6. I Need Mike (writer: Blake Chaffin)
  7. If You Get Lucky (writers: Blake Chaffin, Logan Mize, Daniel Agee)
  8. Tell the Truth (writers: Blake Chaffin, Logan Mize)
  9. We Ain’t Broke (writers: Blake Chaffin, Logan Mize)
  10. I Still Miss You (writers: Blake Chaffin, Logan Mize, Jill Martin)
  11. It’s About Time (writer: Logan Mize)
Logan-mize-new-album

Logan Mize brand new album ‘Welcome To Prairieville’ is out now on all streaming platforms.

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

To keep up with Logan Mize, follow him on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Welcome to Prairieville is 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.

Carrie Underwood: ‘My Gift (Special Edition)’ – Album Review

Although it’s only September, country music’s queen, Carrie Underwood put us in the holiday spirit today (September 24) with the release of the deluxe version of her Christmas album, My Gift. Check out our full review and listen to the brand new music below.

Underwood has proved she is a superstar in any genre, recording number-one songs and albums in country, pop, Christian, and holiday. My Gift debuted #1 across multiple global charts and remained at #1 on the Christian album chart 11 weeks after it was released. It consistently remained in the Top 5 throughout the 2020 holiday season, and even hit #5 on the all-genre Billboard Top 200. She plans on continuing this success with the release of this special edition project. 

The new version adds “Favorite Time of Year”, which was actually released last year, but only available to Amazon Music subscribers. Underwood performed it during her HBO Max holiday special last holiday season. It’s a fun, up-tempo jingle in which she expresses why Christmas is her favorite time of the year. She loves the decorations, the snow, holidays movies, cinnamon and sugar cookies, and of course, the wishes that turned into presents under the tree.

“Love pouring out like the snow from the sky // Snuggled up together sitting by the fire // Oh, it’s magical, it’s my favorite time // Pretty little wishes tied up in a bow // And every little kiss is like we’re underneath the mistletoe // It’s music to my ears // Christmas is my favorite time of year”

Another new track, “All Is Well” is a brand-new gospel song written by Michael W. Smith and Wayne Kirkpatrick. Although there is only three verses total, the song is almost 4 minutes long, as Underwood lets her voice shine, extending notes beautifully.

The album concludes with the live recordings of “Let There Be Peace” and “Something In The Water.”

Between Christmas albums, Underwood released her debut gospel album, My Savior in March, which went to number one on the Christian Albums chart. It’s now been over three years since she released her last country album, Cry Pretty, which came out on September 14, 2018. She has released singles with Jason Aldean and Dan + Shay, however—“If I Didn’t Love You” and “Only Us” for the new movie, Dear Evan Hansen, respectively.  

My Gift (Special Edition) Tracklist

  1. Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (Traditional)
  2. O Come All Ye Faithful (Traditional)
  3. Let There Be Peace (Carrie Underwood, Brett James, David Garcia)
  4. Little Drummer Boy (featuring Isaiah Fisher) (Harry Simeone, Henry Onorati, Katherine Davis)
  5. Sweet Baby Jesus (Carrie Underwood, Brett James, David Garcia)
  6. Hallelujah (with John Legend) (John Stephens, Toby Gad)
  7. O Holy Night (Traditional)
  8. Mary, Did You Know? (Buddy Greene, Mark Lowry)
  9. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin)
  10. Away In A Manger (Traditional)
  11. Silent Night (Traditional)
  12. Favorite Time Of Year (Carrie Underwood, Hillary Lindsey, Chris DeStefano)
  13. All Is Well (Michael W. Smith, Wayne Kirkpatrick)
  14. Let There Be Peace/Something In The Water (LIVE From HBO Max’s MY GIFT: A Christmas Special From Carrie Underwood) (Carrie Underwood, Brett James, David Garcia, Chris DeStefano)
Carrie Underwood's holiday album, My Gift (Special Edition) is out now

Carrie Underwood’s holiday album, My Gift (Special Edition) is out now

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

To keep up with Underwood, follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

My Gift (Special Edition), is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

Raelynn-new-album

RaeLynn: ‘Baytown’ – Album Review

RaeLynn’s brand new record Baytown is officially available now, September 24th on all streaming platforms. Check out our full review and listen to the brand new music below.

Back in August of last year, we continuously praised RaeLynn’s Baytown EP. The six song project perfectly showcased the singer-songwriter’s  confidence, clever wordplay, and amazing vocals like no other project had before. Today, the new mom expands on that collection of songs with the official Baytown album, out now.

The record features fourteen tracks in total. Previously released songs like “Keep Up,” “Judgin’ To Jesus,” and “Bra Off” anchor the project with the sassy and fiery tunes we have come to love from the songstress. Similarly, RaeLynn’s new collaborative song with Mitchell Tenpenny “Get That All The Time” further exhibits her flirty personality.

“I know that you could have anyone in here tonight // But you’d be better off mine // I bet you get that all the time // All the time // You’re probably getting pretty used to me // I bet you memorize the lines // And this ain’t nothing new to ya”

RaeLynn also collaborates with country superstar, Blake Shelton on “Why I Got A Truck.” The new song centers around the singer’s country upbringing and the importance of a truck in her life. Although a truck is a familiar focal point on many country songs, the singers portray the subject in a new and girl-power-like light.

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“Rowdy” is another fun new song off the new record. Once again, RaeLynn leans into her country, Texan roots. Singing lyrics, like “I get rowdy, I get mouthy,” the songstress is unapologetic about her upbringing. “Only In A Small Town” shares the sentiment of pride for her hometown in a humorous way.

“Only in a small town does your ex get locked up and knocked up your best girl friend // Spending every bit of my $10.25 an hour to throw a shower // Hell, only in a small town”

Despite the fact that Baytown is full of sassy hits, it is also the home to many vulnerable songs by the rising artist. While the touching ballad “Fake Girl Town” sheds a much needed light on the detrimental culture that exists between girls, “Small Town Prayer” reminds us all of the importance of hope, faith, and community.

“It all sounds simple coming off our lips // Cause we’re so little // and he’s so big // can’t find it in a bible // but Lord I swear, nothing hits heaven like a small town prayer”

RaeLynn continues to let fans into her heart on songs like “Me About Me” and “She Chose Me.” The former is a full-fledged confession about the details of a break-up and a one-sided relationship. The heartbreakingly stunning mid-tempo song conveys a type of honesty that we only get from country music. The latter is an incredibly honest story about a woman getting pregnant and keeping the baby, written from the perspective of the child that was born. RaeLynn calls it the prequel to her song “Love Triangle.”

“That’s one hell of a choice to make // If it went the other way, nobody would have blamed her // Think of all the small town talk it would have saved her // She could’ve chosen one quick fix // To get her out of one big mess / She could have tied a different ribbon to the ending of the story”

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The record ends with “Made For Me To Love (Demo).” The song is clearly a personal one to the singer. It tells the story of her getting pregnant with her daughter Daisy Rae, who was born earlier this month. Arguable the most poignant RaeLynn song to date, it is the perfect way to end the exquisite full-length album.

Baytown Tracklist

  1. Keep Up
  2. Still Smokin’
  3. Fake Girl Town
  4. Judgin’ To Jesus
  5. Me About Me
  6. Bra Off
  7. Neon Cowgirl
  8. Small Town Prayer
  9. Get That All The Time ft. Mitchell Tenpenny
  10. Only In A Small Town
  11. She Chose Me
  12. Why I Got A Truck ft. Blake Shelton
  13. Rowdy
  14. Made For Me To Love (Demo)

Our Picks:

  1. “Why I Got A Truck”
  2. “She Chose Me”
  3. “Fake Girl Town”
  4. “Judgin’ To Jesus”
Raelynn-new-album

RaeLynn’s new album ‘Baytown’ is officially out now.

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

To keep up with RaeLynn, follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

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

kidd-g-new-album

Kidd G: ‘Down Home Boy’ – Album Review

Kidd G’s debut album Down Home Boy is out now, September 24th, on all streaming platforms. Check out our full review and listen to the brand new music below.

With almost one million followers on TikTok alone, Kidd G is leading the pack in this new wave of country music. His eclectic sound and honesty is attracting fans across the world. Today, the singer released his debut full-length album, Down Home Boy.

Featuring fourteen original songs, the artist, whose real name is Jonathan Gabriel Horne, is a writer on all of the tracks. The record kicks off with some of the songs that started it all for the singer, including “Down Home Boy,” and “Paper Hearts (F-150).” The former is an ode to his upbringing, a common theme on the record. On the other hand, the latter is an introspective song that has fans flocking to him.

“Paper hearts in the glovebox of my F-150 (F-150) // And I might just take one out and light it up // And throw it out the window //Because I’m tipsy”

Similarly, Kidd G’s previously released song “Summer In A Small Town” has become a fan-favorite. The new song has summer romance, fun, and living the good life written all over it. Visually appealing both lyrically and within the music video, Kidd G makes every listener want to live in a small town. His country boy vocals are on full display in this fun-loving and sweet country song.

Kidd G leans into his romantic side even more on “What It’s Like,” “I Think I Love Her,” and “Ordinary Girl.” “What It’s Like” is a clever confession of liking someone. He utilizes country music staples with lyrics like “how does it feel to have a country boy’s heart racing,” as he professes his love for a special someone. On “I Think I Love Her,” the singer expresses his adoration and love for a girl yet again. If the first two songs are precursors to love, “Ordinary Girl” is a true-blue declaration of true love in a more modern and funky approach.

Leaning into his emo-music roots, “If Heaven Had A Phone” is one of the most poignant songs off the project. Anyone who has ever lost someone and missed someone can relate to this heartfelt and touching single. Kidd G leans into the vulnerability again on “Whiskey & Wine,” a fan-favorite song.

Kidd G puts words to a different kind of heartbreak on “Break Up Song.” The song starts off melancholy, but quickly reminds us of all the things that are waiting for us on the other side of a break-up. He is all of us on this catchy tune.

“The truth is I don’t believe a word that you said // The hard part is that I knew that you’re gone // The worst part is that I gotta move on // Yeah, the worst part is that I even had to make this song // Cheers to a break-up song”

On “Folks Back Home,” Kidd G clearly shares his story of growing up in the country. He shows pride for his small-town upbringing yet again. Finally the record wraps with the pensive song, “Last Call.” Kidd G struggles with his demons from a broken relationship on the moody, yet captivating song.

Overall, Kidd G’s debut release is like nothing you have ever listened to before. And that’s a good thing! Clearly influenced by hip-hop, emo, and country music, Kidd G’s sound is a one that’s all of his own. Fans should definitely give this record a listen.

DOWN HOME BOY Official Track List:

  1. “Down Home Boy” | Chris Destefano, Rhett Atkins, Jonathan Gabriel Horne
  2. “Paper Hearts (F-150)” | Jesse Frasure, Ernest Smith, Jonathan Gabriel Horne
  3. “What It’s Like” | Kyle Fishman, Ben Hayslip, Jonathan Gabriel Horne
  4. “If Heaven Had A Phone” | Bonnie Dymond, Jake Saghi, Jonathan Gabriel Horne
  5. “2000 & IDK” | Johann Elliot, Bonnie Dymond, Jonathan Gabriel Horne
  6. “Break Up Song” | Simon Jonasson, Nicole Spooner, Juan Guerrieri-Maril, Jonathan Gabriel Horne
  7. “Whiskey & Wine” | Bonnie Dymond, Christopher Luc Nyhus, Dantavius Walker, Jonathan Gabriel Horne
  8. “I Think I Love Her” | John Charles Reno Prentice, Jake Rose, Jonathan Gabriel Horne
  9. “Summer In A Small Town” | John Thomas “J.T.” Harding, Rhett Atkins, Jacob Rice, Jonathan Gabriel Horne
  10. “Ordinary Girl” | Morgan O’Connor, William Keating, Blake Hubbard, Jarrod Ingram, Jacob Saghi, Jonathan Gabriel Horne
  11. “UNKNWN Number” | Bonnie Dymond, Jonathan Gabriel Horne
  12. “You Could Use Me” | Bonnie Dymond, Jonathan Gabriel Horne
  13. “Folks Back Home” | Bonnie Dymond, Lawrence Stoll, Ryan Jeffrey Anderson,  Jonathan Gabriel Horne
  14. “Last Call” | Bonnie Dymond, Jonathan Gabriel Horne

Our Picks:

  1. “If Heaven Had A Phone”
  2. “What It’s Like”
  3. “Ordinary Girl”
  4. “Break Up Song”
kidd-g-album

Kidd G’s debut album ‘Down Home Boy’ is out now, September 24th. 

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

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

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