What We’re Listening To: December Picks
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 December picks. Then be sure to give our Spotify account a follow and listen to our favorite tracks!
Pick: “Love That” – Seaforth
Songwriters:Tom Jordan, Mitch Thompson, Daniel Ross and Michael Whitworth
This month I’m choosing Seaforth’s “Love That”. I was immediately hooked on this track upon first listen from the catchy and upbeat vibe, but deconstructing the lyrics, we find the true essence of a country song.
“You don’t tell your friends that you stayed the night // you won’t ever say that you’re only mine // and you know I love that // when you kiss me on the neck you make me want that // then you throw my heart away and pull it right back // the pleasure with the pain // there’s something about that // try to fight back // but I relapse // you know I love that”
Painting the picture of a relatable love story where perhaps one person in the relationship wants more than the other. Nonetheless, whether public or not, they can’t resist the urge to be with that person.
Seaforth’s artistry is comparable to fellow country duo Dan + Shay, with a hint of Rascal Flatts and I think that we’ll be hearing a lot of this song in 2019 and more from the rising Australian duo.
Christina Bosch, Managing Editor
Pick: “Jack It To Jesus (Spray It To Hell)” – Jaida Dreyer
Songwriters: Jaida Dreyer & Jesse Frasure
The Season One winner of Real Country, Jaida Dreyer took a leap of faith when choosing to perform an original song she had written for the finale of the country competition show. “Jack It To Jesus (Spray It To Hell)” isn’t only catchy sonically but the female empowerment lyrics reference the incredible “honkey tonk angels” like Loretta and Dolly that have paved the way for all of the current artists trying to make their mark on this genre.
“They broke their own hearts while blazing the trail those honky-tonk angels wore the pain well they teased it up high like true southern belles, they jacked it to Jesus then sprayed it to hell.”
Dreyer shared on Instagram that her friend Melissa Schleicher who has done hair and makeup for Loretta Lynn and Carrie Underwood throughout her remarkable career told her once that everytime Miss Loretta would sit down she would look in the mirror and say “Jack it to Jesus and spray it to hell!” After reading her caption and hearing the song I immediately fell in love with the story behind the song and the truth from the past that can be depicted in a modern day country song. The Nashville songstress has a unique twangy quality in her voice and won’t be mistaken for anyone else creating music in the genre. Take a listen to the bop and have a whole new appreciation for hairspray.
Kelly Cunningham, Contributing Writer
Pick: “Runnin’ Away From Home” – Brett Young
Songwriters: Brett Young, Hilary Lindsey, Zach Crowell
“This track sounds like a sequel to his song “You Ain’t Here To Kiss Me.” I love the idea of continuing a song and looking back on what he wrote and realizing what he did. It’s a catchy tune that shows his growth of songwriting and sharing his personal maturation. You’d never think an artist could pull off writing a second part of a track like this, but Young made it a hit.”
Taylor Delia, Contributing Writer
Pick: “Rumor” – Lee Brice
Songwriters: Lee Brice, Kyle Jacobs, Ashley Gorley
“Lee Brice does it again with his new single ‘Rumor’. The catchy guitar chords and the smooth vocals have you reeled in from the start. Brice solidifies himself as one of my favorite storytellers in country music writing about new love and the limbo period for a couple. You know it’s a great song when you can close your eyes and see the story play out in front of you. ‘There’s a rumor goin’ round about me and you/stirring up this little town the last week or two”
Molly Holmberg, Contributing Writer
Pick: “I Still Do” – Levi Hummon
Songwriters: Danielle Blakey, Levi Hummon, Trannie Anderson
“I have covered some events for Levi Hummon in the past and each time this certain song is performed it gets such a positive reaction from the crowd and it is then I knew this was going to be such a great new single. “I Still Do” is a song about a breakup and focuses on the same room once shared with someone else is now empty. The singer knows that they are over yet he still finds himself thinking about her, wanting to go drive to her house and wondering where she is. The video really plays out the lyrics to a T, concentrating on love and its unexpected absence. The video also just made its premiere on CMT and Billboard earlier this week. The track has already had a ton of engagement, being featured on a number of playlists on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube Music, and Pandora, and should definitely be added to your playlist!”
Nicole Piering, Contributing Writer
Pick: “If You Ever Wanna” – Nick Wayne
Songwriters: Nick Wayne and Justin Ebach
“Last month, I had the privilege of attending a writers round at Nashville’s Listening Room Cafe, where I was introduced to Nick Wayne’s music. While Wayne appeared alongside accomplished songwriters like Josh Kerr and Jordan Minton, it was his unique soulful style and captivating lyrics that immediately won me over. Since then, his Two Sides EP has been on constant replay for me, and while I love both of the EP’s tracks, “If You Ever Wanna” is the one that I keep going back to. The song is endlessly catchy, the lyrics are great, and it’s a great way for Wayne to introduce himself to country fans. I truly expect big things from him in 2019, and can’t wait to hear more from Wayne if “If You Ever Wanna” is any indication of what’s to come.”
Olivia Reese, Contributing Writer
Pick: “Rhinestone World” – Dallas Smith
Songwriters: Andrew DeRoberts, Josh Osborne, Rodney Clawson
“Dallas Smith is a Canadian Country artist that I have really enjoyed for a few years now. Occasionally, a single will be featured on a playlist but overall he still remains on the fringes in the U.S. His most recent single “Rhinestone World” does not disappoint. The upbeat tune paints the picture that the love interest of the song is a rare find, an uncommon treasure after a long time searching. “Girl can’t believe you’re mine /Loving you is like finding /A diamond in a Rhinestone world.” The simple lyrics go on to explain that being with your love is like all of the little, yet most joyful, moments in life, “You’re a little white church/ On a corner in Mississippi/ The front porch light that feels like home, girl,” “You’re a red Corvette on a Carolina two-lane /Lighter in the air to a damn good song.”
Nicole Sellati, Contributing Writer
Pick: “Drive Thru” – MacKenzie Porter
Songwriters: Mackenzie Porter, Natalie Hemby, Tommy English
“I first discovered singer-songwriter, MacKenzie Porter in the Netflix original show, ‘Travelers.’ Naturally, I followed her on Instagram, learning that she is also a country musician. She has been teasing that she was in the studio recording her EP and recently released two tracks from it, “Drive Thru,” and “About You.” I absolutely love both songs but “Drive Thru,” has slowly become a clear favorite. The lyrics are fun and catchy, telling the other person in the relationship that she isn’t allowing them to make their own terms.
“I said it before and I’ll say it again. Boy, I ain’t Your Drive Thru / You can’t roll up whenever you like / There’s no late night menu, whenever you got an appetite / You always show up at my window, trying to order this but you know / Boy I ain’t your drive thru, so keep driving thru.”
I love that “Drive Thru” is a song anyone can relate to. There is always that one person who thinks they can come and go whenever they want and in this song, that is not the case. Porter is definitely an artist to watch and I can’t wait to hear her other songs off her EP when it comes out!”
Danielle Tornatore, Contributing Writer
Pick: “1, 2, 3 Mississippi” – Brett Young
Songwriters: Brett Young, Jon Nite, Justin Ebach
“Whenever I come across artists and fall in love with their debut records, I always feel a sense of nervousness when they release new ones. I felt this exact way with Brett Young releasing his sophomore record Ticket To L.A. Young’s self-titled album is one of my favorites of all time and luckily, I feel the exact same way about the new one. “1, 2, 3 Mississippi” was my favorite right off the bat. When I listened to the album in full for the first time, I kept replaying this song. It has such a good vibe to it, I can’t wait to drive around in the warmer weather with the windows down with this song blasting.”
Shanna Vitaliano, Contributing Writer
Pick: “On My Way To You” – Cody Johnson
Songwriters: Brett James & Tony Lane
“Texas-born country singer Cody Johnson has been one of my favorites for many years and I am so happy that his single “On My Way To You” is making its way up the country music charts. “On My Way To You, tells a story about a journey on your way to finding the person you are supposed to be with. It is a subtle reminder that the road to find love may not always be easy, but in the end, when you find your one true love, everything you’ve been through was worth it.
Johnson sings heartfelt lyrics such as: “All the boats I’ve missed / All the hell I’ve caused / All the lips I’ve kissed / All the love I’ve lost / I got kicked around / I’ve been black and blue / On my way to you,” that can make anyone stop in their tracks and reflect on a difficult time in their life or a relationship. “On My Way To You” is a very relatable love song that gives hope that hardships lead you to where you’re supposed to be.
Country music fans have a powerful new love ballad to listen to, which does not stray from a traditional country sound. Johnson has a new album Aint Nothin’ To It coming out January 18th, and I am looking forward to watching his continued success!”
Erica Zisman, Contributing Writer
Pick: “Hate It” – Tucker Beathard
Songwriters: Casey Beathard, Dakota Moniot, Tucker Beathard, Will King
“The moment Tucker Beathard started teasing clips from songs on his new album, I knew it was something special. When his debut album Nobody’s Everything was released, I listened to the whole album on loop, loving just about every track. This month I was between a few songs for my pick, but I kept coming back to Beathard’s “Hate It.” The lyrics are raw, heartbreaking, real, and relatable. I appreciate how the singer-songwriter taps into different life circumstances and emotions that aren’t always a centerpiece in songs. Not to mention, “Hate It” easily gets stuck in your head and the instrumentals mixed with the grittiness of Beathard’s voice are refreshing. Beathard as an artist is one to look out for, and truly has a special voice in country music. I encourage you to download “Hate It,” and the whole record, while you’re at it.”