Last fall, Josh Kerr released a heartbreaking ballad called “Oklahoma”. It’s about losing a loved one to their hometown, and what it feels like to pick up your own pieces. 10 months later, Kerr is back with the second song of 12 to be released later this year, and this time it’s the wistful “Arizona”.
“Arizona” is a nostalgic and reminiscent breakup song co-written by Kerr, Cale Dodds, and Jake Scott about a summer a love that has fizzled out, and suddenly the little things catch you off guard and you remember that person. Specifically, it focuses on a trip that the couple took together before things went south. It’s incredibly descriptive; Kerr still has the polaroids with the dates on the back, the bucket list they wrote, and he sees her in the stars during the summer.
There’s significance in feeling like the world is so vast and unknown when you’re young. Standing on the edge of a place like the Grand Canyon makes you feel like you can do anything and you can taste that freedom. “We were bare feet and red wine/Do you remember how I’d hold ya?” Kerr asks during the chorus. He describes their slow dances to Oasis’ “Champagne Supernova”, their dream of matching tattoos, and her “diamond-back-ballcap” that was worn on the first date. There are hints of regret in Kerr’s intense vocal delivery, but mostly, you can hear the longing for the simplicity of that summer. It leaves the listener wondering if he wants her or that feeling back.
Kerr also produced the track, and an interesting choice he made was not including drums in the song. There’s some tambourine that adds another layer throughout, but what makes this song so powerful is that it’s all about the words, the guitar, and his voice. It’s a true country song: three chords and the truth.
No matter the song or the album, Kerr never holds back being vulnerable. His most upbeat songs will make you think as much as the slower, mid-tempo ones like “Arizona”. Every moment has a purpose, and it’s what makes him such a one-of-a-kind writer, artist, and producer.
Arizona 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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