NYCS First Impression: Morgan Evans ‘Things That We Drink To’
Since the 2017 release of his debut American single “Kiss Somebody,” Australia’s Morgan Evans has been lauded as one of country music’s next big things. Today, Evans released his debut album on Warner Music Nashville, Things That We Drink To. While much of the album reads as a love letter to Evans’ wife, Kelsea Ballerini, and believe me, it’s swoon-worthy, the overall body of work is a solid and diverse debut.
Evans, who NYCountry Swag named a 2018 Artist to Watch, co-wrote all eleven songs on the album with producer, Chris DeStefano and a handful of Nashville’s hottest hit-makers including Josh Osborne, Ashley Gorley, Josh Kear, Jaren Johnston, and Jon Nite. Additionally, Evans joined forces with DeStefano to play every instrument on the LP.
“My album is a collection of songs that I wrote over the last two years,” said Evans in a statement. “It’s my story. It’s leaving behind everything and everyone you know to chase down a country music dream on the other side of the world. It’s the excitement of the unknown, it’s the fun, it’s the loneliness and it’s the struggle. It’s losing someone and finding the strength to keep your head up and make them proud. It’s meeting a girl, falling hopelessly and marrying the love of your life. It’s the Things That We Drink To.”
The album opens with “American,” an anthemic up-tempo about an American girl who enchanted Evans from the get-go. It’s immediately evident that the track is about Ballerini, without ever veering into cheesy. He credits feeling at home whenever he’s with his American girl. “She’s American, making my world better than it’s ever been,” He sings. “One part Norma Jean, and one part Marilyn. She’s making me fall in love with everything…American.”
The album continues up-tempo with the aforementioned “Kiss Somebody” and “I Do,” both which provided Evans’ with his initial introduction to the U.S. country scene. There’s “Day Drunk,” which like the former two tracks appeared on his EP, and is easily one of the ear-wormiest tracks on the album. The song celebrates living in the moment and getting day drunk, enjoying happy hour on the hour. It’s sure to be a staple of Evans’ live shows and merchandise for years to come, and we fully expect this to be the song that the crowd sings back at the top of their lungs, drinks buoyantly raised in the air.
While other songs simply allude to Evans’ relationship with Ballerini, the golden-voiced blonde lends her vocals to the album’s first ballad, “Dance with Me.” Written by Evans and DeStefano, the romantic track is easily a future first-dance classic. Using Ballerini on background vocals here makes it all the most personal, but also adds a haunting hint to an already sweet track.
Other highlights of the album include the title track, “Things That We Drink To,” a sparse piano ballad made uber-powerful by an anthem of voices in its chorus. “We Dream” creates another compelling moment, using a choir of children’s voices to emphasize the song’s wishful meaning. They remind us, “When we look at the world and don’t like what we see, we close our eyes and we dream.”
The album concludes with “Young Again,” which has been a favorite of ours since we first heard it. Channeling his inner Ed Sheeran, “Young Again” celebrates a perfect night out with friends that just can’t last long enough. “So what the clock says 3am?” Evans asks, “We will never be this young again.”
With Things That We Drink To, Morgan Evans has released a stellar debut album, cementing himself as Australia’s most exciting country music export since Keith Urban.
Things That We Drink To Track List & Songwriters:
- “American” – (Morgan Evans, Chris DeStefano, Josh Osborne)
- “Kiss Somebody” – (Morgan Evans, Chris DeStefano, Josh Osborne)
- “I Do” – (Morgan Evans, Chris DeStefano, Ashley Gorley)
- “Song for the Summer” – (Morgan Evans, Chris DeStefano, David Hodges)
- “Day Drunk” – (Morgan Evans, Chris DeStefano, Lindy Robbins)
- “Dance with Me” feat. Kelsea Ballerini – (Morgan Evans, Chris DeStefano)
- “Me on You” – (Morgan Evans, Chris DeStefano, Josh Osborne)
- “Things That We Drink To” – (Morgan Evans, Chris DeStefano, Josh Osborne)
- “We Dream” – (Morgan Evans, Chris DeStefano, Jaren Johnston, Jon Nite)
- “Everything Changes” – (Morgan Evans, Chris DeStefano, Blair Daly)
- “Young Again” – (Morgan Evans, Chris DeStefano, Josh Kear)
Things That We Drink To 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.
Evans hits the New York area in December for Chris Young‘s “Losing Sleep Tour” along with Dan + Shay. Tickets and more information here. For upcoming news and announcements from Morgan Evans, visit morganevansmusic.com, and follow the rising star on his journey via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
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