Nate Barnes: You Ain’t Pretty – EP Review

Nate Barnes’ debut EP, “You Ain’t Pretty,” including the viral title track and others co-written by Steve Moakler, Jason Sellers, and more, is out now, June 4th. Take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the new music.

As the flagship artist on Quartz Hill Records, country newcomer Nate Barnes is off to a strong start. Following the late 2020 release of his acclaimed single “You Ain’t Pretty,” the singer/songwriter released his debut EP of the same name today, June 4th.

Featuring five new tracks, including songs co-written by Steve Moakler, Jason Sellers, Neil Thrasher, and more, the You Ain’t Pretty EP is a solid batch of music to introduce Barnes to the country music world. “This collection of songs is near and dear to my heart. There are some up-tempo barnburners as well as some soulful ballads. Whether I wrote them or not, each song tells a story that I can personally relate to and each song is a little piece of me,” says Barnes in a recent statement. “We had a lot of fun making this project and I feel so fortunate to have worked with some of the best songwriters and producers in the business to craft my first-ever EP!”

The EP is focused around the title track, which has garnered quite a bit of attention, including 15 million TikTok impressions and over 1.2 million streams since its release, and rightfully so. Co-written by Barnes, Jimmy Yeary, and Sellers, “You Ain’t Pretty” is a stirring romantic track celebrating a woman that’s always pretty in his eyes. I ain’t ever seen you looking any less than a ten // Every time it’s like an angel walked in // Stealing my heart, again and again, baby,” he croons. “I’ve seen your hair up girl, and I’ve seen it fall // Makeup on, and makeup off // Inside out, I’ve seen it all, believe me // But I ain’t ever seen you girl // When you ain’t pretty.”

On the You Ain’t Pretty EP, the theme of “ain’t” carries through three of the five songs, including the collection’s opener, “Ain’t Got a Shot” and “If This Ain’t Heaven.” While the latter is a romping celebration of love for a beautiful place, the former puts a spin on the typical country breakup song. Written by Ron Hatch, Moakler, and Aaron Eshuis, “Ain’t Got a Shot,” opens with a bluesy guitar riff, Barnes’ soulful voice crooning of love lost. Like many country songs, he’s seeking solace at the bottom of the bottle to heal his broken heart, but even that’s not enough. “If Tennessee straight // Can’t make her memory fade // Tell me what kind of chance do I got,” He laments, “Even whiskey ain’t got a shot.”

One of the EP’s highlights is “Right About Me,” a catchy song about opposites attracting. Written by Michael Delaney, Thrasher, and Sellers, “Right About Me” celebrates the kind of love that may not make sense on paper, but somehow, works. The song is a throwback to early-2000s country with a perfect chorus crafted for a live show call out. “Right about me, wrong about you,” Barnes sings in a way that’s just begging for a microphone to be outstretched to an adoring audience. 

Although Nate Barnes may be a relative newcomer to the country music scene, the You Ain’t Pretty EP is a solid introduction to the rising star.  With over 15 million TikTok impressions on his first single, it’s clear that the singer-songwriter has hit a chord with country fans, and we expect even bigger things in his future.

You Ain’t Pretty EP Track List:

  1. Ain’t Got a Shot (Rob Hatch, Steve Moakler, Aaron Eshuis)
  2. Right About Me (Neil Thrasher, Michael Delaney, Jason Sellers)
  3. You Ain’t Pretty (Nate Barnes, Jimmy Yeary, Jason Sellers)
  4. If This Ain’t Heaven (Taylor Davis, Wendell Mobley, Jason Sellers)
  5. I Love You Too (Lance Miller, James McNair, Brandon Day, Jason Sellers)
Nate Barnes debut EP, 'You Ain't Pretty', is available now, June 4th, on all streaming platforms

Nate Barnes debut EP, ‘You Ain’t Pretty’, is available now, June 4th, on all streaming platforms

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You Ain’t Pretty 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.