NYCS First Impression: Ernest ‘Locals Only’


While you may not be familiar with Ernest just yet, chances are you’ve heard a song or two that he’s had a hand in writing. With cuts by Florida Georgia Line (“Dig Your Roots”), Chris Lane (“Big, Big Plans”), Jake Owen, LoCash, Mason Ramsey, and more, he’s been making a name for himself in Nashville as a songwriter. Today (October 11), he released his debut project as a Big Loud Records’ artist, a nine-track collection entitled Locals Only.

With a sound described as “tropical cowboy,” Ernest co-penned every song on the project with some of Nashville’s biggest names, including Corey Crowder, Rodney Clawson, Jordan Reynolds, and FGL’s Brian Kelly. Producers on the album include Joey Moi, Jacob Durrett, and Jordan Schmidt.

The album is an uptempo mix of groovy, feel-good tracks that are sure to have you bobbing your head from the first seconds through the closing notes. Opening with “I Think I Love You,” the first track sets the tone for the record with its hints of island mixed with clever lyrics. The vibe continues on the album’s second track, “Insane,” where Ernest sings of how a woman makes him crazy, in the best possible way.

“Sugar” is one of the album’s highlights, and would easily fit in on both country and pop radio. “Coolin’ (The Island Interlude)” takes the island vibe to a whole new level, sounding like a song that would’ve been recorded by Kenny Chesney. “Brain On Love” is a clever spin on the old adage of one having a “brain on drugs,” but here, Ernest celebrates his “brain on love,” but don’t worry, he sings. “I like it, I like it.” Other highlights include “Hard Way” and the album’s title track, “Locals Only.”

Locals Only is a solid debut release from Ernest that’s sure to carve out his niche as one of Nashville’s tropical cowboys. With catchy lyrics, laid-back melodies, and an effortless vibe, it’s only a matter of time before Ernest becomes one of music’s newest stars.

Locals Only Track Listing
1. “I Think I Love You” (Jacob Durrett, Ernest K Smith)
2. “Insane” (Jacob Durrett, Ernest K Smith)
3. “Sugar” (Rodney Clawson, Jordan Reynolds, Ernest K Smith)
4. “All We Need” (Charlie Handsome, Ernest K Smith, Craig Wiseman)
5. “Keep You Close” (Jacob Durrett, Ernest K Smith)
6. “Coolin’ (The Island Interlude)” (Brian Kelley, Jordan Schmidt, Ernest K Smith)
7. “Brain On Love” (Zale Epstein, Ernest K Smith)
8. “Hard Way” (Corey Crowder, Mark Holman, Ernest K Smith)
9. “Locals Only” (Brian Kelley, Jordan Schmidt, Ernest K Smith)

Ernest is currently on tour with Mason Ramsey and will hit the road early next year with Chris Lane.

For more information on ERNEST and upcoming tour dates, please visit his official website, or follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Locals Only 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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