When you combine the influence of hair metal bands with your Georgia roots, it results in the creative sound of country music newcomer, Travis Denning. His debut EP, Beer’s Better Cold, released today (May 15th) and contains six tracks, five of which the 27-year-old from Warner Robbins co-wrote. “I want people to come away thinking ‘Who in the hell was that?'” he says of his first major-label project. “And ‘Where can I hear more?'”
“Where That Beer’s Been” starts off the record. This song gives us a taste of who Travis Denning is; a simple, southern boy who likes to let loose and have a good time. “I don’t know where that beer’s been, but I know where it’s going,” he sings.
The lead single, “After a Few” is climbing to the top of the country charts; it currently sits at number six on Billboard Airplay. Written by Denning, Kelly Archer, and Justin Weaver, this song tells the story of how a few drinks is all it takes for the singer and his former lover to make a mistake they will both regret in the morning. The electric guitar is prevalent on this track, showcasing his rock-influence. Denning describes this sound as “a hypnotic Tom Petty vibe.” Watch the music video below:
The next song, “ABBY” will likely be the next single as it is getting a lot of airplay on satellite radio. “ABBY” is an up-tempo, breakup song in which the protagonist is happy to finally end his relationship. Abby, however, is not the name of the other girl, it stands for “anybody but you.” We heard this song for the first time back in December when Denning opened for Riley Green at the Gramercy Theatre. “It’s not about one girl, and it’s not about all girls, this song is just about that one person that you don’t give two shits about anymore in your life,” Denning announced at the show. The songwriters (Ashley Gorley, Chase McGill, Matt Jenkins) use a fun and clever acronym to describe this unfortunate, yet common situation.
“Won’t make me go crazy like you know who / and her name is ABBY / that’s anybody but you”
In the next track, “Tank of Gas and a Radio Song”, Denning reminisces of good times just driving and fooling around with ex. He says the relationship was like a tank of gas and a song on the radio, as the best things in life don’t last long enough.
We anticipated another drinking song with the title track “Beer’s Better Cold” but Denning just uses the phrase to begin his list of the common facts of life. Unfortunately, the list that takes a melancholy turn as it closes with the fact that his ex won’t be back in his life anytime soon.
“Touchdowns-six, seven with a kick / a good song hits home and it’s always gonna be like that / Yeah, that’s just the fact, that beer’s better cold and she ain’t coming back”
The EP ends with a love song, “Sittin’ By A Fire.” Denning turns down a bonfire party with the boys because he was already sitting by a fire, meaning the person he is with. The sparks in her eyes and her red-hot kiss is all he needed to convince him that this was a better way to spend his Saturday night.
“We wanted the core of these songs to sound like a dad-gum rock band,” Denning said in a press release. “I wanted it to be guitar, bass, and drums, and there was something cool about starting there. It really anchored the songs on this power trio, in-your-face thing, and that was such a key-switch in my head. It was like ‘Alright, this is it.'”
Growing up, Denning listened to all types of music from Motley Crue, The Allman Brothers Band, and Outkast. He moved to Nashville when he was 21 and began writing music for Jason Aldean, Justin Moore, Chase Rice, and others. He tallied his first top-25 hit for Michael Ray with the song “Her World Or Mine.” His break-out as an artist came with his original song “David Ashley Parker from Powder Springs”, a fun, teenage anthem about a boy with a fake I.D.
“I feel like a lot of people today come from where I come from – we just like music and it doesn’t matter what you call it,” Denning said. “I’m gonna make music for people like that.”
Denning has already toured alongside artists such as Riley Green, LANCO, Dustin Lynch, and others, performing mostly covers. The release of this EP expands his catalog and allows him to elongate his sets and perform original material. Although we are uncertain when live shows will resume, Denning is scheduled to hit the road with Sam Hunt on his SOUTHSIDE Summer Tour; a great opportunity to showcase these songs to country music fans all over the US.
- “Beer’s Better Cold”
Beer’s Better Cold is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music 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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