NYCS First Impression: Randy Houser ‘Magnolia’
After a three year hiatus, country music recording artist Randy Houser has released his fifth studio album entitled Magnolia. The record features perfectly crafted lyrics, instrumentals, and vocals from start to finish. Each of the 12 tracks were co-written and co-produced by the singer, making this his most personal project to date.
The inspiration for the album is just as unique and interesting as each song. According to a recent press release, Houser chose to focus on a different path and sound, setting up camp in East Nashville at his friend and co-producers Keith Gattis’ studio. Each track was heavily influenced by the singer-songwriter’s own experiences, growing up in ‘The Magnolia State’ also known as Mississippi. Every song off the LP feels fresh, organic, and stripped down, keeping Houser’s gritty and commanding vocals at the forefront.
The album begins with Houser’s said to be, favorite song off the record, called “No Stone Unturned”. The track packs a quiet punch, with the cool guitar riffs that are constant, but it’s the entertainer’s vocals and relatable lyrics that really shine. Houser seeks out his path in life, as he reflects on his current journey throughout the song.
The next two songs on the album feature female counterparts. The talented Lucie Silvas lends her vocals to the beautiful “Our Hearts,” while, Hillary Lindsay duets with Houser in the heartbreaking, “What Whiskey Does”. The latter happens to be the lead single off the record. Both songs are polar opposites lyrically and sonically; however, are still two of the more powerful songs off the record.
Houser continues to play with the gamut of emotions in another track entitled “What Leaving Looks Like”. Another poignant break-up song, Houser showcases his artistry, as he deals with the feelings associated with knowing that his lover is leaving and the relationship is coming to an end. The ballad will leave listeners awestruck. “This ain’t my first ride / So come on and make it hurt / Do your best and do your worst / Put me through hell,” he croons.
Other highlights off the record include the honky-tonk inspired song “Whole Lotta Quit.” The upbeat track is radio-friendly, faster-tempo, and feels similar to Houser’s smash hit “How Country Feels,” from his 2013 album of the same name. Additionally, the track “New Buzz” is worth mentioning too. The song features backing vocals and guitar assistance from TJ and John of Brothers Osborne. The catchy chorus and enticing rhythm adds a different dynamic to the record.
Overall, Houser showcases true artistry with Magnolia, proving that he doesn’t need to rely on overproduction to create a great body of work. Houser shared in a recent press release that “Magnolia has been my beacon of light and restored my spirit and my truth. It’s also the most daring and honest piece of work I’ve made in my life,” and that truly shines through on each track.
Magnolia 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.
Next up, Houser will play a series of shows and appearances in major cities such as Nashville, Los Angeles, and Dallas. Houser hits New York City on January 15th for Nash FM’s 94.7 special Up Close and Country segment at HMH State 17th. Win tickets from NY Country Swag for the exclusive event here.
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