Erin Kinsey: ’40 East’ – EP Review

Erin Kinsey’s debut EP, 40 East featuring the viral hit, “Just Drive,” is out today, March 25th on all streaming platforms. 40 East is sure to be the soundtrack to all your summer road trips. Listen to the brand new music below and check out our full review.

Drawing inspirations from the likes of Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift, rising singer-songwriter Erin Kinsey is determined to make a splash in country music. For the 21-year-old Texas native, her debut EP, 40 East, is about showing listeners who she is, as both an artist and a person.

“Naming this debut EP ‘40 East’ is very special to me,” shares Kinsey in a statement. “Highway 40 East is the road that gets me most of the way from Texas to Nashville, and it’s a road I’ve driven many times since I started coming to town with my family, my boyfriend, my friends, and Chewy (my dog). All of these songs, and this project, are a reflection of my life up until now, and one of the biggest parts of my story is chasing this crazy dream of mine. What I didn’t know, is that 40 East was taking me to so many of my dreams coming true, including this EP.”

Kinsey moved to Nashville at the age of 17 and began working on her craft. It paid off quickly with the viral hit and first release from the EP, “Just Drive.” The twangy and romantic mid-tempo tells the tale of a girl and a boy who don’t need to do anything fancy except drive around and listen to music. Inspired by a situation with her longtime boyfriend, Kinsey told Country Swag about her inspiration for that song in an exclusive interview. “He made a playlist and we were listening to it together,” she began of her longtime boyfriend on their way to a fancy date, “I remember about halfway there, a thought came into my mind of just like I wish it was further away because I’m having so much fun with him driving around.”

Likewise, “This Ain’t Heaven” talks about finding solace in someone’s arms. On the up-tempo, she admits that she’s “so caught up in the way, your arms wrapped around me,” that she’s convinced she’s found heaven on Earth. Meanwhile, she finds home with someone special on the airy and ethereal “I Got You.”

And I got the Texas sky // When I look into your eyes // It’s like I never left,” She sings. “If home is where the heart is // I can’t lose // ‘Cause I got you // Boy, I got you // Turns out it doesn’t matter where we are // The best part of home // Still holds my heart.”

On “Hate This Hometown,” Kinsey wants to leave her hometown behind her, but she just can’t. Once again, her special someone is tied to every street and every moment in this town in a way that just brings back the best memories. While most songs about hometowns are filled with nostalgia or bad memories, Kinsey offers a clever twist on the usual trope. She can’t hate her hometown because he’s so intimately tied to it. She admits that she was ready to fly and leave the place in her rearview, but it’s impossible.

“It’s amazing what a little time and space can do to a place // When I drive down these roads // See you and me at 16 // When I never could know // Coming back would be so sweet // Every chance I wanna go now // Every memory makes me slow down // You make it hard // To hate this hometown”

“Better On Me” is the EP’s penultimate track, showing Kinsey’s sassy, moving-on-from-an-ex side. She may be returning his stuff here, but she’s feeling a tad bit petty in the best way possible.

“It looked better on me // You said that that faded green // Sure did bring out my eyes // And boy, I hate to agree // But it looked better on me // Hey, if it helps you sleep // Then I’m glad you got it back // Even though we both know that It looked better on me”

The 40 East EP is bookended with a radio edit of “Just Drive,” and we can’t wait to hear it on our favorite country stations. Erin Kinsey, a 2022 Country Swag Artist to Watch, is certainly a rising star, and we suspect that “Just Drive” is about to be her first of many hits, and the perfect soundtrack to all your summer road trips.

40 East EP Tracklist:

  1. “Just Drive” (Erin Kinsey, Michael August, Josh Ronen)
  2. “This Ain’t Heaven” (Erin Kinsey, Michael August, Josh Ronen)
  3. “I Got You” (Erin Kinsey, Barrett Baber, Lonnie Fowler)
  4. “Hate This Hometown” (Erin Kinsey, Dave Cohen, Kathleen Higgins)
  5. “Better On Me” (Erin Kinsey, Michael August, Josh Ronen)
  6. “Just Drive” (Radio Edit) (Erin Kinsey, Michael August, Josh Ronen)

Erin Kinsey’s debut EP ’40 East’ is officially here!

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news and announcements about future Erin Kinsey releases.

To keep up with Erin Kinsey, follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

40 East EP 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.


5 Things to Expect from Erin Kinsey’s Debut EP ’40 East’

We chatted with country singer-songwriter, Erin Kinsey about her new EP, 40 East, out this Friday, March 25th. Here are five things to expect from the upcoming project.

  1. When writing her grooving and exciting single “Just Drive”, she wanted to combine Paramore guitars with country lyrics.

“I walked into the write and was like, ‘I don’t know why we couldn’t put the big guitars that are in Paramore songs in a country song” and I honestly think that if I had brought it up to any other two writers in Nashville, they would’ve thought I was crazy.”

  1. “Hate This Hometown” is one of her favorite songs she’s ever written, and it’s a truly personal track.

“I came up with the idea [for this song] on the way to the writing session… I was just thinking about how quick I was to leave my hometown, but yet how often I go back there. I graduated high school a year early; I moved to Nashville literally the day after walking the stage and I go back all the time. I said I wouldn’t, but I always do.”

  1. The debut single “Just Drive” is one inspired by her own experience commuting to Nashville.

“I’m from a small town East of Dallas called Rockwall, and I’ve made the drive all the way to Nashville many times… and I’ve found out that there are not a ton of people I look forward to a nine-hour drive with. But with Josh, my boyfriend, I always look forward to it with him.”

  1. Dolly Parton cut her song “Pink”, an extremely poignant song with such significance to listeners everywhere, and with Kinsey specifically. 

“It was definitely something I did not expect. People always asked me if Dolly was on my cut bucket list, and I always say absolutely not. Because why would you set yourself up for heartbreak? That was never going to happen in my mind… but I wrote the song with [two amazing writers], Victoria Shaw and Jodi Marr after I found out someone close to me was going through a battle with breast cancer. We felt like it was something special… Victoria had this vision of getting women in country [and all genres] involved.”

  1. When asked to describe the EP in one sentence, she said….

“My life so far.”


Erin Kinsey’s debut EP, ’40 East’ out this Friday.

Check back this Friday, 3/25 for our full album review of Erin Kinsey’s product,  40 East.

To keep up with Erin Kinsey, follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Erin Kinsey releases.

Country Swag Reveals 2022 Artists to Watch

Introducing our 2022 Country Artists to Watch!

Over the past 6+ years of Country Swag, we have always loved to support rising artists and introduce our followers to the best new music in the genre. Since our first Artists to Watch list back in 2017, we have pinned rising stars like Luke Combs, Brett Young, Russell Dickerson, Walker Hayes, HARDY, Gabby Barrett, and more. Each year we choose ten new artists that we believe are destined for killer careers, our only rule when choosing is the artist can NOT already have a number one song.

Check out our picks in 20172018, 2019, 2o2o and 2021, before checking out the 10 artists we picked to have a huge 2022 below.


Listen: “I Hate Alabama”
Stay Connected: @ConnerSmithMusic

When we think 2022, we think CONNER SMITH. We were first introduced to this talented singer-songwriter in early 2021 when he joined us in New York City to film an acoustic session and interview. As Smith performed for our crew, it was obvious that everyone in the room could feel the magic from this talented artist. Just a few weeks later, after an overwhelming fan response to an unreleased song “I Hate Alabama” prompted Smith to officially release the track, the artist found himself in headlines everywhere. Barely 24 hours after it’s official drop, the Alabama Crimson Tide football team notoriously lost their game after a 19-week winning streak. Coincidence?

Conner Smith is destined to be a name stay in country music. His debut EP Didn’t Go Too Far is due out January 14th and fans can catch him on the road in early 2022 with Ryan Hurd.




Listen: “Zero Trucks”
Stay Connected: @AlanaSpringsteen

We first became familiar with Alana Springsteen with the release of “Think About You”, a relatable and catchy song put out to country radio with Curb Records’ artist, Filmore back in 2020. Continuing to impress with each new release, the 21-year-old officially dropped her studio debut EP, History of Breaking Up (Part 1) in September 2021. The project truly showcases her beautiful vocals and honest and raw songwriting. Paired with an infectious stage presence, Springsteen was an easy contender for our 2022 watch list.



Listen: “She Got That”
Stay Connected: @DrewGreen

Drew Green is a standout artist as the Tennessee native continues to blend genre lines making a one-of-a-kind sound uniquely his own. With hints of country, trap, and rap in his music, paired with his honest approach to songwriting and compelling storytelling, there is a song for everyone in this newcomer’s catalog. Check out his latest project, Dirt Boy Vol. 2 here.



Listen: “Cross Country”
Stay Connected: @Breland

Breland is indisputably an artist to pay attention to and the Jersey native has quite the collection of collaborations that serve as a testament to the music community’s appreciation for his undeniable talent. Songs like “My Truck” ft. Sam Hunt, “Throw It Back” ft. Keith Urban, Nelly’s “High Horse” ft. Breland + Blanco Brown, are just a few standout tracks with Breland’s name attached. However, his highly personal, yet relatable single, “Cross Country” is what helps us get to know the rising star. Cultivating a sound of his own matched with his infectious personality and energetic stage presence makes Breland a must-see act. Catch him on the road in 2022 with Russell Dickerson on the All Yours, All Night Tour.




Listen: “Never Til Now”
Stay Connected: @TheAshleyCooke

After having viral success on TikTok, Ashley Cooke has racked up millions of fans over the last nearly two years. The talented singer-songwriter was not only able to land the attention of new fans on the popular social app, but she was able to keep them. With each new music release she continues to impress with her heartfelt vulnerability in her lyrics and captivating vocals. Get to know Ashley Cooke with her debut EP, Already Drank That Beer – Side A here.



Listen: “Ride The Lightning”
Stay Connected: @WarrenZeiders

Warren Zeiders’ gritty vocals meshed with his own unique blend of country music and southern rock influences sets him apart from the pool of rising acts in the country music world. His lead single, “Ride the Lightning”, penned by himself along with Eric Paslay and Rob Crosby, will stop you in your tracks and have any listener captivated beginning to end. A Warren Zeiders x Morgan Wallen collab is a thought we’d like to put into the universe.




Listen: “Wilder Days”
Stay Connected: @MorganWadeMusic

Perhaps the most buzzed about artist of 2021, Morgan Wade is a name that will be around for years to come. Breaking out onto the scene with her debut project, Reckless, Wade delivers real, raw, and authentic lyrics in her music. The rising star can be found on the road with Luke Combs in 2022, a coveted spot that is sure to help even further boost her fanbase. Wade continues to stun on her latest release, “Run”, listen here.



Listen: “23 – Steel Mix”
Stay Connected: @ChayceBeckhamMusic

Chayce Beckham won the hearts of fans everywhere during his run on Season 21 of American Idol. The singer stunned throughout the series, ultimately claiming the winning title. The popular singing competition helped introduce fans to Beckham’s incredible tone and talent. After performing his own deeply personal song “23”, which he independently wrote, Beckham released the track and instantly saw it hit #1 on iTunes charts. Recently, the singer-songwriter teamed up with label-mate, Lindsay Ell for a brand new high-energy song, “Can’t Do Without Me” Listen here.




Listen: “Just Drive”
Stay Connected: @ErinKinseyTX

We first met Erin Kinsey this past fall when she joined us in New York City for an acoustic session and interview. Her positive and contagious energy is what got our attention, but her incredible vocal skills matched with her catchy and relatable lyrics are what kept us wanting more. The Texas native certainly has a bright future. Get to know the singer-songwriter in our spotlight interview here.




Listen: “Different Shade of Red”
Stay Connected: @LarryFleet

Larry Fleet’s debut single “Where I Find God” left us awestruck upon first listen and in high anticipation for a full-length project. Delivering 14 tracks, all in-which he had a hand in writing, on his debut album Stack of Records, Larry Fleet lived up to the hype. A combination of honest lyrics, staggering vocals, and country grit make Larry Fleet an artist to watch. Catch him on the road in 2022 with Morgan Wallen on The Dangerous Tour.

Like what you hear? Give a follow to our 2022 Artists to Watch Playlist here.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming announcements and releases.

Check out the latest tunes in country music on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.



Who Is Erin Kinsey? The Story Behind Her Journey to Country Music

Who is Erin Kinsey? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…


Photo by Sara Kauss

The Beginning:

This week, we bring you our interview with the incredibly talented country music newcomer, Erin Kinsey. The singer-songwriter is one to look out for! Growing up in a small town outside of Dallas, Texas, Kinsey was born to be a star.

“When I was growing up, I tried a lot of different things, but I didn’t really fall in love with music as a passion or a career option until I was like 12,” she begins. Like many of us, Kinsey dabbled in different interests, until she really found her love in music.

“I got a guitar for Christmas one year and it just spiraled into me learning how to sing and play at the same time and learn to write my own stuff,” shared the songstress. “It was the one thing that I set my eyes on that I just could not get enough of. I was just obsessed with it.”

Honing in on her love for country musicians like Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert, Kinsey took her craft seriously and worked to better herself in her teen years.“I started coming up to Nashville, when I was about 15 pretty consistently and by my senior year of high school, I graduated a year early, I was coming up almost once a month,” shared the singer.

When Kinsey finally graduated high school, her path to Nashville was clearly inevitable.

The Turning Point:

At just seventeen years old, and with her parents blessings upon her, Kinsey hightailed it to Music City. “I moved up to Nashville immediately after I graduated in 2018. I packed the U-haul all day, walked the stage at night and then drove off at 6AM. the next day,” she declared.

For her first few years in Nashville, it was really important to Kinsey to work on her craft. Armed with a desire to learn from the industry, she worked with everyone she could to grow her talent.

“For the first year and half to two years that I was here, I really just kept my head down and I wanted to get better at everything,” shared Kinsey. Adding, “Whether is was getting better in the writing room, getting better at guitar, or getting better at singing. I took the time to really grow and develop in a place where there was so many resources and every one knew what they were doing, and I did not.”

When the pandemic hit, Kinsey switched gears and began to focus on social media.“I really dove into more social media things at that time and tried to develop an audience,” stated the singer-songwriter. She found mild success pretty soon there after, and eventually her music went viral.


Kinsey got the courage to release her own music thanks to her fans on social media. First up, the singer teased debut single, “Drunk Too.” The song quickly gained over half a million views and likes on social media, adding to the singer’s growing confidence.

“At the root of the song, it’s really about embarrassment […] We went in the room and I had come up with the idea and the melody in the car on the way there,” she shared about the song. “It was the first song that I wrote that no matter how much time went by, I was really excited about it and that excitement never really went away.” The ballad was an incredible accomplish for the newcomer.

What followed was her song, “Just Drive,” a song that went unmistakably viral on social media. The upbeat, romantic song was inspired by Kinsey’s relationship with her longtime boyfriend and her desire to just be with him and drive around, listening to music. Recalling a past date in high school with him, going to a fancy restaurant for the first time, Kinsey remembers the feeling vividly.

“He made a playlist and we were listening to it together,” she began, “I remember about halfway there, a thought came into my mind of just like I wish it was further away because I’m having so much fun with him driving around.”

Most recently, Kinsey released her third song, the sassiest of them all, “Better On Me.” The new single was written with the same group of writers as the the former. It is already gaining traction on social media, and the singer is so proud of it, as she should be.

The sky is the limit for Kinsey going forward! Fans can expect more new music coming in 2022 and more music video content coming on her YouTube channel. “I’m going to be releasing more new music soon and I’m really excited to put that out into the world.”


Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Erin Kinsey announcements and releases.

To keep up with Erin Kinsey, follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Erin Kinsey’s music 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.