On his debut album, Here’s to Anyone, Laine Hardy enlisted some of Nashville’s biggest names. Produced by Michael Knox, the album features songs written by Jessi Alexander, John King, Josh Thompson, Steve Moakler, Erik Dylan, Busbee, and a ton of Music City’s best songwriters. While the liner notes may read like a ‘who’s who’ of Nashville, it’s Hardy’s authentic and impassioned delivery that makes Here’s to Anyone an impressive debut.
In 2019, Hardy endeared himself to TV viewers, claiming the title of American Idol and signing to Buena Vista Records / Industrial Media’s 19 Recordings. Television continued to play a role in his career after an appearance on The Bachelorette included a performance of “Memorize You.” The romantic track immediately became a fan-favorite, garnering over 8.6 million streams since his appearance.
Inspirations for the Livingston, Louisiana native include Luke Combs, Elvis Presley, and Marc Broussard, hints of each are evident on this album. “I’m a down-home guy, from Southeast Louisiana,” he says. “I just want to show all my fans that I’m not going to stray away from who I am, and where I come from. I feel like we really did that with the album and I’m very proud of it.”
Opening with the twangy, blues-tinted “Authentic,” the Louisiana-Broussard-inspiration is apparent on the driving ode to Southern living, which features a bluesy guitar solo. “Well, it’s who we are // It’s what we do // The way the good Lord meant it // It’s in the blood, tires in the mud // It’s just the life that we’re livin’ // It’s tried and true, can’t buy it new // If you think you can, can’t you don’t get it // If it burns your lips when you take a sip // You gonna know that it’s authentic”
The album’s snappy title track continues that vibe, as Hardy celebrates the way he was raised. On the punchy, up-tempo tune, he invites listeners to “Go on raise em’ up // If you were raised up right.” Like “Authentic,” Hardy is staying true to his Southern roots, singing of the things he knows all too well. “Watermelon crawl, small town Saturday night,” he sings, before raising a toast.“Here’s to anyone who knows anything about that.”
There’s a hint of homesickness on Here’s to Anyone, a theme that works its way through songs like “Tiny Town,” “Ground I Grew Up On,” “California Won’t” and “The Other LA.” On the sparse “Tiny Town,” Hardy’s voice is the star, as he sings longingly of the tiny town he loves so much. “What I wouldn’t give right about now,” he croons, “To be back in my tiny town.”
Likewise, “Ground I Grew Up On” continues that theme of missing his small town as Hardy takes a girl on a tour of his home. “Don’t blink, you might miss it all,” he warns his passenger. “Might look like nothin’ but gravel roads // And tractors rollin’ over them fields // And prayin’ that we get a little rain soon // And cuttin’ loose in hand me down wheels // And knockin’ them Friday night beers back // By the train tracks and thinkin’ that // I’d never miss this place when I got gone //But that’s ground I grew up on.”
While much of Here’s to Anyone is a love letter to Hardy’s Louisiana upbringing, there are also songs celebrating the love of someone special, including the aforementioned “Memorize You,” “One of Those,” and “For a Girl.” On the tongue-in-cheek “For a Girl,” Hardy sings of all the things a man does for love, including missing opening day, letting a buck get away, and buying a pawn shop guitar.
Finally, on the album’s closing track “Let There Be Country,” Hardy goes out on a high note. He’s a country boy through and through and he can’t imagine life without all of the things that make him who he is. “Let there be country // Boots kicking up dust // Let there be neon light and a sky full of stars above // Let there be mud tires, bonfires // And hometown girls in shotgun seats // Let there be country // For country boys like me.”
While Here’s to Anyone is the ultimate declaration of love to Hardy’s upbringing, it’s also an uplifting celebration of small towns, Saturday nights, and special someones that anyone can relate to.
Here’s To Anyone Tracklist
- “Authentic” (Jessi Alexander/Matt Jenkins/David Lee Murphy)
- “For a Girl” (Wendell Mobley/Neil Thrasher/Tony Martin/Johnny Dailey)
- “Here’s to Anyone” (Jacob Rice/John King/Derrick Southerland)
- “Memorize You” (Michael Tyler/Eric Arjes/Steven Dale Jones)
- “One of Those” (Laine Hardy, Jordan Reynolds, Laura Veltz)
- “Comin’ Down” (Justin Weaver/Josh Miller/Josh Mirenda)
- “Ground I Grew Up On” (Josh Thompson, Brett Beavers & Brandon Kinney)
- “California Won’t” (Mike Busbee, Andrew Dorff & Jon Nite)
- “Tiny Town” (Michael Tyler Spragg)
- “The Other LA” (Laine Hardy, Erik Dylan Andy Sheridan & Dan Isbell)
- “Let There Be Country” (Jason Afable, Steve Mokler & Tim Nicholas)
- “Here’s to Anyone”
- “Memorize You”
- “Let There Be Country”
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Hardy made his Grand Ole Opry debut on August 28, performing “Authentic” and “Other LA.” He will be headlining the Monster Energy Outbreak tour this fall,with special guests including Chris Bandi, Kylie Frey, and Nick Walsh. Tour dates and ticket information can be found here.
Here’s To Anyone is 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.