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Parker McCollum: ‘Gold Chain Cowboy’ – Album Review

Parker McCollum’s new album Gold Chain Cowboy, out now July 30th, serves as his major-label full album debut. Take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the 10-track project.

McCollum opens the album with the upbeat number “Wait Outside” written by McCollum, Jon Randall (who produced it), and Randy Rodgers. While identifiably country, there are hints of alternative rock in the production and McCollum’s vocal delivery.

The second track is “Dallas” – a heartfelt country-rock moment featuring fellow Texan Danielle Bradberry. Her harmony is sweet and subtle, and the use of organs in the song is very compelling.

To Be Loved By You” is McCollum’s current single to country radio, and to put it quite simply, something about the song truly makes it absolutely addicting. “Hell, maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong // Finding out why shouldn’t take this long // Easier said than done, I guess // I’m a little bit harder to love than the rest”. The lyrics fall off the tongue so effortlessly, even if a little bit angry and pleading – it makes you want to listen to the song again and again.

What Parker McCollum does best on Gold Chain Cowboy is refrain from sounding like everyone else on country radio. On the record, there are moments intense enough to remind one of Death Cab for Cutie; lyrics as evocative as Jason Isbell; and phrasing as existential as John Mayer.

“I want to have Luke Bryan success, singing Chris Knight-caliber songs,” he shares in a press release. “To have longevity, you can’t sacrifice integrity to get on the radio. People know the difference, look at Willie, look at Strait. I knew I could do Texas and never leave, or come to Nashville and do the pop-country thing. My goal is to ride the middle.”

You hear all of that on a song like “Falling Apart”, which lives in the middle of the album. A Miranda Lambert co-write, you can hear they are songwriters from Texas who also love their 80s music. For fans of Mayer’s recent album Sob Rock, this is a must-listen.

“Heart Like Mine” is a standout, with a rhythm that is classically Americana and lyrics that leave you aching. The drums are soft, and the harmonies add just the right amount of depth that is needed.

“With ‘Heart Like Mine,’ I’d had that first verse for four years”, McCollum says. “I’d been saving it, because I always knew it was special. I’d almost pulled it out a couple of times in co-writes that weren’t working. But I knew not to. When I sat down with Tony, I knew he was the one. I told him those lines, and he went, ‘That’s fucking badass.’ We finished it in an hour… It was unbelievable.”

“Rest Of My Life” is a solo McCollum write, and it’s incredibly introspective. “I’m shakin’ like winter but I just can’t eat // It’s just one of those late nights that I’m never gonna beat //And I lay down for a moment and my eyes start closin’ // I can’t help but wonder why, yeah it’s just the rest of my life”. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to find clarity, and that is definitely apparent in this song.

Gold Chain Cowboy is sonically more polished than his first two albums, but the heart of it stays the same. He is young but well-traveled. The album is equal parts Texas and Tennessee, and that combination makes it all the more successful. For an album that walks the line of an identity crisis to finding yourself all over again, there is a precision and cohesiveness to the record that makes it clear why McCollum is country music’s next big thing.

Gold Chain Cowboy Tracklist:

  1. Wait Outside (Parker McCollum, Jon Randall, Randy Rogers
  2. Dallas ft. Danielle Bradbery (Parker McCollum, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers)
  3. To Be Loved By You (Parker McCollum, Rhett Akins)
  4. Drinkin’ (Parker McCollum, Lee Miller)
  5. Falling Apart (Parker McCollum, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall, Randy Rogers)
  6. Heart Like Mine (Parker McCollum, Tony Lane, Ben West)
  7. Why Indiana (Parker McCollum, Erik Dylan, Randy Montana)
  8. Rest Of My Life (Parker McCollum)
  9. Pretty Heart (Parker McCollum, Randy Montana)
  10. Never Loved You At All (Parker McCollum, Corey Crowder, Brian Kelley)

Our Picks:

  1. “Heart Like Mine”
  2. “To Be Loved By You”
  3. “Rest Of My Life”
Parker-mccollum-gold-chain-cowboy

Parker McCollum makes his major-label debut with his new album ‘Gold Chain Cowboy.’

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

To keep up with Parker McCollum, you can find him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Gold Chain Cowboy 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.

BREAKING: Dierks Bentley Announces 2021 ‘Beers On Me’ Tour

Dierks Bentley has announced The Beers On Me Tour kicking off this Summer 2021. Check out the full list of dates below.

Joining Dierks Bentley on tour will be show openers, Riley Green and Parker McCollum.

The show hits the New York area on Friday, September 24th at Jones Beach Theater and we’re getting you early access tickets to the show! Click here to purchase tickets using our presale code: SWAG beginning on Thursday, 5/13 at 10AM-10PM!

For all other tour dates, tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, 5/14 at 10AM ET at dierks.com.

Join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Dierks Bentley shows and releases.

Check out the dates below for the full list of shows…

2021 THE BEERS ON ME TOUR DATES

8/13/21 Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre
8/14/21 Boise, ID – Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater
8/15/21 Bend, OR – Les Schwab Amphitheater
8/20/21 Irvine, CA – FivePoint Amphitheatre
8/21/21 Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
8/22/21 Stateline, NV – Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s***
8/26/21 San Diego, CA  – North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
8/27/21 Phoenix, AZ – Ak-Chin Pavilion
8/28/21 Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater
9/16/21 Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach
9/17/21 Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
9/18/21 Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion
9/23/21 Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion
9/24/21 Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
9/25/21 Boston, MA – Xfinity Center
10/07/21 Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre*
10/08/21 Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center*
10/09/21 Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live*
10/15/21 Indianapolis, IN – Ruoff Music Center**
10/16/21 Pittsburgh, PA – The Pavilion at Star Lake**
10/21/21 St. Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre*
10/22/21 Rogers, AR – Walmart AMP*

*Riley Green and TBD
**Mitchel Tennpenny and TBD
***Riley Green Only

Photo by Justin Aharoni (@jaharoni) for NYCountry Swag

Photo by Justin Aharoni (@jaharoni) for NYCountry Swag

Parker McCollum Lands First Number 1 Song with “Pretty Heart”

Parker McCollum’s “Pretty Heart” is officially a number one song, marking his first chart-topper of his career.

Rising country star and Texas superstar, Parker McCollum officially has a hit song to his name! The singer-songwriter’s major label debut “Pretty Heart” is the top song on the charts, representing a major feat for the talented artist.

The lead single “Pretty Heart” off McCollum’s EP, Hollywood Gold has been steadily climbing the charts for months. It is clear that the song has truly touched the hearts of fans across the nation. The achingly beautiful declaration of remorse for a break-up is the songwriting country music deserves.

“And what does that say about me / I could do you like I did / That I could break an angel’s wings / What does that say about me / Then I stood there like a fencepost / As you drove off in your car / What does it say about me / Now that I’ve broke your pretty heart / Your pretty heart”

Although McCollum may be new to the mainstream country music scene, he is an experienced singer and songwriter, who has released critically-acclaimed independent projects in the past. “Pretty Heart” going number one is just further affirmation that the singer-songwriter is one to look out for.

Fans can anticipate more new music out by the singer in the future, and we are definitely excited about it. Congrats to Parker and his team for all the success!

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

To keep up with Parker McCollum, follow him on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Hollywood Gold EP is now 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 the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. Specially selected foundations that support our heroes will receive donations from each purchase. Honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice is what we are dedicated to.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Parker McCollum: Hollywood Gold – EP Review

Parker McCollum’s major-label debut EP Hollywood Gold is available now, October 16th on all streaming platforms. Watch below in our Up Close & Virtual Interview as we chat with McCollum about the new music + read our full EP Review below as we dive deeper into the collection of songs.

Texas native and NYCountry Swag 2020 Artist to Watch, Parker McCollum signed with MCA Nashville/UMG Nashville last year, and since then, has garnered thousands and thousands of fans across the nation. Today marks the release of his brand new EP, his major-label debut Hollywood Gold.

The EP is a dedication to McCollum’s craft, his fans, and of course his loved ones. It’s name pays homage to the singer-songwriters grandfather, his prized horse, and the message his grandfather always taught him to “just keep swinging.” His grandfather also played a role in why the singer chose to record the only song off the record that he did not write, “Like A Cowboy.” Written by Chris Stapleton and Al Anderson, the tune is a pensive song about having an internal identity conflict.

“Girl I will love you the best that I can / But you need to know that I am what I am / And I’m not a bad guy, but I’m not a good guy at heart”

On “Young Man’s Blues,” McCollum shares his version of home and what his home has ingrained in him. His vulnerability and honesty in this song is unparalleled. Similarly, fan-favorite tune, “Hallie Ray Light” showcases the same type of honesty and relatability. Named after his girlfriend, the song focuses on showing affection to a new lover.

The lead single “Pretty Heart” is steadily climbing the charts and has truly touched the hearts of fans across the nation. The achingly beautiful declaration of remorse for a break-up is the songwriting country music deserves.

“What does it say about me / Now that I’ve broke your pretty heart / Your pretty heart”

The closing track “Love You Like That” is another standout. The singer-songwriter confesses his insecurities in love as he sings about feeling like he could fly with his girl, but he doesn’t know if he can do the same despite promising everything to try.

“I never really had no peace of mind / I’m a running heart / Living fast / I never understand you putting up with that / Cause I’m the same man that I’ve always been / And I hope that that’s the man you’re loving in the end”

Of course, each of the six tracks off the record paints a unique picture, running the gamut of the human experience, all of which showcase McCollum’s talent at connecting to fans. “If I’m going to sing these songs every night, I’ve gotta mean the things I”m singing about. I can’t fake it,” declared McCollum in a recent press release.

Hollywood Gold Parker McCollum

Parker McCollum’s debut EP, Hollywood Gold, is available now, October 16th.

It has been a long time coming for McCollum, whose lifelong dream has finally been recognized with this project. Overall, each track puts a modern twist on true-blue traditional country music, without blurring the genre lines. His roots in Texas country music are truly embedded in his signature sound. If this is any inclination of what a full-length project will look like from the artist, fans are in for a real treat, because the singer-songwriter’s staying power is undeniable.

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

To keep up with Parker McCollum, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

NYCS Picks:

  1. “Pretty Heart”
  2. “Love You Like That”

Hollywood Gold EP Tracklist:

  1. Young Man’s Blues
  2. Like A Cowboy
  3. Pretty Heart
  4. Hallie Ray Light
  5. Hold Me Back
  6. Love You Like That

Hollywood Gold EP is now 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 the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. Specially selected foundations that support our heroes will receive donations from each purchase. Honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice is what we are dedicated to.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Parker McCollum Saddles Up “Like A Cowboy” On New Song

Parker McCollum Like A Cowboy

Parker McCollum’s brand-new song, “Like A Cowboy” is a lyrical masterpiece that would fit right into a classic western film. The tune is an aching, quality country song for many reasons. Firstly, it’s written by Chris Stapleton and Al Anderson, and they have spun stellar country songs over the years.

“When I first heard ‘Like A Cowboy’ I probably listened to it 15 times in a row,” shares Parker in a press release. “It made me think of my Grandpa who would have loved this song. He was one of my best friends and he believed in me so much that I know he’d be happy to see everything that’s happened in my career.”

Chris Stapleton is, well, Chris Stapleton. He’s a superstar artist and songwriter, having penned innumerable songs for Nashville’s biggest acts over the years before finally stepping in the spotlight as an artist himself. Al Anderson, for the younger or newer country fans, is also a hit songwriter and longtime staple in the country music songwriter’s scene. His songs have been cut by Vince Gill, Tim McGraw, Patty Loveless, George Strait, Alabama, Diamond Rio, LeAnn Rimes, and the late Joe Diffie, just to name a few. So, the result of coupling a song written by the talented writers with a great country singer? A GREAT song.

Secondly, a good song sometimes has the ability to paint beautiful imagery of its story, and “Like A Cowboy” does just that. The mid-tempo ballad tells the story of a guy struggling with the constant tension of how his girlfriend and others perceive him, and who he really is. “I’m not a bad guy but I’m not a good guy at heart,” McCollum sings in honest sincerity, pleading for someone to understand him.

The song ultimately ends with a resolution in the bridge: tough as the conflict is, the cowboy has to be true to himself and embrace his core identity.

“Wish I could tell you that I’ll always stay / But I can’t help it, God made me this way / And I know that there’ll come a day / I’ll ride like a thief on the run / Say goodbye to the things that I’ve done / And I’ll fly like the wind to the sunset / Just like a cowboy should do,” the Texas native sings, as he readies to saddle up and leave.

McCollum, while an established Texas country music superstar, is just starting to cut his teeth in the commercial country music scene. He signed his first record deal with Universal Music Group Nashville’s MCA Records in June last year, and then launched his major label debut song “Pretty Heart” in September. In just a few weeks, on April 27, “Pretty Heart” will go for adds on country radio as the singer’s first introduction to mainstream country.

This is only the beginning of a lasting career in country music for Parker McCollum, one of our 2020 Artists to Watch and we’re excited to watch him establish his roots as a mainstream country superstar soon!

To keep up with Parker McCollum, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Like A Cowboy” is now 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.

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

NYCountry Swag’s 2020 Artists To Watch

The New York Country Swag team loves to support rising artists and introduce our followers to the best new music in the genre. Since our inception four years ago we have named rising stars like Russell Dickerson, Luke Combs, Brett Young, Jordan Davis, Mitchell Tenpenny, and Jimmie Allen as our Artists to Watch. Check out our picks in 2017, 2018, and 2019 before checking out the 10 artists we picked to have a huge 2020 below.

 

Parker McCollum

10. Parker McCollum – This Texas native may have just released his first song on a major label, “Pretty Heart” this past summer after signing with MCA Nashville/UMG Nashville but in the past, he has independently delivered two full-length projects. Focusing on the depth and artistry behind songwriting, McCollum has found a clever balance between traditional Texas country and what is coming out of modern Nashville. We are looking forward to more new music in 2020 and to catch a live show.

For Fans Of: Cody Johnson, Riley Green

Listen: “Pretty Heart”

Stay Connected: @ParkerMcCollum

 

Madison Kozak

9. Madison Kozak – Growing up in Ontario but moving to Nashville when she was only 14 years old, Kozak has been chasing the music dream, honing in on her incredible ability to write a song that is filled with emotions for years. We first heard of the songstress in May we were instantly hooked and since then 2019 was a whirlwind for the budding star, signing a record deal as the flagship artist on a female-driven label, Songs & Daughters and touring the country on three different tours.  Label head, Nicolle Galyon in partnership with Big Loud Records saw something special in this songwriter artist after hearing “First Last Name”, a song she wrote for her father and ever since has been releasing exceptional songs. She kicks off the new year by heading overseas to tour with Chase Rice.

For Fans Of: Kelsea Ballerini, Carrie Underwood

Listen: “OMG ILY”

Stay Connected: @Madison_Kozak

 

King Calaway

8. King Calaway – Last January we were introduced to a brand new band comprised of six talented musicians from different places, Caleb Miller (Ohio), Chris Deaton (Nashville), Simon Dumas (Gibraltar), Jordan Harvey (Scotland), Chad Michael Jervis (Delaware), and Austin Luther (Minnesota). One of the very first time they played for fans before their music was released, King Calaway performed a showcase with NYCountry Swag in New York City and all in attendance were blown away.  Their impeccable harmonies, catchy tunes, and larger than life personalities have since caught the attention of country music fans across the nation. Their debut record, Rivers features 12 tracks written by some of Nashville’s biggest songwriters and covers an array of topics.

For Fans Of: One Direction, Rascal Flatts

Listen: “Rivers”

Stay Connected: @KingCalaway

 

Chris Bandi

7. Chris Bandi – When a song is streamed 60 million times, you know there is something special about it. St. Louis native, Nashville based artist and songwriter Chris Bandi is pushing his major-label debut, “Man Enough Now” to country radio this year and the tale rings true of realizing your mistakes, owning them and hoping for a second chance. Bandi will hit the road with Matt Stell in the upcoming months and sources say plans to release an EP as well.

For Fans Of: Gavin DeGraw, Chris Lane

Listen: “Man Enough Now”

Stay Connected: @ChrisBandi

 

Ingrid Andress

6. Ingrid Andress – We first caught songwriter/artist Ingrid Andress last February during an NYC showcase right after she was signed to Warner Music Nashville/Atlantic Records and her unique presence, storytelling ability, and hilarious realness caught our attention immediately. With songs like “More Hearts Than Mine”, “Both”, and “Lady Like”, Andress pushes the boundaries of topics usually discussed in the country format, forcing new followers to pay attention. She was named one of CRS New Faces for the class of 2020, a prestigious honor and she joins Dan + Shay on the first leg of their arena tour in 2020.

For Fans Of: Kacey Musgraves, Ashley McBryde

Listen: “More Hearts Than Mine”

Stay Connected: @IngridAndress

 

Ross Ellis

5. Ross Ellis –  Although a bit more undiscovered than the rest of our list, Ross Ellis has a powerhouse, unique voice and his latest single “Buy and Buy” is compelling and begs for repeat spins. By weaving a powerful visual of religion, addiction, and wasted time, “Buy and Buy” is as profound as it is innovative. As a songwriter, Ellis co-wrote one of Tim McGraw’s latest singles, “Neon Church” and a song on Home Free’s new album, Dive Bar Saints called “Dreamer” but in 2020 we hope to hear new songs from Ellis as we continue to champion rising artists and songwriters like him.

For Fans Of: Brett Young, Dan + Shay

Listen: “Buy and Buy” 

Stay Connected: @RossEllisMusic

Avenue Beat 2020 Artists to Watch

4. Avenue Beat – Our most unique, fresh, and different act on this year’s Artists to Watch is Avenue Beat. Comprised of three girls from Illinois, Sami Bearden, Savana Santos, and Sam Backoff they are original and their creative new wave country is as endearing as it is inventive. Their harmonies, melodies, and frankly genius lyrics are relatable to a niche of young women that are thirsty for someone to sing about what they are going through. Signed to Big Machine Label Group’s Valory Music Co. in partnership with Tape Room Records they released their debut self-titled EP in July and toured with Mason Ramsey in 2019. If you are looking for some sass with a side of sensational lyrics, look no further than Avenue Beat.

For Fans Of: Walker Hayes, Kelsea Ballerini

Listen: “Be A Bro” 

Stay Connected: @AvenueBeat

 

Jameson Rodgers

3. Jameson Rodgers – Last February we interviewed Jameson Rodgers for our Swag Spotlight feature, right after he released his EP which featured his break out hit, “Some Girls”. This Mississippi native is now planted firmly in Nashville, writing and creating music as a Sony Music Nashville artist and has toured with Luke Combs on his Beer Never Broke My Heart tour and just announced that in 2020 he will embark on his very first headlining tour. Relatable lyrics that are set to a modern-day twang, Rodgers has already garnered a ton of fans and hopefully the new year we can expect a full-length album.

For Fans Of: Jon Pardi, Luke Combs

Listen: “Some Girls”

Stay Connected: @JamesonRodgers

 

Gabby Barrett

2. Gabby Barrett – She may have become a household name because of her stint on American Idol but Gabby Barrett is showing Nashville and the country music community that women want to hear a female write a song from her own perspective. Her debut radio single, “I Hope” not only features her sultry voice but has a twist in the chorus that will make men and women fall in love with her honest take on a bad breakup. Having toured with Chris Lane, Barrett is already included in major festival line ups including Stagecoach, Tortuga, and New York’s own TrailBlazer.

For Fans Of: Maren Morris, Lauren Alaina

Listen: “I Hope”

Stay Connected: @GabbyBarrett_

HARDY 2020 Artists to Watch

1. HARDY – Already having a huge break out year in 2019, HARDY celebrated four number one songs as a songwriter, “God’s Country”, “I Don’t Know About You”, “Simple”, and “Up Down”. He also released one of the most prolific albums of the year, HIXTAPE Vol. 1 which features 17 different artists, all singing about growing up in a small town. Emerging as an artist, HARDY has created a persona that makes you envy his Mississippi upbringing, making ‘redneck’ cool. In October we caught his sold-out headlining NYC show and just announced, the songwriter and artist will join Cole Swindell and Thomas Rhett on the Center Point Road tour which will make it’s away across the country this summer.

For Fans Of: Morgan Wallen, Florida Georgia Line

Listen: “One Beer” 

Stay Connected: @HARDY

 

 

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Parker McCollum Launches Strong With Major Label Debut “Pretty Heart”

Parker McCollum Pretty Heart

Rising country star Parker McCollum has just dropped his first major-label song since signing with MCA Nashville/UMG Nashville in June, joining artists Vince Gill, Sam Hunt and fellow Texans George Strait and Kacey Musgraves on the roster.

“Pretty Heart” is also the first release from McCollum for the year. “It’s been a while since I’ve put new music out,” shared the Conroe, Texas native in a press release. “Pretty Heart’ is for everyone who has ever come out to support us on the road, listened to and shared my music. All I have ever wanted is to write country songs and sing country music, and I’m excited for the opportunity to expose even more folks to my music.”

The pensive tune was penned by McCollum and Randy Montana, and produced by GRAMMY-winning producer and multi-platinum songwriter Jon Randall, who’s worked with the likes of Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, and Brad Paisley. Upon first glance at the title, “Pretty Heart,” one might assume this as another upbeat tune that sings praises about a girl’s beauty and irresistibility. However, just a couple seconds in and you’ll realize it’s the complete opposite.

What truly makes this song a standout is the undeniably palpable post-breakup remorse and regret McCollum expresses in his self-reproachful lyrics.

“What does that say about me? / I could do you like I did /That I could break an angel’s wings / What does that say about me? / That I stood there like a fencepost as you drove off in your car / What does that say about me? / Now that I broke your pretty heart / Your pretty heart”

It doesn’t hurt too that this song is sonically appealing, with a hook that compels listeners to sing along by the time the second chorus comes along. We can already picture thousands of people singing this back at his live shows.

Although McCollum is just now making his major-label debut, the 27-year-old is no stranger to the music scene. In fact, to date, he has released two highly-acclaimed full albums independently, amassed millions of streams and over 500,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, had his song “I Can’t Breathe” played on Sirius XM The Highway, and collaborated with Danielle Bradberry on her cover of the popular Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga hit, “Shallow.”

Starting this month to November, McCollum will be headlining shows in Athens, GA; Baton Rouge, LA; Chicago, IL, and many more cities, including an already-sold-out one at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth. For tickets and more information, go to https://www.parkermccollum.com.

To keep up with Parker McCollum, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Pretty Heart” 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.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

What We’re Listening To: August Picks

We recently welcomed a team of writers to the NYCountry Swag Squad. With that, we’re excited to introduce a new monthly feature with our “What We’re Listening To” playlist, where we will highlight the wide range of our team’s favorite songs and artists when it comes to the country music genre.  At the end of the day, we are all fans first with a passion for country music and are eager to share with you all what we’ve got on repeat each month.

Find below each of our team member’s favorite songs and why in our August picks. Then be sure to give our Spotify account a follow and listen to our favorite tracks!

 

AUGUST PICKS:

 

Stephanie Wagner, Founder

Pick: “Drunk Me” – Mitchell Tenpenny
Songwriters: Jordan Schmidt / Justin Wilson / Mitchell Tenpenny

Mitchell Tenpenny’s “Drunk Me” is easily one of my favorite songs out there right now.  We were fortunate enough to hear the song back in early February when Tenpenny performed it live at CRS.  The song puts a unique twist on a typical heartbreak song.  Where most associate heartbreaks with getting drunk, Tenpenny goes the opposite route with the idea that someone would need to get sober to stop thinking about the other person, because “Drunk Me” can’t stop thinking about you. 

Pairing the powerful lyrics with Tenpenny’s voice is key in highlighting the emotions on this track.  It’s catchy, it’s relatable, it’s emotional, it’s everything you need in a hit song.”

 

Christina Bosch, Managing Editor 

Pick: “Somebody’s Daughter” – Tenille Townes
Songwriters: Tenille Townes / Luke Laird /  Barry Dean

“For my very first pick, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to choose Tenille Townes.  I went back and forth between two of the songs she released on her Living Room Worktapes but finally landed on “Somebody’s Daughter”.  In big cities like New York and Nashville, homelessness is an absolute epidemic and every person reading this piece or listening to music, in general, has experienced what Townes’ expresses in her latest single.  Waiting for the light to change, to escape the awkward stares that the man or woman on the corner gives, while holding their cardboard sign.  Instead of looking away, the songwriters tell the tale of curiosity, how did this person end up here when they were probably just like us growing up.   Reminiscing on a made-up past for the woman in the shaggy clothes just wanting a couple of dollars, Townes’ brings light to a dark situation that we all encounter, but does it in a way that country music sorely needs right now.

“Bet she was somebody’s best friend, laughin’ / Back when she was somebody’s sister / Countin’ change at the lemonade stand / Probably somebody’s high school first kiss / Dancin’ in a gym where the kids all talk about someday plans / Now this light’ll turn green and I’ll hand her a couple dollars /  And I’ll wonder how she felt when no one caught her / She’s somebody’s daughter”

I am always a fan of the drinking songs that we can enjoy at tailgates and raise a glass to, but when a song and a songwriter come along that really tugs at my heart, I will always choose the raw, real side of country music.”

 

Nicole Bochinis, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Tequila” – Dan + Shay
Songwriters: Dan Smyers / Jordan Reynolds / Nicolle Gaylon

When I first heard “Tequila” by Dan + Shay I knew it was going to be a huge hit. I have been a fan of them since their Where It All Began days and to see the success and growth they have experienced is truly amazing. Being able to watch and listen to the duo take the CMA Fest stage for the first time ever was something I will never forget. To hear every single person in the stadium sing “Tequila”, the debut single off of their third studio album, was incredible and seeing their faces was priceless. “Tequila” is one of those songs that you just want to drive around with your friends, windows down, and sing at the top of your lungs. Songs like that are the reason I fell in love with country music. There is just something so special about a song that showcases so much talent and Shay’s vocals are truly incredible. “Tequila” is not just the song of the summer, it is the song that will be listened to year after year.”

 

Kelly Cunningham, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Home and a Hometown” – Hannah Ellis
Songwriters: Hannah Ellis / Mark Trussell / Nicholas Wayne

“”Home And A Hometown” by Hannah Ellis describes my life in a nutshell. Ellis coming out with this track was perfect timing for me.

“One I wanna make it, One I wanna make proud / No matter which one I’m leaving still wanna turn around”

These lyrics could not be more accurate in my life as it is right now. I’m constantly going back and forth from New York to Nashville. It’s comforting knowing I’m not the only one who feels this way. The story behind her lyrics and how she sings it with such emotion is why Ellis is going to be a game-changer in country music.”

 

Taylor Felvey, Contributing Writer

Pick: “I Can’t Breathe” – Parker McCollum
Songwriters: Parker McCollum / Micky Braun 

“Perhaps I’m biased, but the song I love in 2018 comes from Texas native, Parker McCollum. From the opening chords of the guitar to first keys of the piano there is a sound so welcoming and somewhat familiar.  I couldn’t stop listening.

McCollum draws you in with his raspy voice making you believe in every word he sings. The song is his explanation of his love of being torn between two things – her and the road. But the road keeps calling.  “I’m on the road missin’ home / missin’ the road while I’m home”

He sings about loving and leaving and hoping what he’s doing is enough to keep her. One of the lines sings “I can’t believe you think I’m lyin’ / what are you not buyin’” – take one listen to the soul and the pleading in McCollum’s voice and not only will you buy it, but you’ll have the song on repeat guaranteed!”

 

Crystal Fenton, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Get Along” – Kenny Chesney
Songwriters: Josh Osborne / Ross Copperman / Shane L McAnally

“I love, love, love Kenny Chesney–his music, his vibe, his love of the sea and island life!  It’s hard to pick a favorite song; “Get Along”, off of his latest album Songs for the Saints, really resonates with me.  When I heard him say the song’s message is one of taking negative energy and turning it positive, I loved it even more!  This is an intention I am always trying to practice; there’s good in any situation, experience, event or person.  It’s said attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure, so why not make life one big, happy adventure of love and good energy?!  That is what I hear in this song and in Chesney’s voice and why I love it so much!”

 

Molly Holmberg, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Caught Up in the Country” – Rodney Atkins
Songwriters: Connie Rae Harrington / Jordan Mark Schmidt / Mike Walker

Rodney Atkins’ infectious “Caught Up in the Country” roped me in at first listen.  It is his first single in four years and features the Fisk Jubilee Singers who add their hand clapping and foot stomping to the song for a new kind of rhythm.  “Caught Up in the Country” talks about the best parts of country living: being outdoors with endless dirt roads and surrounded by countless stars in the sky.  The words hit me directly as it reminded me of my time living in the country and the beauty of it all.  Between the dirt roads to the house, green fields surrounding me, and the clearest nights, this song captures it, making me feel as if I was there just by listening to the song. 

 Atkins says “When I heard ‘Caught Up in the Country’ I just felt like the two things had to come together. It doesn’t sound like anything I’ve recorded or released before and that also excites me.”  This song feels like an anthem when it comes on with my friends and family, singing it as loud as we possibly can! While I may not live in the country anymore you can always find me going back to and caught up in it all.”

 

Nicole Piering, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Why Can’t She” – Adam Craig
Songwriters: Adam Craig / Jon Nite / Matt Rogers

“It was nearly impossible for me to pick my favorite song of 2018 thus far, but as I scrolled through my Spotify playlist listening to some contenders, I kept going back to Adam Craig’s “Why Can’t She.”  In my mind, this song is everything that a great country song should be.  It tells a powerful story, it has a strong hook and music, and Craig’s vocals are among some of the best in the business.  He seriously conveys all of the song’s emotions and sings the heck out of it.  I was first introduced to country music by a Rascal Flatts concert in the early-2000’s, and that era of country music is definitely my favorite.  This song wouldn’t sound out of place during that time period, which makes me love it all the more.”

 

Nicole Sellati, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Downtown’s Dead” – Sam Hunt
Songwriters: Josh Osborne / Sam Hunt / Shane L McAnally / Zach Crowell

“Downtown’s Dead” by Sam Hunt is one of my favorite songs of the year so far.  It’s one of those songs you can’t help but get stuck in your head and after waiting for what felt like years Hunt finally released a new hit single in May.  I’ll admit when I first heard the song I thought it was interesting, but after playing it again I really started to love the vibe “Downtown’s Dead” gave off. The song is different from what plays on country radio and I could see the song branching off to a more pop-friendly radio station.  “Downtown’s Dead” has a more modern take on country music than Hunt’s older music.  I love when artists take risks to change up their sound and this song makes me excited to see what comes next.”

 

Danielle Tornatore, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Must’ve Never Met You” – Luke Combs
Songwriters: Jonathan Singleton / Luke Combs / Robert Williford

“There have been countless great songs released in 2018 so far, but there is one in particular that has stood out to me; “Must’ve Never Met You” by Luke Combs.  This song was part of his deluxe version of his previous album This One’s for You, released in 2017.  There is something about this song that gets me pumped up from the second it starts, from the initial drums to the mini guitar solo.  I relate to this song on a personal level, the lyrics are so well written. The clichés he uses in this song are so accurate when you meet somebody that is so special to you, you just cannot seem to get over them.  This song is just incredible overall and I hope Combs will add it to his concert setlist in the near future.”

 

Shanna Vitaliano, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Most People Are Good” – Luke Bryan
Songwriters: David Fraiser / Ed Hill / Josh Kear

“When I listen to “Most People Are Good”, off Luke Bryan’s latest album What Makes You Country,  the lyrics take me back to growing up without a care in the world. It is easy to get lost in our day to day busy life, where time can pass us by too quickly.  This song creates a sense of simplicity in life, and an optimistic outlook in believing in others with every verse. It reminds us that even with all of the negative news going on around us, there are still people in this world with good intentions.  I love this song because the lyrics are a breath of fresh air as it speaks to loving your mother and accepting everyone for who they are.  It is the perfect reminder to put aside our differences and appreciate our time here on earth.”

 

Erica Zisman, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Leaving New Orleans” – Jordan Davis
Songwriters: David Fraiser / Jordan Davis / Lonnie Fowler

“I fell in love with the relatable stories and real-life feelings, at the heart of country music several years ago; however, Jordan Davis and his debut album, Home State recently reignited my passion for all things country music.  One of my favorite songs off the album- and this year (so far) is “Leaving New Orleans”.  It embodies the art of story-telling and incites emotions in the listener, all wrapped up in a feel-good melody with an unmatchable cool vibe.  I have been lucky enough to witness Davis’ magic, as he acoustically played the song, for the first time, with less than 50 people present.  These are the little moments I live for- bearing witness to country music magic from up and coming artists, who find a way to pull at your heartstrings and make you feel a part of their story.  I encourage any music lover to give “Leaving New Orleans” a listen.”

 

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