NYCountry Swag’s “What We’re Listening To” playlist highlights 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 January picks. Then be sure to give our Spotify account a follow and listen to our favorite tracks!
Stephanie Wagner, Founder
Pick: “Every Little Thing” – Russell Dickerson
Songwriters: Casey Brown, Parker Welling, Russell Dickerson
“It’s no surprise that one of my favorite artists is Russell Dickerson, so every time he releases a new song to radio, I always have it playing. “Every Little Thing” is such a fun, upbeat song from Dickerson’s debut album, Yours, and when he performs the tune live, his energy lifts the entire venue to another level. I’m excited for the world to hear more of this song and can’t wait to see it become his third #1 song.”
Christina Bosch, Managing Editor
Pick: “Confetti” – Gone West
Songwriters: Colbie Caillat, Danelle Reeves, Eric Arjes, Jason Reeves, Justin Kawika Young
“Recently I was driving and heard a song on Sirius XM The Highway that sounded a lot like Little Big Town, I looked down to see the name of a new band, Gone West, singing “Confetti”. After I did some digging I realized the main aspect of why I loved what I heard, one of the female voices was very familiar, singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat. Caillat teamed up with her husband Justin and husband and wife Danelle and Jason to create Gone West. Their incredible harmonies draw you in while the catchy lyrics will get stuck in your head.
“Yeah, my heart didn’t break when I broke into that old bottle of fancy champagne / I’ve been saving for the perfect time/ You can’t rain on my parade / Got my freedom, gonna celebrate / When you left, I was so damn ready / No tears fell, just confetti.”
Their debut EP, Tides was released last Friday and each song is better than the last. I am looking forward to hearing more from these musicians and in the meantime, I’ll be over here dancing to “Confetti”.
Nicole Bochinis, Contributing Writer
Pick: “GIRL” – Maren Morris
Songwriters: Greg Kurstin, Maren Morris, Sarah Aarons
“GIRL” by Maren Morris is her brand-new song and I am loving every second of it. Since the moment I heard it, I have had it on repeat all day every day. Recently life has been throwing curveballs at me and this song is the perfect pick me up. Every girl should know that they are stronger than they think, and it is the perfect women empowerment song. I can’t wait to see what other new music Maren has in store for us!
Kelly Cunningham, Contributing Writer
Pick: “All On You” – Mitchell Tenpenny
Songwriters: Andrew Albert, Jordan Schmidt, Mitchell Tenpenny, Nick Fradiani
“When I first heard Mitchell Tenpenny’s new album, Telling All My Secrets, this was the first track that stood out to me. The catchy, quick lyrics that make you want to sing along is the most unique melody I’ve heard from Tenpenny so far. His voice can pull off any note and he made an outstanding impression on me with this new album. This track can be a potential single I see in Tenpenny’s future. ”
Taylor Felvey, Contributing Writer
Pick: “Honky Tonk Flame” – Tyler Childers
Songwriters: Tyler Childers
If you’d like to experience old-school country with a modern age feel – look no further. The moment I heard this song I downloaded every album Tyler Childers has and put the song on repeat. The opening chords and story remind me of something Johnny Cash would write. The love song tells the story of a man trying to woo his new woman, who is no-nonsense, and how he’ll need to step up before he steps out with her.
“Hold on now buddy won’t you wait up a minute / You’re mistaken if you think I’m the same as them skirts you’ve been chasing all over town / Along with that honky tonk flame / I’m a woman with a love so true / Truth of the matter, I’d give it to you / You just got to slow down and quit acting that way / Burning your barn in this honky tonk flame”
Molly Holmberg, Contributing Writer
Pick: “Really Shouldn’t Drink Around You” – Teddy Robb
Songwriters: Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally, Trevor Rosen
“Since seeing Teddy Robb a few times in Nashville during his Teddy and Friends shows that we covered, the music that he previewed from his upcoming EP was amazing. Now one of the artists we are most excited about in 2019 is our own Swag Spotlight star.
Just after signing to Monument Records, Robb has been working nonstop with some of Nashville’s best songwriters to create his first project. His newest release following “Lead Me On” which has been streamed over 4 million times, “Really Shouldn’t Drink Around You” was released at the beginning of the year. The new song is relaxed and easy going. Describing the decisions that are made when drinking around an ex, Robb decides that maybe it isn’t always the best idea. The song is currently being featured on Spotify’s ‘New Boots’ playlist and Apple Music’s ‘Breaking Country’ playlist. We are patiently waiting for the anticipated release of Robb’s new project and cannot wait for it to come out!”
Nicole Piering, Contributing Writer
Pick: “Running Man” – Randy Houser
Songwriters: Jeffrey Steele, Randy Houser
“When I began listening to Randy Houser’s new album, Magnolia, I was immediately taken by how mature his voice sounded and how deeply personal the singer’s lyrics had become. Since releasing the album, Houser has revealed that he wasn’t always proud of his past musical releases, but that he’s very proud of his newest album.
Despite the fact that I truly enjoy every song on the album, it was track 11, “Running Man,” that immediately captured my attention. The song tells the story of a man who discovers what he was made for, but continues running through lives, filling his “pockets full of empty things.” It’s easy to look at this song as autobiographical for Houser, and it’s even more powerful listening to it that way. On this song, Houser challenges himself vocally and lyrically, and this song is truly a must-listen. “Every show’s got an end/ Where’re you gonna go then/ Running man?”.”
Olivia Reese, Contributing Writer
Pick: “Wilder Horses” Brandon Lay
Songwriters: Brandon Lay, Jon Nite, Ross Copperman
“Wilder Horses” by Brandon Lay is the epitome of a nostalgic song. The lyrics provide a vivid image of missing someone and days gone by “I think about you a little too much these days/Riding no-name lost back roads we take/Ain’t easy for gettin’ out innocent stays”
I’ve been listening to this song on repeat since it came out late last year after really enjoying other music Bradon Lay has released. The imagery of the lyrics is what really got me hooked on this song. It’s like a quick story and you can imagine yourself there experiencing the simultaneous feeling of innocent love and longing for past days “Whoa I wish I was down in Dixie tonight / Where we were / Wilder Horses, stronger whiskey, faster two lanes / Every other mile marker you kiss me”
Nicole Sellati, Contributing Writer
Pick: “Puzzle of Us” – Adam Doleac
Songwriters: Adam Doleac and Anthony Smith
“Recently, Adam Doleac kicked off the year releasing not one but two tracks. Both songs, “Famous” and “Puzzle of Us” are incredible, showing off his pure talent and smooth vocals. It’s hard to pick which of the two is my favorite, but if I had to choose one, it would be “Puzzle of Us.” I fell in love with the story behind the song, showing that inspiration can easily come from anywhere.
“The only piece missin’ is you / Fallin’ into my kiss / Your hand slippin’ through my fingertips / Locked up in my arms where you perfectly fit / I wanna hold you so close / I can feel your heartbeat / And be the air that you breathe / And together you and me can put together all the colors of love / Yeah well that’s the puzzle of us”
Doleac took a moment with a stranger and turned it into a beautiful love song. “Puzzle of Us” has easily become a favorite of mine, and I can’t wait to see what he comes out with next!”
Danielle Tornatore, Contributing Writer
Pick: “The Way That She Loves” – Tyler Hilton
Songwriters: David Barnes, Jon Green, Jordan Reynolds
“One Tree Hill is my all time favorite show, so of course I have to listen to all of the music Tyler Hilton puts out. I love his previous albums because of his unique sound and raspy voice, but his newly released album, City on Fire, has to be my absolute favorite. There’s just something about the country twist on this one that is sticking with me, particularly “The Way That She Loves.” This song reminds me of something that would play in an early 2000s teen movie and I wholeheartedly mean that in the best way possible. Between the lyrics, the beat, and his voice, this has to be my favorite on the album and possibly of all of his music, obviously besides the iconic “When The Stars Go Blue” (if you know, you know).”
Shanna Vitaliano, Contributing Writer
Pick: “Michigan for the Winter”
Songwriters: Aaron Eshuis, Neil Mason, Ryan Hurd
For this month, the song I chose is Ryan Hurd’s “Michigan for the Winter” written by himself, Aaron Eshuis and Neil Mason of The Cadillac Three. With his commanding vocals and captivating lyrics, you can practically feel the loneliness and emptiness Hurd sings about throughout the mid-tempo breakup song.
With lyrics like: “I can’t stay watching you move on all February long/I’m going to Michigan for the winter/Between the dark and the light of the sky and the snow/Most people go south for the weather/Instead of hiding out in the cold,” Hurd takes us on a journey escaping a broken heart and returning to his home state of Michigan.
I am sure all of us in the NY area including myself can relate to the cold weather feeling Hurd sings about in “Michigan for the Winter” regardless if we are going through a breakup or not. It is the perfect song to play on a chilly day while relaxing on the couch with a glass of wine and the fireplace going! I am excited Hurd will be singing this song live Friday, January 25th at his sold-out show at The Bowery Ballroom in New York City!
Erica Zisman, Contributing Writer
Pick: “Heart’s Having a Hard Time” – Filmore
Songwriters: Hannah Ellis, Jason Massey, Tyler Filmore
“This month it was really difficult for me to pick a song, especially with all the great records that have dropped recently. After much deliberation, I kept going back to Filmore’s “Heart’s Having a Hard Time.” I discovered the song thanks to NYCS’s 2019 Artists to Watch list. I had heard of Filmore, but never really listened to any of his songs. Right away, I found “Heart’s Having a Hard Time” to be completely relatable and heartbreaking all at the same time.
The feel of the song is right on trend but still feels fresh and new. More importantly, this track makes me excited to hear more from the recording artist, which is always exciting for me. I encourage you to give “Heart’s Having a Hard Time” a listen if you haven’t already.”
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