What We’re Listening To: May Picks

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 May picks. Then be sure to give our Spotify account a follow and listen to our favorite tracks!





Stephanie Wagner, Founder

Pick: “Think About You” – Alana Springsteen feat. Filmore
Songwriters: Alana Springsteen, Chris Gelbuda, Jeremy Lister

This month I chose Alana Springsteen and Filmore’s “Think About You”. The piano ballad gives off a pop-friendly vibe, but at its core, the lyrics speak country music. Describing two old flames and the tension that comes along with running into each other unexpectedly, the emotional song focuses on the ins and outs of mutual unspoken love.

“You walked in tonight and I watched the whole room fade around you / 
Oh I’m not alright I just act like I am because I have to”

Newcomer, Alana Springsteen flawlessly delivers the track while Filmore showcases his soft-spoken vocals in comparison to his generally more upbeat music that we are used to hearing from him. The two paired together make for a great duet in this beautiful song.


Christina Bosch, Managing Editor 

Pick: “Payin’ Hard” – Kip Moore
Songwriters: Blair Daly, Dave Nassie, Kip Moore, Westin Davis

From the first notes of the final song on Kip Moore’s masterpiece album, Wild World, I was hooked. “Payin’ Hard” clocks in under 3 minutes long but in that short time, you can feel true emotion as the regret-soaked ballad tells the story of sacrifices made to follow a dream.

“At the expense of my heart Lord, I’ve cashed in my soul / Chose this old guitar before the only love I’ve known / I gotta live with that, lose sleep with that when I close my eyes I’ll die with that yeah / My life’s a credit card, play now, pay later and I’m paying hard”.

For anyone who is pursuing an unconventional career whether it be music or not, “Payin’ Hard” is a quiet anthem, reflective on the choices you have made and what they have meant for your life.


Lucie Bernheim, Contributing Writer

Pick: “The Days” – Hailey Whitters
Songwriters: Ben West, Hailey Whitters, Hillary Lindsey

Hailey Whitters has been a longtime favorite of mine, and her sophomore record, The Dream, is one of my most-listened-to albums this year. I’m a senior in High School, and I would have graduated next month. “The Days” is like my personal mantra right now. For everyone, including me, this time at home has been a rollercoaster of feelings. When you’re young, you’re told that these are “the days” to look back on. You hear it in the movies and on the radio, and there’s even a magazine called Seventeen. When I turned eighteen in April, my perspective changed. I realized that these moments I had been waiting for look different, but I can still make the most of them. There are plenty of things I can still celebrate because time won’t slow, and the world is still spinning. In the words of Whitters, “instead of counting up the days, I just want to make them count.”


Dylan Bestler, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Detours” – Jordan Davis
Songwriters: Dave Turnbull, Jacob Davis, Jordan Davis

I feel like I didn’t know anything about Jordan Davis before this song, but after hearing it I now know about his whole life, which says a lot about how deep and beautiful this song is. He tells the story of what it was like growing up as a wild child with divorced parents to becoming the loving husband and father he is today. He thanks the good Lord for helping him find his direction and turning his life around.

I think this song is a big turning point for Davis in his career. His first few singles were fun and very radio-friendly, but it takes a lot of heart to release a song as vulnerable as this one and it really shows how much he has matured as an artist. I’ve been singing these lines in my head since the song was released:

“Yeah, I lost my way / Damn near lost my mind / Pedal to the metal, let the devil leave me blind / I was way outside the lines”


Kristina Callahan, Contributing Writer

Pick: “A Little Lime” – Jordan Davis
Songwriters: Jacob Davis, Jordan Davis, Josh Kerr

Jordan Davis delivers another jam with “A Little Lime” off his new EP. The upbeat, feel-good tempo makes me want to drive around with my windows down blasting.

“Oh, the next song’s kinda slow // I could pull you in close // Spin you around then wash it down with another round of // A little lime and a lot of tequila”

It’s the perfect summer song that describes meeting someone at a bar and immediately hitting it off. The Louisiana native teamed up with his brother, Jacob Davis and hit songwriter Josh Kerr for the song. I dare anyone to listen to this song and not want to scream it at the top of their lungs.


Erin Crosby, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Hey World” – Lee Brice
Songwriters: Adam Wood, Dallas Davidson, Lee Brice

“Hey World” is not only the type of song that I would regularly have on repeat for weeks. It’s not only a strong, stripped-down production of honest lyrics with a soft instrumental. It’s all of these things mixed with a worldwide understanding and mutual prayer that the world unplug from the rest of us. The coronavirus pandemic allows these lyrics to hold value with more depth which creates the song to strive solely based on relatability.

It’s pretty rare for a ballad to gain so much attention, but I am all for it when they do. In fact, Brice was practically forced to release this track after posting a clip of it on social media, and we’re glad he did. Besides, the world needs to hear this right now. It’s the official unofficial sponsor for when the quarantine becomes unbearable or when “normal life” seems unbearably far away. Despite the sorrowful words and slow melody, the song has a way of making one feel connected to the rest of the world. Brice is asking the world to leave us alone, but the world answers back with a sense of hope that bonds each of us together.


Alexa Ebner, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Slow Down Summer” – Thomas Rhett
Songwriters: – – 

Thomas Rhett has been giving the country music community many treats throughout this quarantine period – by sharing new, acoustic songs that he’s written. “Slow Down Summer” has been one of my favorites, with the soothing melody and heartfelt lyrics. Rhett sings nostalgically about a summer love that must come to an end when the season changes. The song is relatable to all, detailing the feeling of wanting something beautiful to last. The singer beautifully picks his guitar while his voice gently sings this mid-tempo ballad. He uses vivid imagery throughout the song, singing “tangled up with your lips on mine / I’ve never seen a brighter green in those eyes”. The listener is transported to the times in their lives when they’ve experienced something they cherish slip away. To listen, visit @thomasrhettakins on Instagram and head to his IGTV. I really hope that he releases these songs soon!


Julia Grubbs, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Here” – Mitchell Tenpenny
Songwriters: Jordan Schmidt, Marc Beeson, Mitchell Tenpenny

I think the most important thing I’ve learned over the last two months is to live in the moment because that is really all we have. The future is full of uncertainty, and nothing more than this minute is promised. Mitchell Tenpenny ultimately captures this idea in “Here”, which has been a regular on my playlist throughout May. He says we only have so many years, so I want to “go too far…play too hard…live it up”; basically just do everything we can to feel all of life’s emotions, good and bad, because that’s what makes life worth living. Why hold back? Why not say what you mean? Need a drive to release some stress? Turn on this song and sing it loud, enjoying the beauty and the heart of country music and the relief and community it brings to its fans.


Nicole Piering, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Champagne Night – Lady Antebellum
Songwriters: Andrew DeRoberts, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood, Dave Thomson, Ester Dean, Hillary Scott, Madeline Merlo, Patricia Conroy, Ryan Tedder, Shane McAnally, Tina Gezma

A song I can’t get enough of lately is “Champagne Night” by Lady Antebellum. While the song actually came from a songwriter on NBC’s hit show, Songland, it wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the group’s latest album, Ocean. The song celebrates not needing anything fancy to have a real good time, and the chorus reminds us that it’s not about what you’re drinking, but with who.
“Raisin’ plastic cups to a life of luxury/ C’est la vie on a Friday / We get dressed up in a blue jean tux/ And we go where we don’t hear the highway / Don’t need doubles and bubbles/ To get in all kinds of trouble/ Out in the country/ Don’t need a crystal chandelier/ To have a real good time / We’re drinkin’ beer on a champagne night”
“Champagne Night” is a fun, summer-ready anthem, and while most of us are still stuck inside, it’s nice to hear songs that remind us of normalcy and that better days are ahead.

Pick: “Single Saturday Night” – Cole Swindell
Songwriters: Ashley Gorley, Michael Hardy, Mark Holman

No surprise that my pick is “Single Saturday Night” by Cole Swindell. New music during this time has been something getting me through since we can’t enjoy live music and Swindell’s new song is no exception. It’s the perfect song to kick off the summer season with of course a White Claw in hand.
Pick: “Second Guessing” – Florida Georgia Line
Songwriters: Shane McAnally, Andrew DeRoberts, Benjamin Simonetti, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, Ester Dean, Geoff Warburton, Griffin Palmer, Ryan Tedder, Tyler Hubbard 

I’ve been a huge fan of the NBC series “Songland” since it premiered, but the episodes featuring country artists are obviously my favorite. I was excited to watch Florida Georgia Line on the show, but I didn’t expect to be so obsessed with the song they chose to record. This ballad has a smooth and sincere melody and one of my best hooks I’ve heard in a long time. With a title like “Second Guessing,” I like many people assumed the song would be about doubting a relationship. Instead, the lyrics paint a beautiful picture of the certainty that only comes with experiencing great love.

“Since I met you, I / I ain’t spent one second guessin’ / I made up my mind / I never knew, I / Just had to find my direction / Gettin’ lost in your eyes / Because I’ve turned days into nights / And spent all of my life askin’ questions / Now I don’t spend one second guessin’ “



Erica Zisman, Contributing Writer

Pick: “i don’t really like your boyfriend” – Avenue Beat
Songwriters: Sam Backoff, Savana Santos, Sami Bearden, Summer Overstreet

This month I ended up choosing another Avenue Beat song as my pick of the month by happenstance. “i don’t really like your boyfriend” has been stuck in my head, since the moment the songstresses previewed it on their social media. It is catchy, clever, and just so real. I cannot get enough of Avenue Beat’s unprecedented honesty and their authenticity. I truly fall in love with just about every song they release.

“Here’s a solid reason why he’s actually the worst / You can’t get trashed at a party without checking with him first / And he says it’s cause he’s worried cause the world is filled with creeps / But he’s really just projecting his own insecurities, yeah / I don’t really like your boyfriend”

The song is a certified bop that you must listen to ASAP!

Listen to our picks on our “What We’re Listening To” playlist on Spotify and be sure to give it a follow, so you can catch our monthly updates.



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