What We’re Listening To: September 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 September picks. Then be sure to give our Spotify account a follow and listen to our favorite tracks!




Stephanie Wagner, Founder

Pick: “She’s Mine” – Kip Moore
Songwriters: Dan Couch, Kip Moore, Scott Stepakoff

“This month, I’m listening to Kip Moore’s latest release “She’s Mine”. In typical Kip Moore fashion, the song is a bop paired with meaningful lyrics. On first impression, the title of the song may lead you to believe that it’s just another country love song, but upon further listening, Moore lays out the idea of searching for that love and questioning the endless possibilities of where she might be. I love that so many ideas and questions are asked in this song, suggesting that love could literally be anywhere.”


Christina Bosch, Managing Editor 

Pick: “Bluebird” – Miranda Lambert
Songwriters: Luke Dick, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Hemby

Miranda Lambert has already released several songs that will be on her new record, Wildcard which is out later this fall and while I have truly loved each of them, “Bluebird” is definitely a favorite and a song I’ve had on repeat this month. Sonically, the song is sweet, simple and an easy listen but it’s the lyrics that are relatable while also being specific to Lambert’s current journey.

“Yeah, I’m a keeper / I keep digging down for the deep / Like the records I’m playing, they might keep you waiting / But you know I’m gonna play em for keeps”

The line above specifically spoke to me, I always gravitate towards meaningful lyrics, songs that move you and make you think. Lambert has always had a way with words, especially when she teams up with hit writers like Luke Dick and Natalie Hemby. I am so looking forward to the rest of the Wildcard album to see what else the songstress has up her sleeve.


Dylan Bestler, Contributing Writer

Pick: “He Went To Jared” – HARDY & Morgan Wallen
Songwriters: Michael Hardy, Morgan Wallen, Chase McGill

“There’s nothing better than a fun, upbeat, breakup song and in my opinion and this track fits that category perfectly; it’s a straight-up banger. HARDY and Wallen share their stories about how their rough, southern, blue-collar lifestyle wasn’t enough for their girls as they lost them to rich, classy, clean cut guys.

“He went to Ole Miss, I went to work / He pushes paper, I push the dirt / He’s got that clean cut, drivin’ him a clean truck / I’m just sittin’ here with a beer and my jeans tucked”

I love how good of friends Morgan Wallen and HARDY are. Their friendship and similar music styles make them a great duo for songwriting and performing. These guys have already topped the charts as either artists or songwriters and will continue to do so for a long time. “


Julia Grubbs, Contributing Writer 

Pick: “Front Porch” – Joy Williams
Songwriters: Emily Shackleton, Joy Williams, Lize Rose

“I don’t have much time to just relax around the house, but when I do, Country Coffeehouse is one of my favorite Spotify playlists to throw on, especially in the beginnings of fall. More of an indie-country sound, these songs create the perfect mood for the incoming chill. I love this relaxing song by Joy Williams, with the peaceful violin, wringing vocals, and the rhythmic guitar to settle me in and slow down from the craziness of New York City. She talks about coming home, back to where you’re welcomed, no matter what has happened.”

“If never you find what you’re looking for/ Come on back to the front porch / Say my name through the screen door…Whatever you’ve done, it doesn’t matter / ‘Cause darling we’re all a little splintered and battered”


Autumn Haile, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Weeping Willow” – Ruston Kelly
Songwriters: A.P Carter

“As a child, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, who was raised in the desolate landscape of Alabama back in the 1950s. Growing up alongside her, I was exposed to old-school country music like Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, and The Carter Family. So, when Ruston Kelly, one of my favorite modern-day country artists, covered the heartbreaking “Weeping Willow,” originally made famous by The Carter Family, it made my entire summer. This somber track about pining for unrequited love is grounded in modern production while tipping its hat eloquently to the creators of the past. Ruston’s perfectly affected vocals, layered harmonies, and aching emotional timbre bring this tragic track to life. It’s been on repeat, which probably isn’t great for my mood but definitely feeds my soul.”


Molly Holmberg, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Lonely If You Are” – Chase Rice
Songwriters: Chase Rice, Lindsey Rimes, Hunter Phelps

“This month I have been listening to Chase Rice’s new song “Lonely If You Are.” I think Rice is one of the most underrated artists, granted he hasn’t put out an album in two years, although Lambs and Lions is filled with gold. Finally garnering more airtime with “Eyes On You” and now with “Lonely If You Are,” his music is really starting to pick up the traction it had with his Ignite The Night album. It opens with the acoustic guitar and fades into a steamy romantic situation. This song is his way of letting the girl know that he will be there no matter what time of day or night it is.

“You could have your hair down, all curled up on the couch / And the quiet ain’t loud enough / It could be A.M. or P.M. / It could be middle of the week or the weekend baby / It ain’t too late or too far / Just call me ’cause I’m lonely / If you are, if you are”

“Lonely If You Are” is a complete hit and I would love to see it go Number 1.”


Abby Kaye-Phillips, Contributing Writer 

Pick: “Dream You Never Had” – Thomas Rhett
Songwriters: Ashley Gorley, Jesse Frasure, Rhett Akins, Thomas Rhett

“I love how country singers tend to write about their own lives, even if we as listeners can’t necessarily relate to their exact experience. “Dream You Never Had” is a beautiful tribute to Thomas Rhett’s wife Lauren, who fell in love with him before he was famous, and has stood by him through it all, even though it may not be the life she pictured for herself. Being under the spotlight can be tough, and this song thanks her for putting her dreams aside to let her partner shine, and it’s really powerful. When the song first came out, other artists were commenting on how true the sentiment was, and knowing that this is how many artists feel about their husbands and wives gives us as fans an inside look into the real lives of the stars we love.

“I know it’s been hard / I know it ain’t easy / Oh, but I couldn’t do one show without you / Oh, baby, believe me,/ Crowds have been crazy / But baby, I’m missing you bad / Just wanna say thank you for living this dream / I know you never had”

Pick: “Never Grow Old” – Houston Bernard Band
Songwriters: Houston Bernard, Mary Lynn Haller
“Life can get crazy and sometimes you just need that reminder to have fun and stay young. As hard as it may be, adulting will get easier and there’s no need to stress about it.”

Tricia Murdy, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Leaving Love Behind” – Zac Brown Band
Songwriters: Clay Cook, Coy Bowles, Jimmy DeMartini, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth

“Zac Brown Band spent the summer covering the US on The Owl Tour. I got to see this amazing show this summer at PNC Bank Arts Center. They played a few new tracks that will be included on their upcoming studio album. “There’s some really personal songs on here,” Brown told CNN about the upcoming new album. “Sometimes life can be challenging in facing things that are hard, and music has always been my therapy. It’s been my way to make it through a lot of things, so I’m blessed to be able to do that. You always get to hear about our lives in the music that we put out – lots of diversity on this album.” This one titled “Leaving Love Behind” was by far was the best. It was so emotional, so raw that it had me in tears. It was announced last year that Zac Brown and his wife of 12 years were separating and hearing him pour his heart into this tune, you could feel the pain the artist has been going through.

“I believe, yes I do, that everything we lose will be a gift in time, but the hardest part is leaving love behind.”

This song is so relatable to anyone who has been through a painful experience, whether that be a breakup, a loss, anything. I’m not even sure what in my heart the song was pulling on in that moment, but just listening to Brown pour his heart out with those words was enough to melt even the iciest of hearts.”


Danielle Tornatore, Contributing Writer

Pick: “homecoming queen?” – Kelsea Ballerini
Songwriters: Jimmy Robbins, Kelsea Ballerini, Nicolle Galyon

“Whenever an artist releases such a vulnerable and relatable song like this, it holds a special place in my heart. Kelsea truly knocked it out of the park with this one; accepting your flaws and not being afraid to admit that everything is not perfect, though they may seem it on the outside. Songs like this are why I love country music so much.”


Jaclyn Tracy, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Remember You Young” – Thomas Rhett
Songwriters: Ashley Gorley, Jesse Frasure, Thomas Rhett

“I have always been a fan of Thomas Rhett but I never really took the time to listen to all of his songs, including the more low-key ones that are not on the radio. After seeing the title “Remember You Young”, and knowing how deep Thomas Rhett’s music can be, I was definitely curious to give it a listen.

After listening to it just once and reading through the lyrics, I was almost brought to tears. This song carries such an interesting and sentimental meaning. A lot of times in our daily lives we are so caught up in work, obligations and just being extremely busy that we often forget about the young person we once were, full of imagination, hope and innocence. The song talks about always being able to bring yourself back to those times when you were a child, or in college having some of the best times of your life, and even references his wife, daughters and some of his best friends and family.

I am obsessed with this song and have been playing it over and over again after hearing it, and am now encouraged to listen to more of his most recent album Center Point Road, and hear what other meaningful and amazing songs are on this album waiting to be heard by country music fans like me.”


Shanna Vitaliano, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Catch A Cold One” – Jake Owen
Songwriters: Jon Nite, Josh Thompson, Justin Ebach

“As the summer quickly comes to an end, for my pick this month I decided to go with Jake Owen’s song, “Catch A Cold One.” This track was written by Jon Nite, Josh Thompson, and Justin Ebach and it is a song about fishing with your grandfather, reflecting on life, and accepting that when things may not always seem to be going right – keep a positive attitude.  “Catch A Cold One” is refreshing in a sense that it reminds us all that even if “you can’t always catch a break or a big one,” not to worry because “you can always catch a cold one.”
One of my favorite parts of the song is the second verse when Owen reflects on his grandfather’s advice and sings, “Yeah, I didn’t get it then, but I sure do now / It’s kinda up to you how it all turns out / Life ain’t always pinewood docks and blue skies / Every time I reach down in the ice / I can still hear him from the other side.”  “Catch A Cold One” is a feel-good, laid back, country song with a subtle message that we can all relate to.”

Erica Zisman, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Still Our Town” – Josh Kerr
Songwriters: Jordan Minton, Josh Kerr

“This month I’m loving songwriter, turned solo artist, Josh Kerr! He recently released two songs, “Still Our Town” and “Oklahoma.” The former is my pick for this month. I love how relatable the track is. Kerr depicts how places that use to feel like yours, now feel like it belongs to your ex because of all the memories that were made there. It’s a simple concept, but Kerr delivers the message in a new and innovative way. Also, the beat is super catchy, which only adds to the enticing tune.

“I used to have it all to myself / Every street light, every stop sign / Country line to county line / Now you’re in all the parts that I love / Every inch and every corner / Every song on the radio.”

I love songwriters, and I’m especially loving watching talented songwriters release their own music. Go download “Still Our Town!” I can’t wait to see what Kerr drops next.”

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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