Here’s our pick of the top new Country and Americana releases for the week of 02/10/2020.
All of this week’s new tracks are also on our New Release Round-up 2020 playlist on Spotify, along with every other song we’ve included in this feature during the year so far. If you’re a Spotify user, give it a follow so you can keep up to date!
Brothers Osborne – Dead Man’s Curve
There’s only one more week before the Brothers’ third album Skeletons is released, but they’ve dropped one more new track in ahead of the album anyway – and why not? Dead Man’s Curve fairly rattles along with all kinds of 70’s rock feels – hooky guitar riffs, big organ chords, breathless drums underpinning – at landing at less than 2 and a half minutes long, it’ll take you on a ride and leave you gasping for breath at the side of the road…
Lindsay Ell – Workin’ Out
Workin’ Out is the first song to be released that features in Make It Up As We Go, a new “scripted musical podcast” that tells the story of a young songwriter trying to make a career for herself in the high-pressure writing rooms in Nashville. This track from Lindsay Ell is a breezy, up-tempo, chin-up slice of optimism about how circumstances can look different depending on perspective – (“Everything not workin’ out is | Everything just workin’ out”).
Eric Church – Hell Of A View
It’s a mid-tempo, steady beat driven, romanticised image drawn from the classic American pioneer spirit, taking chances on a future somewhere, somehow, together, and it’s that image that’s a “Hell Of A View”. The song, like his other releases this year, came out of an intense and focussed writing spell that apparently produced enough songs for a double album. There are no release details yet, but we wouldn’t bet against it….
Cody Johnson & Reba McEntire – Dear Rodeo
Dear Rodeo is Cody Johnson’s break-up song with a difference, as it goes over the end of his time as a bull rider before he realised that his true career lay in making music. First featured on his Ain’t Nothin’ To It album, this new version features vocals from Reba McEntire – herself a former rodeo rider who evidently identifies with the themes of the lyric. Hard to top the original, but this recording does just that.
Clay Hollis – Honky Tonk Highway
A cover of the Luke Combs track? No, it’s a different song altogether and it’s the title track to Clay Hollis’s new EP, out today. Texas born and bred, Hollis delivers his brand of neo-traditional honky tonk with a modern edge.
Jon Pardi – Beer Light
There’s three extra tracks on the new “deluxe” version of Jon Pardi’s latest album Heartache Medication. Beer Light is a previously unreleased song co-written by Pardi (with Bryce Long and Jeff Hyde), and it’s a break-up ballad in a classic late 80’s/early 90’s style. The other tracks are the more contemporary Bar Downtown, which mines a slow R&B kind of groove, and a “Western Version” of Ain’t Always The Cowboy that gives a less organic, more produced take.
Jamie O’Neal – Someone’s Sometimes (w/ John Paul White)
It’s something of a masterstroke to bring John Paul White in for this track. His vocal provides additional sonic and emtional layers, of course, but it’s more than that. Having both singers relate the lyric helps it to relate more easily (and realistically) to both men and women in a way that it maybe wouldn’t have if Jamie had done this solo. Because it’s surely not just women who have experienced the feeling a partner is maybe less committed to a relationship than they themselves are, right? It’s a beautiful song in itself, and if it touches on familiar feelings for the listener then more power to it.
Kylie Frey – I Do Thing
A boisterous, pacey track from Louisiana’s Kylie Frey as she tells of her surprise that, out of the blue, she’s ready to do that “I Do” thing (i.e. get married). It’s a whirlwind of a track that almost feels over before it’s begun (in fact, it’s just under 3 mintes long). Kylie’s new EP Rodeo Queen is due out later this month.
Billie Jo – Simpler Way Of Life
Billie Jo has come up with something chock full of images that are so familiar in so many country songs yet manages to keep the song away from any sense of cliché, helped in no small part by her fresh, clear voice backed with a simple, uncomplicated, unfussy arrangement. It’s the kind of song that wouldn’t be out of place on either mainstream and more tradtional country music radio. More please…