Here are some of the top new releases during the month of May 2021.
All of the tracks featured here are also on our New Release Roundup 2021 playlist on Spotify, along with every other song we’ll include in this feature during the year. If you’re a Spotify user, give it a follow so you can keep up to date!
Blackberry Smoke – Lonesome For A Livin’ (feat. Jamey Johnson)
Southern rocker’s Blackberry Smoke’s new album You Hear Georgia landed on 28th May, but for this track for the album the band lean further towards their Country influences. Jamey Johnson co-wrote the twangy honky-tonk heartbreaker with Charlie Starr, and Jamey delivers the second verse in inimitable style.
Brian Douglas Phillips – Trouble Like You
Brian Douglas Phillips is a songwriter, musician and producer in the Texas music scene, and Trouble Like You is his third single release so far this year. It’s difficult to understand how someone clearly so talented and with such a great voice has stayed under the wider radar for as long as he has, sometimes it just takes an artist and a “scene” to find each other, but perhaps 2021 is when that all changes.
The Wandering Hearts – Dreams
2021 is set to be an important year for The Wandering Hearts, with the release of their self-titled second album due on 30th July on new label Cooking Vinyl looking set to re-establish the band’s identity. Each of the four songs so far revealed from the album are quite different and Dreams, written by long-time supporter Marty Stuart and Connie Smith, is the most “clasically country” of the bunch. Very retro, very West Coast in its feel, with an arrangement that leaves ample room for the trio’s harmonies.
Candi Carpenter w/ Brandi Carlile – The River Knows How
Candi Carpenter was due to play UK dates in April last year on the Song Suffragettes tour, sadly Covid delayed the UK an opportunity to hear not just her songs but also her quite delightful voice. In the meantime, Candi’s latest project is an EP created in collaboration with Brandi Carlile and this is one of the tracks from it, beginning in a rootsy fashion before winding up by pulling in some gospel affectations to go along with the redemptive leanings in the lyric.
Lucy Grubb – Waste My Time
Waste My Time is the title of Lucy Grubb’s latest EP (out on 4th June), and it perfectly displays her particular brand of folk-influenced writing and performing. A young artist with a bright future, and what sounds like a clear sense of how she intends to get there.
Gord Bamford – Fishin’
Fishin’ is the latest single from Australian-Canadian country artist Gord Bamford. If you’re expecting a typical “beers in the cooler” type of boat song, this isn’t it. Instead it’s a tender father and daughter tale using fishing as the base for a series of life lesson analogies, and very nicely done it is too.
Charlie Worsham – Believe In Love
Believe In Love is the latest fruit from Charlie Worsham’s work with producer Jay Joyce, and it’s tone is somewhat different from the power and intensity of their initial serving of Fist Through This Town. The new song is a ballad in the timeless tradition of looking back on yesterday to appreciate today.
Connie Smith – Look Out Heart
Written by her husband Marty Stuart, and Harry Stinson (one of Stuart’s Fabulous Superlatives), Look Out Heart is a 2 minute 17 second, gone before it’s arrived kind of a song in the style that has always been Connie Smith’s trademark, and it’s just a joyous, irresistable slice of nostalgia that keeps an essential flamce burning. Taken from The Cry Of The Heart, Smith’s first new album since 2011, to be released on 20th August.
Tylor & The Train Robbers – Staring Down The North
Non-Typical Find will be the third album from Idaho band Tylor & The Train Robbers, coming on 9th July, and is produced by Cody Braun of the band Reckless Kelly. Staring Down The North is the first single from the album, and it’s an encouragement to ignore outside distractions and to stay on your own path.
The Steel Woods – Run On Ahead
Whether in spite of or because of the tragedy surrounding the release of All Of Your Stones, the third album from The Steel Woods is a triumph. Jason “Rowdy” Cope may have passed at the awfully young age of 42, but the songs he formed with his bandmates are a fitting legacy. Many will view Run On Ahead as the emotional centrepiece of the album, with circumstances merely adding to the poignancy.
Flatland Cavalry – Some Things Never Change
It’s a little over a year since the last new music from Flatland Cavalry. Since then, front man Cleto Cordero has moved to Nashville but, as the song says, Some Things Never Change, and the new track has all the foot stomping bar-room vibe to get you out of your seat and onto your feet. Looking forward to more to come this year.
Sean McConnell – The Price Of Love
The latest song to be released ahead of Sean McConnell’s new album A Horrible Beautiful Dream increases the anticipation while waiting for Sean’s 10th album, due out on 6th August. The Price Of Love reflects on the bittersweet cost of loving someone completely.
American Aquarium – Queen Of My Double Wide Trailer
A bit of a surprise drop from B.J. Barham, in more ways than one. Not only was new album Slappers, Bangers & Certified Twangers Vol. 1 released almost without warning, but who could’ve anticipated a set of 1990’s country standards from the Carolina alt-country band? One thing is for sure – this eclectic collection just works across the board and kicks off in fine style with this Sammy Kershaw classic.
Cody Jinks – What Else Is New
Recorded during a live stream event last year, Cody Jinks’ new album is pretty much what the title would lead you to believe – a (largely) acoustic replay of the tracks previously recorded during his Adobe Sessions. Even without the drums, everything rocks just as before but with greater clarity and space given in the mix to the lyrics.
Ashley Campbell – Highwayman
Made most famous by Cash, Kristofferson, Jennings and Nelson, Highwayman was written and first recorded by Jimmy Webb. Webb of course formed a stellar partnership in the 60’s with Glen Campbell, and so for Ashley to now release her own version of the song feels like a kind of squaring of the circle. More than holds its own against familair interpretations.