Here are some of the top new releases from the month of August 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!
Zac Brown Band – Slow Burn
Is this a sign of Zac Brown Band’s continuing rehabilitation after their most recent album The Owl received such…. mixed reviews? Well, based on the six tracks we’ve heard so far ahead of the appropriately titled upcoming album The Comeback (October 15th) it seems the new album will be much more appealing to the band’s established fan base.
Kacey Musgraves – Justified
If previous album Golden Hour was one of the most successful AND divisive albums of recent years, it’s likely that Kacey Musgraves’ new release will be every bit as controversial. People seem to have strong feelings towards Musgraves’ more recent recordings, and we don’t see new album star-crossed doing anything to change that.
Muscadine Bloodline – Dyin’ For A Livin’
A kickin’, rhythm ‘n’ blues based, up-beat honky tonker is something of a departure from the more heartfelt, mid-tempo songs like Porch Swing Angel and Can’t Tell You No that have become a stock-in-trade for Muscadine Bloodline. Dyin’ For A Livin’ is a straight-up, get on your feet and cut a rug song and, at only 2 minutes and 14 seconds long, you can really thrown yourself into it on the dance floor without worrying that you’ll run out of gas before the last chord fades
Scotty McCreery – Carolina To Me
Same Truck, dropping on September 17th, will be the fifth album from North Carolina native Scotty McCreery. In this latest track to appear ahead of the album’s release, McCreery calls out a number of reasons why his home state will always be heaven on earth to him.
Randy Travis – Ain’t No Use (From The Vault)
With his health well documented, new music from Randy Travis is a definite surprise. This is “new” in the sense of “previously unreleased”, as it dates from the sessions from Travis’ 1986 debut album Storms Of Life. It would be fascinating to know why Ain’t No Use didn’t make the cut back then – it’s trademark Travis and is in no way inferior to the 10 tracks that did feature. A remastered edition of Storms Of Life ships on September 24th and will include Ain’t No Use along with 2 further recordings “from the vault”.
Hayes Carll – She’ll Come Back To Me
Hayes Carll wallows in self-deception on She’ll Come Back To Me, reeling off a litany of absurd contradictions and untruths – chief of which is that she’s coming back. A strong stomping rhythm and Carll’s worn and slightly slurred vocal complete the picture of a man in the depths of heartbreak. New album You Get It All hits the stands on October 29th.
Charley Crockett – I Won’t Cry
If there’s one thing you can say about Charley Crockett’s music, it’s that he’s never afraid to blend elements and influences in search of the right soundscape. Country, blues, Stax-era soul all combine beautifully on I Won’t Cry, a slow, mournful ballad from Charley Crockett’s forthcoming album Music City USA (September 17th).
Sturgill Simpson – Ol’ Dood (Part II)
Fresh from his recent Cuttin’ Grass releases, Sturgill Simpson continues to mine the rich bluegrass seam for new album The Ballad Of Dood & Juanita. For those who love “story songs”, this new collection should be amply satisfying as there’s a continuous narrative thread running through the full album (just don’t play it on shuffle!). Simpson has previously indicated that he intends to make only five albums of original material, and this new set is indeed his fifth. So this may prove to be the final act of Sturgill Simpson as a solo artist. It’s been quite a ride…
Lady A – Where Would I Be
October 2nd will see the release of Lady A’s eight studio album What A Song Can Do. Building on the seven songs featured on this summer’s mini-album What A Song Can Do (Chapter One), the full-length album will feature an additional seven new cuts, of which this is the first to see daylight. Where Would I Be sees Hilary and Charles trading vocals over an arrangement fusing synths and drum machines with more traditional instrumentation in their trademark style.
Mike & The Moonpies – Growing Pains
One To Grow On was a surprise new album release in August from top Texan band Mike & The Moonpies, and a very welcome arrival it was too. At nine tracks and just over 30 minutes long it doesn’t outstay its welcome, preferring instead to leave you wanting more – just the way we like it. Mike Harmier and the band will be over on a 17 date European tour in April 2022, bringing their own special brand of barroom honky tonkin’ to Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Germany and the UK.
Sam Outlaw – For The Rest Of Our Lives
When we spoke with Sam Outlaw on his most recent trip over to the UK, he hinted at the directions he might be developing his writing. Thanks to certain global events, it’s taken a little longer than he might have expected to bring his new music to the masses, but now it’s beginning to arrive it’s clear that lockdowns, etc didn’t serve to dilute or distract him from the vision he had, drawing as it does from the 80’s soundtrack of his youth. We’re liking what we’re hearing so far. New album Popular Mechanics is set to surface on November 12th.
Emily Scott Robinson – Cheap Seats
Cheap Seats is the second track to reach the airwaves ahead of the release of American Siren (29th October), the third album from singer-songwriter Emily Scott Robinson. It’s also her first long-player coming from her deal with Oh Boy Records, founded by the late John Prine, and on this evidence Robinson’s career trajectory is sure to continue to rise.
Lainey Wilson – Two Story House
We think Lainey Wilson can count herself unlucky to miss out on a CMA nomiation for her album Saying’ What I’m Thinkin’. One of the brightest and most dynamic talents emerging from Nashville in recent times, this acoustic ballad looks back to the childhood when she shared a room with her sister and how their paths have since diverged from that shared space.
Lee Brice – Farmer
Created with long-time collaborator Billy Montana and Adam Wood, Lee Brice celebrates the men and women who do so much to support and feed the nation in Farmer. Being a farmer himself gives Brice added insight to a track he co-wrote with Adam Wood and long-time collaborator Billy Montana.
Jake Owen – Best Thing Since Backroads
Jake Owen’s first new music since his 2019 album Greetings From… Jake is a slice of stadium-friendly, country rock tinged radio bait and, with producer du jour Joey Moi at the helm, it hits its mark with ease. Close your eyes and see the ocean of arms raised and swaying in time.
Carly Pearce – Dear Miss Loretta (ft. Patty Loveless)
September 17th sees the release of 29: Written In Stone – an expanded edition of Carly Pearce’s 29 EP that features 8 new tracks (which surely now qualifies it as an album in itself). Written by Carly with Shane MacAnally and Brandy Clark and featuring one of Carly’s long-time inspirations, Patty Loveless, as a duet partner, Dear Miss Loretta shows that heartbreak never changes through the years.
Dillon Carmichael – Hose Water
Even if you aren’t child of the Southern states, Dillon Carmichael’s latest new song for 2021 (his 4th so far) is guaranteed to take you back to the carefree days of your youth, when summers were longer and warmer, and the world was ripe for wide-eyed innocents to make their mark.
Leah Blevins – Little Birds
First Time Feeling is an accomplised and engaging full-length debut from Kentucky’s Leah Blevins. Paul Cauthen and Texas Gentlemen member Beau Bedford share the production duties and give Blevins’ songs an honesty and purity that could easily have been lost among a smoother, more polished sound. That honesty is perfect for Blevins’ voice too, a channel through which her self-penned Southern dramas are brought to vivid, colourful life. One to watch, for sure.