From American Idol to her first number one song last year, Lauren Alaina’s journey has not been an easy one. Her first record, Wildflower, was released shortly after Idol, full of songs she didn't write and songs she rarely plays out anymore, save the uptempo “Georgia Peaches.” A couple of singles were released following the record, but none were successful and Alaina fell off the map for a while. But in 2017, she re-emerged with her new record Road Less Travelled, one of 2017’s best.
Half-way through July, and SoundCloud is bursting with great new songs and demos. Read more to listen to our favorites of the month and quick little descriptions of the songs.
In popular music, production is always the most important aspect of a song. Bad singers can be autotuned, lyrics can be sent through ten or fifteen writers to make something mediocre something somewhat relatable, but production is what makes people remember a song. That’s why acoustic music is so risky, because the production can no longer carry the song and the artist. But it also can pay off in extraordinary ways like it does on JoLivi’s brand new Raw EP.
Kelsey Lamb’s song “Little By Little” sounds like the country-pop perfection of a seasoned professional, but it’s actually the first song the singer/songwriter has ever released. She wrote the song with Jesse Labelle and Erik DiNardo. “It actually took us three writing sessions to finish it!’ Lamb said in a recent email interview. “I originally brought this title to Erik and immediately knew this was going to be a special song. Erik then brought Jesse on to help us finish the song, which is exactly the extra creative mind that we needed to wrap the song up.”
Country duo SPINN recently released their new infectious single, “Crazy For You.” The duo took some time to delve into the making of the track and the meaning of the song to them personally.
You may recall a couple years back, Queens of Country did a feature on an up and coming country singer with soul sensibilities named Abbey Cone. Today, Abbey Cone is a blossoming songwriter, who recently got a cut on the Lindsay Ell record. She’s tapped into the pop/soul side of her artistry more than the country side in recent years, but her writing is detailed and compelling, as you can find in the songs on her SoundCloud page.
There’s nothing Jana Kramer does better than a good old fashioned heartbreak song.
Three years since their debut record was released, country music’s favorite female duo is back with a new label and a new perspective. Maddie & Tae went through an intense label shuffle with the closing of their label Dot Records and their subsequent move to Mercury Nashville. But they’ve gotten out the other side, and are plotting the release of their sophomore album for later this year.
Canadian singer/songwriter Tenille Townes isn’t Lori McKenna, but they were cut from the same cloth when it comes to songwriting. You can hear the love junkie in the specificity of Townes’s lyrics, even the vocal delivery. But these songs all straight story songs — something McKenna does exceptionally well but doesn’t do as much as she should.
RaeLynn is an acquired taste. She sings with major twang and not much range, and her pop-country music leans quite heavily on the pop side. Occasionally her lyrics are very strong, especially the tracks that she’s had a hand in writing. But she’s never quite been able to shake off “God Made Girls,” the syrupy, somewhat sexist song that launched her career post-The Voice.