As 2019 comes to a close and as the decade comes to a close, I'm back, reflecting on some of my favorite music of the year. Some incredible albums were released this year and I spent much of the year listening to music by the following ten artists, of which I've chosen my favorite song they put out this year. In no particular order, here's the Queens of Country list of the ten best songs of 2019.
I recently read Waking Up In Nashville, a book published in 2002 by British travel writer Stephen Foehr. He came to Nashville and navigated the scene from an outsider’s perspective and expertly delved into the idea of ‘what is country music.’ This was in the early 2000s, so the traditional country fan’s anger was directed at pop-country stars like Shania Twain and Faith Hill. But the overwhelming consensus from the dozens of people he interviewed is that country music isn’t pretty. It isn’t happy endings and perfect nights. It’s real life. At the time that Foehr wrote this book, Alan Jackson had recently released his song “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning,” a song about the horrors of the September 11 attacks. Country music tackled this issue in a way no other genre did and that’s what country music always does. Country music goes into the gritty details of real life like no other genre, and that’s the reason that so many people love the genre so much. But when a ‘country’ artist releases album that has very little real life and a lot of picture-perfect high school life, it’s hard to connect that record with the heart and soul of country music. Kelsea Ballerini’s debut record The First Time doesn’t really match up to the roots of country music, but did blow up the country music scene in 2015.
When Texas-raised singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves released her debut single in 2013, country music was a man’s man’s man’s world. “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line was the major hit the year before, bringing a wave of bro-country copy-cats along with it. All of country music radio was a cliché: trucks, boots, girls, beer, anything kind of stereotype you can associate with country music had become fully embraces by both the business of country music and its fans. These kind of songs were going No.1, winning awards and being pushed as the representation of the genre to the rest of the music world.
Fifteen years old and having just released her debut album, new singer/songwriter Queeva took the time to chat to us about her new record and her career.
Hannah May Allison has been in Nashville for six years. Six years consisting of attending classes at Belmont University where she earned her degree in songwriting and music business, and of writing countless songs for other people. But she's recently turned more of her focus onto being an artist in her own right.
Lacy Cavalier's been in Nashville for years and has always existed within the country music scene. She opened for Chase Rice and others, always putting out music that could be pretty easily classified as country music. But recently, there's been a marked shift in her musical style, building up to her first official pop release, an EP entitled 'k i'm done.'
In the blistering heat of July, South Florida-raised Ashley Briggs just dropped her new single "Summer Heat."
Before Maren Morris was taking over both country and pop radio, she was a songwriter. She had a couple major cuts before she focused on her artist career, but so many of the songs she's written will never be officially released. Lucky for us, some of them live on Soundcloud. Here are 8 of Morris's best unreleased songs.
Songwriters in Nashville scene often write a variety of music — not just country music. Take a look at Natalie Hemby. She’s written some of Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town’s biggest hits, but she’s also written songs that have been cut by Kelly Clarkson and Labrinth. Songwriters are songwriters first, and genres don’t matter when you’re in the writing groove.
Country-pop singer/songwriter Taylor Acorn has just released her new single, “Red White,” her first solo release since her debut EP, Put It In A Song in 2017.