This is the first song since Kelleigh Bannen's "Church Clothes" that has completely stopped me in my tracks. Ashley McBryde was recently named a Highway Find with her song "A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega," and is working on her full length debut album with Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Little Big Town.) But on June 16, she released one of the best songs that has been released so far this year, "Girl Goin' Nowhere."
You might know Cheyenne Goss from her cover/re-write of Sam Hunt's song "Drinkin' Too Much" that has amassed over 130,000 views on her YouTube Channel. Or maybe you've never heard her name before. If you haven't, it's a good thing you're reading this article. Cheyenne Goss's brand new single, "Done," which was released to iTunes in early June, is a new, interesting take on country music. It proves that she knows her sound and she's ready to see where it takes her.
It's been a long road for Danielle Bradbery. In 2013 (has it really been four years?) she became the youngest person to win The Voice, and went on to release her debut record that same year. But since then? Bradbery has been a question mark. She released "Friend Zone" in 2015, which was panned by critics and fans alike. That brings us to now, as Danielle Bradbery has FINALLY released the first single off of her new project, a song she wrote titled "Sway," indicating the direction of her sophomore record.
Country music is in.
Whether we like it or not, country music has reemerged as one of the most popular genres of music all over the world. Teenage girls flock to Luke Bryan concerts like they do to Justin Bieber concerts. Sales of certain country artists are higher than many major pop acts. But with that, comes the bleeding of popular culture into country music, resulting in very pop and hip-hop-influenced tracks being marketed as country.
The anticipation has been killing us all, but it's finally here: Kelsea Ballerini's new single off of her sophomore record. Ballerini has been talking this record up since late 2015, explaining how the record shows a change in her writing style and a move away from the fun, flirty, poppy songs that led her to have No. 1 three times in a row. "Legends" is the first taste of that project, and although this is different than her first record, this isn't quite the masterpiece that Ballerini said it would be.
For Memorial Day, Nashville-based artist Carissa Leigh is honoring our veterans and fallen soldiers with her new song, "At Night."
For something a little different and out of the line of the music I usually cover on Queens of Country, I'm introducing you to Naomi Wachira this week. Born in Kenya, but now based in Seattle, Wachira creates intricate world and reggae-influenced folk music with incredibly important messages. "Beautifully Human" is the first song off of her upcoming sophomore album, Songs of Lament, and it's really worth a listen for anyone a bit concerned about the state of our world currently and looking for hope in the darkness.
If you ask any artist or country fan why they listen to country music, usually they'll say it’s because of the lyrics. They love country music because it tells real-life stories. On country radio, it's often difficult to find stories of real life. It's easy to hear stories of flirtations and of trucks, but story songs haven't necessarily been radio-friendly in recent years. But country music still is and always will be about real life. Kelleigh Bannen's new single "Church Clothes" is a country song at its best.
All-female vocal groups have had a bit of trouble succeeding in recent years, just like female solo acts, but that doesn't mean that these groups aren't putting out stellar music. And this year, their popularity has been increasing, especially with Runaway June breaking the Top 30. Maybe April is one of the more under-the-radar country bands, but they've been working hard to craft their own version of the traditional female girl group sound, and it's a killer sound that they've crafted.
Music is constantly evolving. It's difficult to keep up, as in country music especially, there is a new wave of artists coming in and taking over every couple of years. One of those new groups is the artists taking older music sounds and incorporating these sounds into contemporary country. And it's not just older country sounds, it's vintage pop, or in Jo Smith's case, old Motown vibes. Her EP Introducing JoSMITH has an unmistakable sound that is becoming her trademark.