Cue the four thousandth person saying this, but Lindsay Ell's EP was 'worth the wait.' The six-song project spanned various styles but every song fell under the umbrella of bluesy pop-country. With a carefully selected John Mayer cover and some radio-ready tracks, this year is sure to be Ell's year. Key tracks: "Worth the Wait," "Waiting on You"
Caroline Spence's Spades & Roses
I haven't posted about this album yet, but don't worry, it's coming soon. Released on March 3, this album has managed to slip under the radar of many people, but this is not an album to be overlooked. It's this year's The Bird & The Rifle: killer lyrics, soft but powerful vocals, and a phenomenally cohesive set of songs. Key tracks: "Softball," "I Can't Complain."
Kalie Shorr's Slingshot EP
Shorr's second EP arrived about a year after her first one did, and it shows off a year of amazing growth as a vocalist and a songwriter. Named for a lyric in her Highway hit, "Fight Like A Girl," this EP hits all the bases: it's sassy, but sweet. It's clever, but emotional. Key tracks: "Nothin' New," "Love Like That"
This month's spotlight for "Behind the Songs," "Guess I Woulda Known By Now" is an perfect heartbroken love song. More traditional sounding than what you can hear on your local radio station, Nora Collins is an incredible artist, who is as talented as she is sweet!
"Church Clothes" by Kelleigh Bannen
This was the best song released this month, and I don't say that lightly. For those of you looking to find real life in a country song again, this song is for you. Click here for a long, rambly post on my full opinion of this song.
"Say" by RaeLynn (feat. Dan + Shay)
RaeLynn's new album WildHorse was surprisingly strong (review coming soon) and a definite standout was this song with Dan + Shay. It's just sweet enough without being saccharine, and it captures the feeling of new, young love perfectly.
Hyper Caroline Hobby: Former musician and songwriter and current podcaster extraordinaire, Caroline Hobby has the best guests and the most interesting conversations. Some of my favorite episodes are the interviews with Gretchen Wilson, Tayla Lynn, and Maggie Rose.
Must-Hear Music: A podcast done by Billboard, this podcast only occasionally touches country music, but for a multi-genre conversation on some of the hottest songs out there right now, take a listen to this one. For some country, look at the 2017 Music Preview and the Best Albums of 2016 episode.
My Favorite Album with Jeremy Dylan: This is definitely one of the coolest concepts I've come across in my podcast listening. Jeremy Dylan pulls in artists and has them talk about their favorite album, and how that album has influenced them as artists. Some great episodes are the analysis episode on Carly Rae Jepsen's Emotion, and the interviews with Kelsea Ballerini and Jason Isbell.