This December brings several bring releases in country music, which is a funny thing, since historically December is reserved for Christmas tunes (and if you’ve seen our recent list, you know there are plenty of those too). But this year, we’ve got a handful of new country songs to look forward to as well as some high profile albums.
Chris Stapleton gets the month off to a good start with his album From A Room: Volume 2 on Dec. 1. He released the first volume to critical acclaim in May and already released several singles off the new project. Danielle Bradbery finally gets her second record out four years after her first that day as well.
The buzzy Walker Hayes releases boom. on Dec. 8, his first album to explore his new Sam Hunt-esque acoustic talk-pop country. But that week will inevitable belong to superstar Luke Bryan, whose sixth album What Makes You Country is sure to sell a boatload of copies.
As for singles hitting country radio, we’ve got a trio of newer badass women and a few songwriting vets sprinkled in there. Lets take a look at the new country songs for December.
In a way, “Diane” is a bit of a spiritual sibling to Dolly Parton’s famous “Jolene,” a song in which Parton pleads with Jolene not to steal her man. But in this iteration, Cam learns her love interest actually has a wife named Diane. The song captures the theme of empowering each other through being mutually lied to. It’s gorgeous and unique, a combination that hopefully wins some love on radio stations. It’s her first new single since her debut album two years ago.
Fresh off her first career No. 1 in “Every Little Thing,” Carly Pearce comes back with new single “Hide The Wine.” The bouncy tune is notably more upbeat than her first single but still features Pearce’s gorgeous earthy vocal front and center. This playful song is an ode to taking precautions to avoiding falling back into a fling.
Fresh off performing at the Country Music Hall of Fame Songwriter Session, Texas native Terry McBride is sending out single “Boots Off,” a great ode to McBride’s 90s country dominance. It’s a sweet love song and feels like it could land well with a lot of country fans comes Valentine’s Day too. McBride got his start as the bass player and frontman of McBride & The Ride before becoming of one Brooks & Dunn’s go-to writers for much of their prolific career.
A newcomer who started making a name for himself as a songwriter (he co-wrote a few big artist cuts, including Dierks Bentley’s “Somewhere On A Beach”), Michael Tyler released his debut album 317 this year. First single “They Can’t See” racked up a few million streams on Spotify, and new single “Hey Mama” should charm its way into the hearts of plenty of modern country fans.
The final song off his recent album EVERYBODY, “Drunk Girl” doesn’t immediately scream “piano ballad” by the name alone, but a few lines in you’ll realize it’s not the same party anthem you expect from Janson. Basically, it advocates taking care of somebody instead of taking advantage of them. It’s kind of sad that this shouldn’t be considered a clever song idea but just standard human decency, and yet here we are. Similar to Keith Urban’s “Female,” songs like “Drunk Girl” might, at the very least, be a starting place for dude bros who otherwise wouldn’t think twice about taking advantage of somebody who drank too much. It’s nowhere near where the conversation about sexual assault should be, but it’s better than nothing.
Lindsay Ell released an excellent album earlier this year that felt somewhere between John Mayer, pop country and adult contemporary acts like Shawn Colvin and Lisa Loeb. Her new single “Criminal” mashes those sounds with Ell’s impressive musicality and leaves behind a catchy tune that deserves some playlisting and radio love.
Jerrod Niemann released new album This Ride a few months ago with the funky lead-off track “I Got This,” which is certainly a poppy turn for Niemann. It’s getting the single treatment in December, and the last time Niemann got this adventurous it paid off handsomely with the EDM-inspired “Drink To That All Night.”