Dallas-born Troy Cartwright first caught our attention last year, with his impressive self-titled album. That taut collection of songs turned heads in Music City and back home in Texas. Cartwright is back this year with a new EP, Don’t Fade, out Oct. 7. The new project showcases a singer who is undeniably growing leaps and bounds. He balances the hook-heavy sound of modern country with the spirit and substance of Americana.
That carefully crafted balance shines most on his new single, “Don’t Fade.” Produced by Rob Baird, one of our recent Artists to Watch, and Brian Douglas Phillips. The song has the polish of a radio-ready single and makes me think of a driving song. That’s no surprise, considering how Cartwright got the idea for it.
“It was originally based on a road trip I took with my buddy from Denver to Dallas,” he says of the song. “We broke down in the middle of nowhere Texas between Amarillo and Wichita Falls. We were literally baking alive in the 115-degree heat and wondering whether we were better off just leaving the truck where it was. A faltering relationship can evoke the same types of questions, and sometimes your best bet is to just walk away, even knowing there’s some important things you’re leaving behind.”
If you’re new to Cartwright, “Busted” is a good entry song into his material.
What it sounds like: The Wallflowers meets Eric Church.
For fans of: Modern country singers who like the polish of the mainstream but the substance of Americana.