Each week the Wide Open Country staff rounds up our favorite newly released country and Americana songs. Here are five new songs we can't stop listening to this week.
"Bra Off," RaeLynn
Few in Nashville write better lyrics for pop-friendly songs than RaeLynn. Her latest offering likens the freedom of a breakup to taking off an uncomfortable, restrictive bra. For those of us without a love-hate relationship with brassieres, she drives home the point by also comparing her relationship status to a carefree day off spent sipping Jack and eating Dippin Dots. Both analogies demonstrate the wordplay expected by fans of RaeLynn's work, whether they hopped on the hype train early on or after the "Queens Don't" singer's opportunities to tour with the likes of Maren Morris.
"Without You," James Steinle
James Steinle might be the next great storyteller to emerge from Texas. That's not hyperbole for a young artist already in the same songwriting lineage as Guy Clark, Robert Earl Keen and Steve Earle. This single follows up 2018's overlooked South Texas Homecoming and reveals the character-driven, country road-wise (as opposed to streetwise) lyrics of an up-and-coming Americana artist, born in Texas and raised in Saudi Arabia and Germany.
"Willie Nelson Tickets," Tara Thompson
Country singer-songwriter and Loretta Lynn relative Tara Thompson doubles the list of Willie Nelson-themed Christmas songs with this explanation of her one-item wish list. Beforehand, only Kacey Musgraves' delightfully silly "A Willie Nice Christmas" tied Christmas colors red and green to the Red-Headed Stranger and Willie's Reserve. Thompson also adds to her group of friends' compositions about Nelson. Thompson and her pal Erin Enderlin cut a song last year titled "World Without Willie."
-- Bobby Moore
"All is Found," Kacey Musgraves
Elsa ain't the only one with irresistible songs in the Frozen universe. The Queen of Christmas, Kacey Musgraves, delivers yet another gorgeous holiday ballad with the haunting "All is Found" from Frozen 2. (Musgraves' version can be heard over the film's end credits.) The next time your kids insist on hearing "Let it Go" for the millionth time, suggest this one as a Disney-approved alternative.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"When People Show You Who They Are," Karen and the Sorrows
Karen & the Sorrows look toward author, poet, activist and artist Maya Angelou on the stunning, acoustic lullaby "When People Show You Who They Are," from the recently released Guaranteed Broken Heart. The song's title stems from Angelou's famous quote and life lesson: "When people show you who they are, believe them." The song's minimalist, nature-filled video puts singer-songwriter Karen Pittelman's voice front and center, making the song all the more intoxicating.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer