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.
"Whole Again," May Erlewine
Michigan-based singer-songwriter May Erlewine's meaningful new song "Whole Again" draws attention to the women treated as liars, if they're acknowledged at all, after facing harassment, intimidation or rape.
"This song is about the pain of women's history," Erlewine said in a press release. "It's about the fact that we have continued to repair and make whole what has been broken so many times, all while continuing to suffer abuses and silencing, without truly equal rights in our own country."
It's a gorgeous and important song grounded in a plea for human decency that should transcend polarizing political debate.
"(Sometimes I Wonder) How I Got This Far," Zachary Lucky
Aesthetically, Zachary Lucky is another throwback to the days of sharp-dressed crooners. Yet just as Kalie Shorr clearly came of age with emo, Lucky must've spent a lot of time listening to the folksy side of indie rock. After all, this song and others from new album Midwestern, out Oct. 18, strike an ideal balance between the music of Lucky's grandfather, Canadian western singer Smilin' Johnnie Lucky, and the whip-smart musings of The Silver Jews.
"Sucker Puncher," Anna Rose
Anna Rose's new album The Light Between positions her as a potential new force for fans of the bluesy, melodic side of Americana. Rose reworks the songs Bonnie Raitt taught to Larkin Poe and other contemporaries in her own voice, bringing us rebellious foot-stompers like "Sucker Puncher." Plus, the "Sucker Puncher" music video sure goes in a surprise direction.
"Getting Good," Lauren Alaina
If you've ever promised yourself that your life will be perfect (or at least better) when you fall in love, get more money, the perfect job, your dream car, or finally put down roots, Lauren Alaina's reflective "Getting Good" is for you. The "Ladies in the '90s" singer and Dancing With the Stars competitor offers up a slice of realism on the Emily Weisband-penned song, which advises to live in the moment and love yourself just as you are.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"I'm Not the Fire," Michaela Anne
Michaela Anne sings for the wanderers on her recently released album Desert Dove. She also delivers some solid advice for weary hearts along the way. The buoyant "I'm Not the Fire" is a reminder to take responsibility for your own happiness.
"We're responsible for a lot more of our own happiness, state of mind and well-being than we might like to acknowledge at times," Anne says of the song.
Anne's call for openness about mental health is a needed and impactful tune -- one of many on her stunning third album.
--Bobbie Jean Sawyer