Every other week, the Wide Open Country team rounds up our favorite newly released country and Americana songs. Here are 6 songs we currently have on repeat.
'Old Gods,' Emily Scott Robinson
Emily Scott Robinson's pining folk tune "Old Gods" serves as the introduction to her forthcoming album American Siren (out Oct. 29), her first release with Oh Boy Records and the follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2019 album Traveling Mercies.
"I think that the thread running through the album is those things that call to us, and how we can't resist that call," Robinson said in a statement. "It's about the siren songs that come up through our lives. It is bigger and riskier and more expansive than my last collection. It feels like I wrote some songs that I'm going to grow into as I continue to perform them. They're excavating some deeper stuff than I've touched on before, I think they will have a healing quality for people who listen."
Robinson will embark on a headlining tour this fall. For a full list of dates, visit here.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
'Dear Miss Loretta," Carly Pearce & Patty Loveless
"Dear Miss Loretta" is a full-circle moment for new Opry member Carly Pearce. The "I Hope You're Happy Now" singer first debuted the Loretta Lynn tribute at the Opry and her performance caught the attention of yet another hero (and fellow Kentuckian), Patty Loveless, who joins Pearce on the track.
"I ain't a coal miner's daughter, but my grandmother was/ Must be whiskey in the water/ Must be bourbon in the blood," Pearce, a native of Taylor Mill, Kentucky, and the Pikeville, Kentucky-raised Loveless sing. "I'm a long way from Kentucky, but the hurtin's the same/ Now I know why you sang that way."
Loveless' voice has been deeply missed in recent years and there's no one more worthy than Pearce, one of country music's brightest stars and a future Bluegrass State legend in her own right, to bring her back to country radio.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"Wishful Drinking," Ingrid Andress Feat. Sam Hunt
"This is maybe the first time I've sang on a song that I wasn't a writer on. I just haven't connected... I just don't connect to songs that often, I don't know what that is or why that is, but it's not an ego thing at all," Hunt told Apple Music 1's Kelleigh Bannen. "It's not like, I'm not going to sing on a song unless I'm a writer on it. But obviously because this song came along and I connected to it, and it's usually the people involved in the song too, the writers, my connection to Ingrid, being a fan, and then meeting her and hitting it off and getting to experience her heart firsthand. Even though it was in a trivial interaction on the side of a kickball field, I just felt like I connected with her and I felt comfortable being on a song with her, even if I wasn't a writer."
Andress had her heart set on singing this one with Hunt-- So much so that she didn't have a backup plan if he said no.
"I wouldn't say I was nervous, because I'm the same or I don't usually cut outside songs, just because if I can write something... And it is not an ego thing either. It's just I just haven't heard things that I want to record," Andress told Bannen about pitching the duet to Hunt. "So if anything, I was more hesitant because I'm like, 'Well, he's a writer. He writes all his own stuff. Why even bother?' But I was like, 'But I just can't hear anybody else on it.' So to me, I was like, 'Let's just ask him and then I'll just move on with my life and never collab with anybody. It's fine.' Really glad it worked out because I really didn't have any other ideas for who I'd want to be on the song. So I was just kind of like, 'I guess it's worth an ask.' So when Sam was like, 'Sure,' I was like, 'Really? Okay.'"
You can't tell from listening to the song that Hunt stepped out of his comfort zone. He pours his heart into the Andress, JP Saxe, Jonny Price, Lucky Daye and Rykeyz composition no less than he would if this was yet another deeply personal Hunt co-write.
Note also the duality of a song that very much suits country radio right now and a music video aesthetic that screams 1970s.
-- Bobby Moore
"It Was Me," Lauren Alaina
It's often unfair (if not lazy) to directly compare a popular artist in any genre to one of their musical forerunners, especially if the younger artist is by no stretch a copycat or coattail rider. That said, there's something very Miranda Lambert about pun-cracking country singer Lauren Alaina's new, acoustic-driven song "It Was Me."
Though Alaina's storytelling prowess and the song's overall vibe point to Lambert, the lyrics drawing you in reflect the former's personal journey. In this case, Alaina's being candid and shouldering her share of the blame for a breakup through a co-write with Hillary Lindsey.
"It's about a dreamer becoming an achiever. It's being broken and ending up healed," Alaina said in a press release about both the song and the forthcoming album its from, Sitting Pretty on Top of the World. "It's all of me. The early chapters. The new beginnings. The hope for the future and total appreciation for the past."
Alaina's new album arrives on Sept. 3. Her autobiography, Getting Good at Being You, follows on Nov. 2.
-- Bobby Moore
"Coast," Ryan Hurd
If there's one thing I love listening to in the summertime, it's music that makes me feel like I'm at the beach. Ryan Hurd's latest single "Coast" is so breezy and chill it instantly transports you to a waterfront vacation. It's no wonder this song was a major hit on TikTok...Now with his beachy new music video, it's the perfect song to unwind to in this relentless summer heat.
-- Courtney Fox
"Stop Draggin' Your Boots," Danielle Bradbery
I can't be the only one getting Shania Twain vibes from this new song and music video from Danielle Bradbery. The singer has come a long way since winning The Voice on Team Blake in 2013 and I am here for it. Her sassy new song calls men out for "draggin' their boots," an anthem for all the women out there who have ever felt strung along by a potential love interest.
"The bold lyrics and sassy beat really pulled me in and reminded me of that fun, Shania Twain, 90's country pop vibe that I'm pumped to channel that into my music" Danielle shared. "It made me feel for the times my friends and I have been in the middle of these situation-ships. There's no longer room for wishy-washy feelings or time for you to be unsure - you're either all in or you're out!"
-- Courtney Fox
Listen to all of Wide Open Country's favorite songs of 2021 (so far) below.