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.
"Wilder Days," Morgan Wade
"You say you hate the smell of cigarette smoke/ You only used to smoke when you drink," Morgan Wade sings on the irresistible "Wilder Days," which finds the Virginia native wondering about the younger years of a love interest. The song is the latest release from Wade's forthcoming album Reckless (out March 19), produced by Sadler Vaden.
"I feel like the last couple of years have been me trying to figure out where I fit in, who I fit in with, and what's going on," Wade told Music Row. "When I wrote these songs, I was going through a lot, just trying to figure out who I am."
Reckless is available for pre-order now.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"Call Me a Fool," Valerie June
Valerie June puts her heart on the line on the bluesy "Call Me a Fool," the latest release from her forthcoming album The Moon and the Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers (out March 12). The dreamy tune features Stax Records legend Carla Thomas.
"For this album I wanted to see how we could bring some modern elements into that band-in-the-room approach I've taken with my records in the past," June said in a press release.
The Moon and the Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers is the follow-up to June's 2017 album The Order of Time.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"You Can Have Him Jolene," Chapel Hart
Dolly Parton's "Jolene" keeps on inspiring answer songs, from Cam's "Diane" to this proof that Chapel Hart deserves even more "Artists to Watch" praise.
Sisters Danica and Devynn Hart and their cousin Trea Swindle thrive when writing great, new stories inspired by the usual reference points, be it this revved-up tale of a good-for-nothing lover that borrows cues from Parton and Kris Kristofferson or prior release "Jesus & Alcohol," which built off the old theme of drinking to forget on Saturday night and stumbling to your church pew the next morning for more emotional support.
"Good Time," Nico Moon Feat. Shaggy
Over 20 years after Shaggy's 2000 album Hot Shot taught Americans to associate reggae with more than the Marley surname, he's back in the public eye with both a Super Bowl commercial appearance and this, a contribution to beach-crazed, modern country.
It's a new and improved version of an escapist gem Nico Moon co-wrote with Anna Moon, Jordan Minton, Joshua Murty and Mark Trussell.
Shaggy never really went away, with his most obvious success since 2000 coming alongside former Toby Keith duet partner Sting.
"Gone Goes On And On," Logan Mize
Logan Mize's new album Still That Kid celebrates his rural upbringing in Kansas. Mize perfectly captures heartbreak in this song that theorizes what those tough feelings can bring out in you after too many drinks: "It only takes a couple seconds for a comeback prayer, losing everything don't take long, but gone goes on and on and on."
-- Courtney Fox
"A Little Good News," Rodney Atkins
Rodney Atkins revives Canadian country star Anne Murray's Grammy-winning song from the '80s, and it truly couldn't come at a better time. Atkins' smooth voice perfectly captures the sentiment that we all really could use "a little good news today."
"As a kid, I remember loving this song," Atkins explained to Sounds Like Nashville." I actually remember thinking it sounded 'tough.' In March of 2020 the world started getting more and more bizarre. This song began to haunt me with conviction. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I just really wanted folks to hear it say 'that this world has gone crazy before and we got through it and we will get through it again.' I decided to start recording it on my own at home. I kept working and working on it until we all felt really great about it. This song means so much to me that it was definitely worth all of the work to get it right. My biggest hope for this song is that it can really lift some folks up, and remind us that it's all going to be okay."
-- Courtney Fox