Cameron Hawthorn press photo
Lindsey Patkos

Wide Open Country's Six Pack: 6 New Country Songs You Need to Know

Every week, the Wide Open Country team rounds up our favorite newly released country, folk, bluegrass and Americana songs. Here are six new songs you need to know.

"Nothing Like a Cowboy," Cameron Hawthorn

Cameron Hawthorn shares what he loves about his partner on the gentle country ballad "Nothing Like a Cowboy."

Hawthorn, who came out to fans via his music video for "Dancing in the Living Room," praises a hard-working, honest, kind and loving man — a "real and genuine" cowboy — on the dreamy tune.

"There's nothing like a cowboy/ A rough and tumble, hold his ground boy/ Treat you right like the way he was raisedA little yes ma'am, little John Wayne," Hawthorn sings. "Like something from the movies/ Faded leather and some blue jeans/ But the real and genuine kind/ The one you keep around 'cause he's hard to find/ There's nothing like a cowboy."

Hawthorn previously released his EP Mustang in 2020.

— Bobbie Jean Sawyer

"Big Time," Angel Olsen

Angel Olsen leans further than ever before into melancholic country and story-driven folk conventions across new album Big Time (Jagjaguwar).

The title track in particular owes as much to Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline as any modern indie or Americana reference point. It tells the story of how Olsen fell in love with her current partner, screenwriter and song co-writer Beau Thibodeaux.

"I took them to this lake and we went out in a canoe, and I played 'Lady in Red' because they were wearing red," Olsen told Pitchfork. "I was like, 'I know you don't identify as a lady, and we hate that word, but I love this song, and in this moment right now it's really special for me.' And they just laughed and got a kick out of it. I think they were just like, 'whoa, this chick is crazy.' Then we went on a long walk. We talked all day, and then eventually, they were like, 'We haven't even hugged yet.' And so we got up and stood on this hill and hugged and it was insane. I felt so high. We hugged before we kissed. We had that feeling first."

— Bobby Moore

"Linger," Tommy Goodroad

The hits of Irish band The Cranberries still permeate American pop culture, with the late Dolores O'Riordan's unmistakable vocals often signaling that a direct-to-streaming show or film is set in the 1990s.

Chicago-based country singer Tommy Goodroad recognizes the band's storytelling depth with a cover of "Linger" that adds enough twang to sharpen the original's edge into something that's more Dwight Yoakam than alt-rock.

— Bobby Moore

"Tell Me It Is," Eli Young Band

Eli Young Band released their new album, Love Talking, on June 3rd, and it's everything we were hoping it to be. The nine-song project is extra special for the band, coming five years after their fifth studio album, Fingerprints. Lead Singer Mike Eli previously stated he had written over 150 songs for the album, making it hard to choose the right ones to release. "I found such a creative haven in songwriting over the past couple years of uncertainty, so we had more songs to pick from for this album than ever before," Eli shared.

He continued, "When it came time for us to really listen through and narrow it down, we all collectively realized that the songs raising their hands the most were the positive, optimistic ones. That big, uplifting energy is what we needed as a band in that moment - and we understood that our fans were probably needing it, too, so that's the vibe we hope this album portrays to the world."

"Tell Me It Is" definitely showcases those beautiful lyrics and emotions behind them, making it the center of the album. Love Talking features other artists including Jimmy Robbins, Ashley Gorley, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, and more.

—Silke Jasso

"Prettiest Girl I Don't Know," Troy Cartwright

I always enjoy Troy Cartwright but this might be my favorite song he's ever released. It's sweet, catchy, and has some really wonderful lyrics Cartwright co-wrote with Brett Tyler and Steve Moakler. The Texas native sings all about how the woman he's just seen might be the prettiest girl he's never met. It's a unique twist on the whole concept of 'guy meets a girl in a bar.'

Some things, leave you breathless / 'Cause they're so damn out of this world / And right now, it just hit me / That you must be the prettiest girl

— Courtney Fox

"Hear About a Girl," Dalton Dover

Dalton Dover has had one wild ride as one of the hottest new acts in country music. He's been named a Spotify Hot Country 2022 Artist to Watch and if you listen to any of his songs, you'll know why. "Hear About a Girl" is an absolutely heartbreaking song about a man turning his life around for the woman he loves, only to turn to alcohol after the relationship doesn't work out. The beautiful lyrics suck you right into the tragic tale and not only make you feel for the narrator but force you to reflect back on any pain you ever felt after a tough breakup.

And then you hear about a girl you can't get off your mind/ Drinking by yourself just trying to find/ A little bit of hope in the 90 proof/ That you'll get over her 'cause she's over you

"This ride so far has been crazy," Dover said. "Everything I've worked for my entire life is happening right before my eyes, and I'll forever be grateful to everyone for listening, sharing and duetting the music and to the Country community for giving this ole boy from Georgia a real shot. I'm so thankful for each of you. Here's to dreams coming true, some kick-ass shows and new music!"

— Courtney Fox


READ MORE: Kevin Costner Reflects on His Upbringing, Shares Song Inspired By 'Yellowstone' at Tennessee Festival