Every week, the Wide Open Country team rounds up our favorite newly released country, folk, bluegrass and Americana songs. Here are six songs we currently have on repeat.
"All Too Well" (Ten Minute Version), Taylor Swift
It's been a big week for those of us who've spent precious moments over the last decade wondering about the whereabouts of Taylor Swift's scarf. (If you know, you know). While that particular question has't been answered directly (yet), we did get an extended version of the mother of all breakup anthems: "All Too Well." Featured on the newly released Red (Taylor's Version), the ten-minute version of the 2012 song is a bittersweet saga of a love affair and first heartbreak. Like the memory of long gone ex, Swift's lyric "You call me up again just to break me like a promise/ So casually cruel in the name of being honest" still stings.
Red (Taylor's Version) features collaborations with Phoebe Bridgers, Chris Stapleton and more.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"Talkin' to Myself," Sarah Shook and the Disarmers
North Carolina group Sarah Shook and the Disarmers look inward on jangly honky-tonk rocker "Talkin' to Myself." The song is the latest release from their forthcoming album Nightroamer (out Feb. 18).
"I think this record is different than ones we've done in the past. It feels every bit as expansive as I wanted it to feel," Shook says. "I didn't want there to be a shocking, jarring difference, but I definitely wanted it to feel like things are opening up."
Nightroamer is the band's followup to their critically acclaimed 2018 album Years.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"Baby I Am," Dalton Dover
Add 23-year-old Dalton Dover to the list of undeniably talented underdogs getting a popularity boost from TikTok. His 400K+ followers on the app guaranteed a captive audience for "Baby I Am," a song dedicated to his high school sweetheart from small-town Georgia turned wife, Faith.
"All the fans are telling me they're planning to use it for their wedding song! I can't think of a more flattering compliment as that. For my music to be a part of their lives is incredible," shared Dover in a press release. "I've never had a response to a song like this. "When we were recording the song, I told producer McV (Matt McVaney) I wanted to hide this and not say anything to Faith as I wanted this to be a song to her - well, if you're married, you know you can't hide something like that from your wife," he continued. "It's even better though as now I get to sing it to her."
"Baby I Am" builds on the momentum from Dover's debut song, October release "You Got a Small Town."
"Snow Angels," Sam Williams
Most everything Sam Williams does professionally furthers a family tradition. For example, Williams' seasonal soundscape "Snow Angels" reflects the heartfelt storytelling of grandfather Hank Williams' stunning deep cut "At the First Fall of Snow" and father Hank Williams Jr.'s faith-filled baritone rendition of "Little Drummer Boy."
On the flip side, Williams' music exists because of his appreciation for the pop elements that've evolved mainstream country music and his working relationship with some of Nashville's top talents. He wrote "Snow Angels" with three elite collaborators with impressive songwriting resumes: Hillary Lindsey (Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood), Jonny Price (Tim McGraw) and the late Andrew Dorff (Kenny Chesney).
Indeed, Williams' second holiday-appropriate offering (following a cover of "Blue Christmas") reminds us of both his kinfolks' roots and his ear for songs that hat-tip the past while pushing country music into the future.
"Minus You," Brandon Davis
TikTok superstar Brandon Davis was first noticed by Big Yellow Dog Music and has now officially released his second single under the label, "Minus You." The song was co-written by Davis and Sam Koon and produced by Josh Bricker.
"It's a small-town breakup anthem," Davis told PEOPLE, "When you break up in a small town, even if the person moves away, no matter where you go, you're seeing that person in that town because everywhere is where they were, so you can't get away from it.'
The singer went viral on TikTok with over 1.5 million followers and more than 11 million likes, garnering him the attention from music producers. His previous releases include "More Than A Flag," "Step by Step" and "Destiny" which put him on the iTunes Country and All-Genre Charts.
-- Silke Jasso
"Whatever It Takes," by High Valley
High Valley recently released not only one, but two new songs: "Whatever It Takes" and "Never Not." "Whatever It Takes," written by Jon Nite, Ben Stennis and Brad Rempel, features beautiful lyrics that paint an elaborate picture of what long-lasting love is and captures the band's unique bluegrass sound.
"Take my heart tonight/ Still be yours in the morning light/ Take your sweet ole time/ I can wait forever or whatever you like," the band sings. "Take this long shot/ It's all we got/ Hey babe, what do ya say?/ We giv? this love whatever it tak?s."
"I write so many songs and I love writing songs, but every once in a while I write a song where it really truly feels like we've married the kind of acoustic, old school bluegrass I grew up with," Rempel stated.