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.
"Cosmic Sigh," Erin Rae
Singer-songwriter Erin Rae celebrates the triumph of quiet perseverance on the lush, string-laden "Cosmic Sigh."
"Winter in Nashville will sometimes tease us with an almost warm day, and it's enough to remind you it won't be grey and cold forever," Rae said in a statement. "When change starts to occur, it's uncomfortable. It makes me wanna take some steps back and be really sure it's necessary to change. This song feels like it tells the story of the quiet, powerful triumph of continuing on, one step at a time."
"Cosmic Sigh" is featured on Rae's forthcoming album Lighten Up, the follow-up to her 2018 album Putting On Airs.
"The process of making my last record allowed me to visualize how recorded sounds come to be, so returning to recordings of beloved artists like Feist, Judee Sill, Wilco, became exciting all over again," Rae said. "I could suddenly imagine what was happening in the room to create what I was hearing on the recording."
Lighten Up is out on Feb. 4.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"Crooked Tree," Molly Tuttle
Molly Tuttle praises individuality on "Crooked Tree," the title track from her forthcoming album with new bluegrass collective Golden Highway.
"I always knew I wanted to make a bluegrass record someday," Tuttle said in a press release. "Once I started writing, everything flowed so easily: sometimes I've felt an internal pressure to come up with a sound no one's heard before, but this time my intention was just to make an album that reflected the music that's been passed down through generations in my family. I found a way to do that while writing songs that feel true to who I am, and it really helped me to grow as a songwriter."
Crooked Tree, produced by Tuttle and Jerry Douglas, features collaborations with Margo Price, Old Crow Medicine Show, Sierra Hull, Billy Strings, Dan Tyminski and Gillian Welch. The album will be released on April 1 via Nonesuch Records.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"Colors," Tori Allen
Tori Allen, a talented multi-instrumentalist in the CMT Awards house band and the touring ensembles of Ashland Craft and others, steps to the forefront as a singer-songwriter with "Colors" and its sunshiny music video.
The Allen, Corey Wagar-Grogan and Josh Paige co-write about love and acceptance dates back to 2016.
"We wrote this song about the professional NFL players kneeling on the field during their national televised games- just to have the world 'hear' and 'see' them...but I felt the world wasn't ready to hear or receive where they were coming from," Allen said in a press release. "My family and I grew up in government funded housing where we didn't have a lot. I watched the kids next to me get different treatment than I did as a young white female, but we were all in the same boat. We were all coming from a home that couldn't support us, but we had an entire community of kids that made me believe in the power of people, and the open idea that the end of the day, we all come from somewhere. It may look different, but at the end of the day we must function from a place of love."
-- Bobby Moore
"Even When," The Waymores
The Waymores' Kira Annalise and Willie Heath Neal sing of fractured relationships, lingering regret and staunch individualism on "Even When," a selection from forthcoming album Stone Sessions (out April 8 via Chicken Ranch Records).
"'Even When' reflects upon losses: People and situations that you thought you couldn't live without," Annalise told Americana Highways for the song's premiere. "As time passes maybe you realize you were wrong and other times maybe you weren't. Some people really aren't worth missing but no matter how many times you tell yourself that, it still stings when they go.
"When we started writing 'Even When,' we weren't in this place of anguish over lost loves but more of a spiteful spot taking the approach of 'I don't need anybody' but also 'don't you miss me?'," she continued. "The lyrics came rather quickly but the dynamics were born later, in the studio. In the breakdown, Willie asked our steel player to pick the steel like a banjo and it wound up being one of our favorite little album secrets."
-- Bobby Moore
"Don't Make Her Look Dumb," Maddie & Tae ft. Morgane Stapleton
"Don't Make Her Look Dumb," from Maddie & Tae's new projectThrough the Madness Vol. 1, features none other than Morgane Stapleton.
The powerhouse vocalists sing about love and heartbreak on the track, which serves as a straightforward message to an uncaring partner.
"No one's gonna judge you if it don't work out/ People think they're fallin' in and end up fallin' out," the trio sings. "But it seems like you're enjoying this, like you're doing it for fun/ If you don't love her, leave her/ Tell her that you're done/ Just don't make her look dumb for loving you."
Through The Madness Vol. 1 includes eight tracks in total, including previous singles, "Woman You Got," "Strangers" and "Madness." It follows their sophomore album, The Way It Feels, which featured their No. 1 single and double platinum certified song "Die From a Broken Heart." Taylor Kerr and husband Josh Kerr made headlines this year after announcing the early arrival of their daughter, Leighton Grace Kerr.
"Long Live Cowgirls," Ian Munsick ft. Cody Johnson
Ian Munsick and Cody Johnson paired up for their first duet, "Long Live Cowgirls." The fiddle-driven western ballad is a tribute to hard-working women.
The two country artists toured together in the fall of 2021 when Munsick was a guest on Johnson's headlining tour. Munsick revealed that he had always dreamed of collaborating with Johnson, which is why "Long Live Cowgirls" was so special to him.
"It's one of those songs that is like, 'Man, there's only a few artists that could really pull this off, and he was our No. 1 choice," Munsick told CMT. "I hope that everybody can draw their own connection to it. Cowgirls are real people. They enjoy the little things in life. Even though they're this larger-than-life character in our history, they're still out there every day working hard, having fun, and loving people."
"Long Live Cowgirls," was co-written by Munsick, Phil O'Donnell and Aby Gutierrez.
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