I don’t know why, but warmer weather always put me in the mood for country music and so when the weather starts transitioning from spring to summer, I always find myself looking for new country music to add to my playlists.
Now before all of you country purists see this list and get all worked up… ya’ll just cool your jets.
I am admittedly a purist (*also see snobby) about a lot of things, but when it comes to country music I pretty much am a fan of all of it.
I think George is the king, I was born and raised in the 90’s and Kris Kristofferson’s “The Austin Sessions” is one of my all-time favorite albums. Until streaming became a thing, I owned every Kenny Chesney album to date, I did one of my high school AP English Language and Comp projects on Johnny Cash and I spent every extra penny I had in college (and then some) going to every red dirt and Texas country concert that came to town. My point is that I don’t think country music has just one sound, and I think some of the styles that have become popular in the last decade or so have a place too, and I personally like quite a bit of it. So if you don’t like it, don’t listen to it. Problem solved.
So now that we have that out of the way… I have been adding to and loving this playlist of recent country releases over the whole past month. For the most part, quite a bit of it was released in 2018, but there are a some from 2017 that I didn’t find until just recently. But if its from a relatively new artist, chances are it took a while for the song to pick up and hitting its stride just in time for summer isn’t a bad thing.
Hope you enjoy it! Let me know what’s new that you’ve been jamming to!
Also, wishing everyone a fun, safe holiday weekend! This always feels like the unofficial start of summer, but it is also important to remember that this weekend is a time to honor and remember those who aren’t with us anymore, and especially those who fought and continue to fight for our freedom.
I love music. My taste is very diverse — continually being shaped by an unique combination of people, places and experiences. I never try to pawn myself off as someone who “knows music,” because I have too much respect for those who do. I did dance and took piano lessons growing up, but trust me, you do NOT want to hear me sing. But music is a topic that I never tire of and I love swapping recommendations. Please join in and share your own picks! View past posts HERE. ********
1.Favorite New(ish) Album A Head Full of Dreams – Coldplay
Gosh, I love Coldplay. They’ve been a staple on my playlists for as long as I can remember and with so much music and aspiring artists I love that they are still relevant (umm Superbowl… HELLO!?) and putting out great music. The album’s single above “Adventure of a Lifetime,” is timeless, fun and SO different, and I don’t just mean the weird music video. My other favorite off of the album include “Everglow,” which reminds me of their older work, as well as the title track “A Head Full of Dreams,” and the instrumental “Colour Spectrum.”
2. Favorite New(ish) Collaboration Hollow by Tori Kelly ft. Big Sean
If you’ve read this series before than you know that Tori Kelly is a new artist that I have loved since her first EP came out. Her new collaboration might me my favorite song she’s put out thus far. When I read she was pairing up with Big Sean I was excited. I am usually pretty selective when it comes to rap, only liking one or two of each artists songs, but Big Sean is an exception, I like most of his music. So I was pretty disappointed that the official music video does not feature the collaboration version. It’s a song with a lot of meaning and a really good, progressive beat, which doesn’t always happen when the lyrics are heavy.
3. Favorite New (to me) Artist or Band LANco
This young, new country band is a fun group with a strong single above “Long Live Tonight” and an EP from last year. I don’t know all that much about them yet but they have a lot of energy and stand out to me, among a lot of new country male/band acts. My favorite song so far is “American Love Story”, and I also really like “Trouble Maker” and “We Do” off of the EP.
4. Jam I Have On Repeat
Drink You Away by Justin Timberlake
I know I already highlighted Chris Stapleton and his performance with Justin Timberlake at the 2015 CMA Awards. But recently I haven’t been able to take JT’s soulful single off of replay. Gosh he’s come along ways from his “Bye Bye Bye” days.
6. Favorite Spotify List “Young and Free Mix” – Spotify
Soulful and just a tad bit hippy. Signs of spring starting to show outside are perfect for this mix.
7. #SoulMusic I’m obsessing Over Smokestacks by Layla
This song has been featured on a few different TV shows and you know its something special, when you fall in love with a song without ever hearing the vocals. It’s a ballad, but unless you pay attention to the lyrics, it doesn’t stand out as one. The vocals are warm and textured, and I’m excited to hear more from this indie artist that reminds me of a mix of Florence + The Machines and Lana Del Ray. Definitely check out the rest of her new EP.
9. Current Beat That Makes Me Want to Dance…in the Car…Jamming With the Windows Down Bang My Head – David Guetta ft. Sia and Fetty Wap
Obviously we knew Guetta and Sia were a good match up after “Titanium,” but Fetty Wap too?
It’s also a great song for my running playlist.
Also, also… I have no idea what this music video is about, but it looks pretty cool.
10. An Oldie, But a Goodie Brighter Than Sunshine by Aqualung
Back in January my friend Jancey was visiting and got snowed in at my apartment with me during Winter Storm Jonas. With not much else to do we obviously we watched a lot of movies, and I introduced her to “A Lot Like Love” with Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet. This 2005 movie is virtually unknown, but it is my favorite rom-com. Yes, even over classics like How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Sweet Home Alabama. This song was the movie’s theme and after watching the movie for the first time in a couple of years, the song went back on my current playlist.
11. Work, Work It Out Irresistible by Fall Out Boy ft. Demi Lovato
I’m sure I’ve already said this before, but I am SO happy that Fall Out Boy got back to together making music full-time. Honestly, overall I think I like their comeback music better than their original stuff. Patrick Stump was fine as a solo act, but the sound the guys have as a band, is still pretty unique after all this time. They are always a solid choiceon my workout playlists, and I love this feature with Demi.
12. Making Me Want To Fall In Love Suitcase by Steven Moakler
This is such a simple, sweet song, and I love this live version above. I’ve discovered this guy back in college, and am kind of disappointed that he is still pretty unknown, because for me his voice and sound rank up there with some of my favorite staple artists in country music. Maybe this single and new music to come will be his turning point.
I really, really tried to not like this, and I’m pretty sure it will be a phase that will pass quickly
Nevertheless, sorry Mom.
14. Favorite New(ish) Cover/Remix Fast Car – Jonas Blue Dakota
I’m really picky about remixes, and even more so when it’s also a cover of an older song. Tracy Chapman’s 1988 “Fast Car” is a classic, but I am loving this new remix. It still captures the trademark tone of the original, but gives it more of a modern beat.
I’m usually a big Rihanna fan but this song is so annoying. What is she even saying?!? One day at the gym I forgot my headphones and the girl on the elliptical next to me must have too… except she decided it was OK just to play the music off her phone anyways, and had this song on repeat THE WHOLE 30 MINUTES. It took everything I had not to scratch at my eyeballs ask her to change the song.
16. Country Pick Red Fire Night – Green River Ordinance
I just want it to be summer, and to have endless amounts of cheap, bar concerts to go to where half the crowd has never heard of the band.
I recently discovered this band, though in true country fashion, it looks like they’ve been around for a while.