Here’s out round up of some of the latest country singles to keep an eye on (good and bad!)
DEVIN DAWSON – ‘ALL ON ME’
Ok, so who is Devin Dawson you may ask? The basics are that he was raised near to Folsom Prison in California, is 28 and is signed to Warner Nashville.
He is also likely to have a serious country radio hit with his debut single ‘All On Me’ which is making its way up the charts. He is releasing his first album later this year and the tracks that we have heard so far sound awesome.
‘All On Me’ is the perfect US Country radio tune. By that we mean that it’s not particularly country. However, it’s catchy, progressive and will bring this guy to the attention of the masses.
Keen YouTubers may remember Dawson’s mashup of Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’/’Style’ with Louisa Wendorff that was seen by 34 million viewers and helped his profile. With a major label now behind him, it’s likely that we will be hearing a lot more of Devin Dawson.
SHANIA TWAIN – ‘SWINGIN’ WITH MY EYES CLOSED’
From the new to the very established. Shania’s re-emergence on the scene has been dramatic with appearances just about everywhere. Turn on Strickly and she’s there. She’s been a guest on The One Show, and if you listen to Radio 2, this song is record of the week. Her profile is huge and a headline appearance at Hyde Park is the type of gig many of our favourites could only dream of.
‘Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed’ is the third track that has been released from her forthcoming album and it’s probably the weakest. Our appetite for new Shania music seems to have peaked with ‘Life’s About To Get Good’ which, although devoid of anything remotely country, at least had an attractive chorus. ‘Swingin’ is basically a reggae-pop song that might sound great to the masses at Hyde Park but will be a huge turn off to those of us who remember Shania from her ‘Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under’ and ‘You’re Still The One’ days.
It’s early days and they may be holding the country songs back, but let’s hope the release of Shania’s album isn’t the biggest disappointment of 2017.
JANA KRAMER – ‘I’VE DONE LOVE’
Most of Jana Kramer’s recent headlines seem to have focused on her private life and it’s a welcome relief to be able to report on some new music. ‘I’ve Done Love’, written by Josh Osborne, Nicolle Galyon and Shane McAnally, seems perfect for the back story.
“I’ve taken hits, woke up hungover. Gone on benders, stone cold sober. Slammed the door right off the hinges, hotel rooms and midnight binges”
Some songs seem destined for the singer. Trace Adkins and ‘Watered Down’ come to mind. She needs another hit and this might just be it.
THE WANDERING HEARTS – ‘DEVIL’
We had the pleasure of meeting up with these guys very recently. They have received flattering comparisons to Little Big Town which might be a tad premature but with Decca records’ assistance, they seem to be getting slots with very influential people.
They have just featured on Bob Harris’ Country Show. Radio 2 are heavily rotating this single and the video is getting healthy views.
We have heard some of the forthcoming album and it’s seriously good. You can catch them supporting Marty Stuart later this year and they have a headline gig at The Borderline on October 24th.
MORGAN EVANS – ‘KISS SOMEBODY’
This guy stole the show at this year’s Buckle & Boots Festival. He is huge in his native Australia but his profile in the US to date seems to have related mainly to his relationship with Kelsea Ballerini. They are engaged and will be tying the knot soon. We recommend that you check out his YouTube mashups of recent country hits which he performs Ed Sheeran style with a musical loop machine. Very impressive.
‘Kiss Somebody’ is another of those infectious country-pop songs that just worm their way into your head and seem to stay there. Another tune that will sound awesome on the car radio and really should be a massive hit.
JOE NICHOLS – ‘NEVER GETS OLD’
The title track of Joe’s album is gaining some traction on the country breakout charts. The album was released in July and hasn’t made too much of a dent in the album charts having shifted a paltry 9,000 copies.
It really needs a push and let’s hope that the attention garnered by the single’s momentum will bring this guy back from relative obscurity. It’s easy to forget that Nichols was releasing gold-certified albums 10 years ago. He, more than most, seems to have suffered from the shift away from the traditional country crooners.
However, his last number 1 country airplay single was only 3 years ago when he had a huge hit with ‘Yeah’. In our multi-faceted country music environment, please let there be room for ‘Never Gets Old’.
DYLAN SCOTT – ‘HOOKED’
Curb records have done rather well with Dylan Scott’s career to date. ‘My Girl’ made its way to the top of the country airplay charts and top 3 in the general chart. His album has shifted 45,000 copies and is still selling consistently despite the fact that it’s already 13 months old.
The follow up single is ‘Hooked’ which is lifted from the album and probably wouldn’t have been my choice. There were better options, and bearing in mind the current trend to emulate Sam Hunt, ‘Can’t Take Her Anywhere’ with its rap interludes would have been perfect for current US country radio trends, but what do I know?
Scott has also demonstrated his country heritage in the past and sold 100,000 copies of ‘Crazy Over Me’, which is a direction he may choose to go in the future. For now, let’s just watch ‘Hooked’ race up the charts!
DANIELLE BRADBERY – ‘SWAY’
This has been around for a couple of months in truth and is the lead single from her sophomore album ‘I Don’t Believe We’ve Met’ which is due in December.
We haven’t heard too much from her recently. The last single ‘Friend Zone’ failed to chart and her career has been stalling somewhat since her hit song ‘Heart Of Dixie’ in 2013.
‘Sway’ has been released on country radio since August and is beginning to pick up momentum.
SARAH DUNN BAND – ‘A COWBOY’S FACE’
In a musical climate that seems to shun female singers it’s an absolute pleasure to be able to bring this stunning release to your attention.
A great rhythm, great singing, fiddles and pedal steels. Remember when this was the norm?
As an introduction to this girl’s back catalogue, ‘A Cowboy’s Face’ is perfect. Check out the album that this came from ‘Unbridle Me’.
BILLY CURRINGTON – ‘WAKE ME UP’
In June 2015 Billy Currington released his last album ‘Summer Forever’.
Since then, Mercury Nashville have released 4 singles and are about to release a fifth, ‘Wake Me Up’. The album was full of potential hits, and the stellar success of the last two tracks lifted from the album ‘It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To’ and Do I Make You Wanna’ has no doubt inspired this move.
However, wouldn’t his fans prefer to hear something new? We all know that Currington has had a chequered time in his personal life but surely he would like to be performing fresh material.
‘Wake Me Up’ is good. Nothing wrong with a single that will no doubt return Billy Currington to the top of the charts. It’s an up-beat, radio friendly pop-country song that will receive masses of airplay. It’s just not very new…….