Ryan Hurd – seriously… where have you been?! Each track on this 4-song project sees Hurd pour emotion into his already refined songwriting and set the whole thing on fire with his velvety vocals. Silky smooth soul, topped off nicely with that edgy, raw, rock-like roughness.
‘We Do Us’, released as a single in Sep ’16, opens the EP with a bouncy, summer island sound. It tells the story of a real relationship, literally – he sings about his relationship with fellow country music starlet Maren Morris.
‘Watching you smiling gets me smiling
Everything about you, everything about me just
Fits like a puzzle, I love your love girl
You can be the waves, baby I’ll be the beach’
The song is fun, flirtatious and honest, describing the joys of a relationship and celebrating that other person.
‘We Found Love in a Bar’, takes you somewhere else completely. Grabs onto those heart strings and plays them like a fiddle. It sees two friends casually drinking some of that Dutch courage in order to spark the magic that has always been there, just waiting on someone’s bravery.
‘I wasn’t there to get drunk but it happened
Cause I never wanted to say goodbye
We were just friends, just hanging
Just sitting ’round waiting for somebody to cross the line’
Coming in with a low guitar chug and moving through light acoustic vibes, with a hopeful sound that builds up to the first chorus and then hits with a full band crash. All the good notes and passion are used in this one, drawing you in and getting you drunk on the lyrics.
‘City Girl’ hits a little harder, with a darker feel from the beginning. This is that one relationship, that one person that you’re always going to want more than they want you.
‘Yeah, city girl, you’re gonna love me and leave me
Cause it ain’t gonna mean what it means to me, to you
When I wake up on your pillow
Start making out a little
Till it’s time to say goodbye like you always do’
The casual hook up, that can never stay just a ‘friends with benefits’ situation, because someone always ends up falling. Someone lets you in just enough to get what they wanted and you end up breaking your own heart, because you knew what it was and let yourself fall anyway.
The project closes out with my personal favorite ‘Hold You Back’… a more somber blues sound, which resembles that of John Mayer’s ‘Vultures’. That age-old tale of falling so easily back into the person that we walked away from for all of the right reasons. That final goodbye, knowing that you need to stop holding on to what used to be. Loving someone enough to set them free, even if they may not come back.
‘And it’s not like we got back together
We’re just coming back to the thing that we know
When you called it off, you said it’s for the better
That don’t make it easy for me to let go, baby’
We’ve all been there… I know I have. That one person that you just can’t seem to let go of, but you know it’s the right thing. Hurd cuts deep into the heart here and taps into the emotional purgatory, that will resonate somewhere within all of us.
This is probably one of the best EP’s I have heard in a very long time. I am not a music snob by any means, but even though this is not traditional, it is most definitely country. It hits you straight in the feels, like all country greats do! Ryan’s voice knocks it straight out of the park with his honest, raw vocals and those hard-hitting, real lyrics slide in for that home run!
My only problem here…4 songs are just not enough! Can we have a full album, like RIGHT NOW please? I honestly don’t think I can wait! Somebody pass me a whiskey, a dimly lit room and an intimate set with this man – SWOON!