First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos and albums that dropped this week.
Several memorable country albums were released Friday (Aug. 23), including Vince Gill’s standout project Okie, Tanya Tucker’s first album of new material in 17 years with the reflective While I’m Livin’, and Midland’s throwback sophomore record Let It Roll. Another notable reveal is “Soon You’ll Get Better,” a stirring collaboration with the Dixie Chicks featured on Taylor Swift’s new album Lover. The stripped-down track channels Swift’s early country days with delicate plucks of a banjo and memorable harmonies from the Dixie Chicks coupled with Swift’s whispered vocals and confessional lyrics as she details her mother’s cancer diagnosis.
From Adam Hambrick’s fun-filled video for “Forever Ain’t Long Enough” to Trisha Yearwood’s surprise collaboration with Garth Brooks on “What Gave Me Away,” below are five projects to keep on repeat this weekend.
Adam Hambrick, “Forever Ain’t Long Enough”
Adam Hambrick’s infectious new song “Forever Ain’t Long Enough” highlights the newcomer’s impressive falsetto and knack for penning a chorus that sticks with the listener long after the track is over. The feel-good tune, which the singer co-wrote with Joe Ginsberg and Kelly Archer, has Hambrick crooning of his undying love for his lady, while the throwback video transports the viewers to the setting of a diner in the 1980s with an unexpected ending.
American Young, Soundtrack of Your Life
American Young’s five-track EP Soundtrack of Your Life showcases the duo’s stunning harmonies alongside vivid storytelling and memorable production. Whether Kristy Osmunson is taking lead on tracks like the reflective “Die Another Day” alongside soaring string features, or she trades off with Jon Stone on the sultry “Falling Star,” American Young captivates the listener. It’s fan favorite “Gonna Be You,” though, that highlights their rising star power.
Dylan Schneider, Whole Town Talk
Dylan Schneider showcases his undeniable country swagger on new EP Whole Town Talk. The four-song project was launched by the singer’s label home, Interscope, in partnership with Florida Georgia Line’s new label Round Here Records. Slick production and Schneider’s rapid-fire singing style kick off the project on the title track and its follow-up, “How to Country,” while “Hometown Heartless” shows his sensitive side as he tries to move on at the end of a relationship.
Trisha Yearwood, “What Gave Me Away” feat. Garth Brooks
Yearwood’s soul shines through on her sultry new song “What Gave Me Away,” featured on her upcoming album Every Girl in This Town, out Aug. 30. Penned by Blair Daly, Troy Verges and Lucie Silvas, the confessional track features additional vocals from Yearwood’s husband Brooks. The blues-fueled ballad has Yearwood asking her now-husband what it was that gave her infatuation away when they first met and she keeps the listener’s attention until the very end, hoping for an answer from Brooks himself.
Zac Brown Band, “Need This”
Zac Brown Band continue to reveal their many musical talents and influences with the experimental “Need This.” Pushing genre lines, “Need This” blends elements of country and EDM with forward-thinking production from frontman Zac Brown, Jason ‘Poo Bear’ Boyd, Andrew DeRoberts and Ryan Tedder. All the while, Brown’s vocals shift effortlessly from a sultry singing style to slowed rapping while the beat picks up. The song is featured on the band’s upcoming album The Owl, out Sept. 20 BMG.