This week’s column features a shot of Latin flavor with two bilingual tracks, including Scotty McCreery‘s collab with Gusi, as well as Honey County’s pairing with Chiquis. Plus, Kimberly Perry makes her first post-The Band Perry solo outing, revisiting and revamping one of the group’s biggest hits.
Kimberly Perry, “If I Die Young Pt. 2”
Kimberly Perry officially emerges from her time as one-third of the sibling trio The Band Perry, to launch her solo career by reprising one of her own biggest hits, the Grammy-nominated “If I Die Young.” On her new release, “If I Die Young Pt. 2,” she keeps the chorus, but revamps the verses to offer an alternative ending to the somber track, with the protagonist now looking back, grateful and whole, and happy at having overcome the emotional darkness of her youth.
“Lord, I’m glad you didn’t pay me no attention/ When I sent up a prayer of a child’s premonition,” she sings, later detailing that she’s grown up now with a daughter of her own. The song marks a coming home of sorts for Perry, after the trio made a foray into more pop and alternative sounds, but also makes one thing certain — Perry’s songwriting and affecting vocal talents have never sounded better.
Scotty McCreery with Gusi, “Why She Gotta Be Like That”
Scotty McCreery pays homage to his Puerto Rican heritage on this bilingual track, teaming with Colombian singer-songwriter GUSI for a reimagined version of this song from McCreery’s Same Truck album (though the song was titled “Why You Gotta Be Like That” on the project). This polished track gets infused with Latin guitar flourishes, while McCreery sings the first verse in English and GUSI takes the second verse in Spanish, before the pair eventually mingle the two languages on the bridge and chorus. A worth addition to a canon of country-Latin collaborations that includes Midland offering a Spanish version of “Drinkin’ Problem” with Jay De Al Cueva, the Carrie Underwood/David Bisbal collab “Tears of Gold,” Kane Brown teaming with Becky G for a remix of “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere,” and Willie Nelson teaming with Julio Iglesias on songs including the classic “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.”
Honey County feat. Chiquis, “Got It From My Mama (Lo Tengo De Mi Mama)”
Continuing with the country-Latin collaborations is this pairing of Honey County and two-time Latin Grammy winner Chiquis for a bilingual version of “Got It From My Mama” (Lo Tengo De Mi Mama).” This light-hearted swirl of pop-country tenderness give high praise to their mothers, and to the various qualities they inherited — from eye colors, ambitions, freckles and “how I have to have the last word.”
MacKenzie Porter “Chasing Tornadoes”
“I must have a thing for twisters,” Porter sings in this track, bringing plenty of attitude and panache to this gale-force pop-country track. Porter is known for her multi-week No. 1 Billboard Country Airplay hit with Dustin Lynch, “Thinking ‘Bout You,” but on this solo track, her focus is on the yin-and-yang of running down a hot-and-cold relationship. Her warm, agile vocal brings a note of grace to the song’s devil-may-care atmosphere. “Chasing Tornadoes” was written by Emily Landis, Lainey Wilson and Jamie Moore.
Larry Fleet, “Young Buck”
Hard-won wisdom rules the day on this grungy country track, as father-son time spent in the deer stand transforms into lessons passed down from one generation to the other. As the son nabs his first young buck, he’s eager to add to his count, but his father attempts to temper his son’s ambitions with the notion that he’s still a “young buck” himself, with plenty of time — and that time is of more value than a buck on the wall. Writing from Andy Albert, John Byron, Devin Dawson and Jacob Durrett, paired with Fleet’s flinty vocal, makes a fine outing.
Turnpike Troubadours, “Mean Old Sun”
Red Dirt rockers Turnpike Troubadours return with much-anticipated new music, with Shooter Jennings producing this fleet-fingered foot-stomper that again conveys the group’s superior, tightly-knit musicianship and ever maturing, evocative lyricism. The group debuted the song during a recent set at Stagecoach Festival in California, as a glimpse into their new album, Cat in the Rain, out Aug. 25. They’ve also revealed a strong slate of tour dates for this year, welcoming openers that include Kaitlin Butts and Muscadine Bloodline.
Karley Scott Collins, “Brain on Love”
Collins depicts the emotional nuances — or as the lyrics put it, the “psychedelic fever dream” — of someone in the depths of infatuation on this darkly-folky, foot-stomping track. The song pulses with urgency and reveals Collins as a soulful vocalist. “Brain on Love” is featured on Collins’ new project, Hands on the Wheel, out today. Collins is a co-writer on all five tracks including this sleekly produced, brooding track, which she co-wrote with Summer Overstreet, Cameron Bartolini and LIam Kevany, with production from Dann Huff.
Trey Lewis, “Up Yours”
Lewis first broke through with the crude single “Dicked Down in Dallas” in 2020, but he returns with this clever kiss-off to a ex-lover, written by Lee Thomas Miller, Ben Stennis and John Pierce. The title suggests a track in a similar vein as his previous offering, but quickly transitions to a more subtle dig, as he attempts to drown his sorrows in a bar, only to hear his ex’s favorite song and run into someone who brings up her name. In the end, his resolve to get over her is barely hanging on, as he sings, “I’m just trying to keep my phone/ From calling up yours.” Lewis signed with River House Artists late last year.