First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos and albums that dropped this week.
Much of the new country music released this week served as a preview to several upcoming projects. Keith Urban dropped “God Whispered Your Name,” the follow-up to previous chart topper “We Were,” while Kelsea Ballerini revealed “Hole in the Bottle,” which will be featured on her March 20 release Kelsea.
Additionally, newcomer Kylie Morgan unveiled the memorable “Break Things” while Trea Landon released his debut EP Dirt Road Dancin’ on Warner Music Nashville. Revered songwriter Hailey Whitters also shared her debut album The Dream.
Below, hear some of the best new country music out this week.
Hailey Whitters, The Dream
Whitters’ much anticipated debut project The Dream arrived today (Feb. 28). A labor of love, the singer-songwriter penned 10 of the 12 tracks on the autobiographical release. Memorable tales of living in the moment (“The Days”), struggles (“Ten Year Town”) and wisdom found in others (“Janice at the Hotel Bar”) are peppered throughout the standout release.
“I’ve been really surprised and really humbled by all the things that have happened with this new music — it’s a weird thing to make a project purely for its own sake and to see the response that has come out of it,” she previously told Billboard. “It’s a cool feeling, and the magic that I needed to see again with Nashville.”
Keith Urban, “God Whispered Your Name”
The reigning ACM entertainer of the year and future ACM Awards host released the sentimental “God Whispered Your Name” earlier this week. The soulful ballad features Urban’s sultry falsetto alongside a driving beat and ear-grabbing guitar parts. The song marks Urban’s first new music this year and is expected to be featured on his forthcoming 11th studio album, the follow-up to his 2018 album Graffiti U.
Kelsea Ballerini, “Hole In the Bottle”
Ballerini dropped her first-ever drinking song with the infectious “Hole In the Bottle.” The feel-good throwback tune has the singer discussing her love of wine while admitting, “I swear ten minutes ago that bottle was full…” With traditional country instrumentation alongside slick programmed drum loops, Ballerini blends traditional with modern on this ear-worm. In addition to revealing brand new song “Hole In the Bottle” today, Ballerini released the track listing for her upcoming album which includes collaborations with Kenny Chesney and Halsey.
Kylie Morgan, “Break Things”
Morgan reveals her vulnerabilities on the confessional “Break Things” where she warns, “I tend to take it too far/ So don’t hand me your heart/ ‘Cause I break things.” The Oklahoma native’s distinct, wavering vocals shine on the tune while her adept songwriting garnered interest from Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, which resulted in her initial signing with SMACKSongs before acquiring a record deal with EMI Records Nashville.
Trea Landon, Dirt Road Dancin’ EP
Landon drops his first Warner Music Nashville offering with the versatile EP Dirt Road Dancin’. The 26-year-old Georgia native had a hand in penning four of the project’s five tracks including the descriptive “Loved By a Country Boy” and foot-stomping and banjo-driven title track. With traditional elements that recall Jon Pardi, Landon introduces himself to the country community throughout the memorable release.
“Dirt Road Dancin’ is a pretty good sample of everything that makes me who I am,” Landon said in a statement. “It’s everything that makes a country boy, a country boy. Long drives, late nights, field parties and falling in love. I’m excited for fans to get to know me better and have fun doing it.”