First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos & albums that dropped this week.
Luke Combs and Miranda Lambert, “Outrunnin’ Your Memory”
Reigning CMA entertainer of the year Combs and reigning ACM entertainer of the year Lambert join forces for a moody breakup song that finds each desperately trying to rid the other from their memory: “Outrunnin’ your memory is like outrunnin’ the wind/ I can’t get where I’m going if I can’t leave where you’ve been.” Lambert’s cool, country delivery complements Combs’s gravelly tone on this soulful country track, which sounds like an instant classic from two of country music’s superstars. The song is featured on Combs’s new album Growin’ Up, out today.
Sam Hunt, “Water Under the Bridge”
A twangy slice of nostalgia for childhood summers spent by the river, mixed with Hunt’s signature half-spoken/half-sung delivery. “We used to load up on Natty, unleaded and smokes/ Hide from the sheriff and let down our folks,” Hunt sings, with a deft blend of wistfulness and devil-may-care attitude.
Kip Moore, “Fire on Wheels”
After releasing the long-time fan favorite, the hazy gauze of nostalgia in “Crazy One More Time” earlier this year, Moore returns with perhaps his most danceable track to date, fueled by his fiery, defiant blend of country and southern rock. His raw, passionate vocal veers over thundering percussion, the result being a song perfectly crafted for the concert stage.
The groove gallops at full speed, further elevated by BRELAND’s joyous, effervescent vocal. The interpolation of Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” adds a dash of familiarity and sparkle. This track is poised to become an inescapable smash.
Tenille Townes ft. Breland, “Shared Walls”
Breland lands a second entry this week, as he and Tenille Townes settle into a gorgeous ballad about finding the common ground between perfect strangers. The story of catching glimpses into the life of another apartment dweller — exchanging pleasantries, picking up each other’s mail, or even hearing the cries of heartbreak at night through the thin apartment walls — is a deft balance of deep detail and universality.
David Nail, “Sunset Carousel”
Nail has a flamethrower of a voice, but he opts for a nicely subdued rendering that puts this tale of a short-lived summer love at the forefront. Nail wrote the song with Grant Vogel and Robyn Collins.
Randy Houser, “Workin’ Man”
Written by Houser and Randy Montana, “Workin’ Man” adds to country music’s canon of songs honoring blue-collar workers, detailing “workin’ man” essentials from steel-toed boots, morning coffee, and BC powder for constant aches. Houser yields his enviable vocals with a rough-hewn delivery that lends grit to this radio-friendly track.
Sunny Sweeney feat. Paul Cauthen, “A Song Can’t Fix Everything”
This delightfully twangy track finds Sweeney and Cauthen musing that a song “can’t fix everything,” but it can serve as a conduit for memories and a respite from life’s rough patches. Written by Sweeney and Lori McKenna, this track showcases the beautiful vocal blend between Cauthen and Sweeney, atop a timeless message.
Sammy Arriaga, “Chevy Bel Air”
Smooth island vibes blend with touches of country and Latin pop for a light-hearted song as cool as a fruity drink on a sizzling summer day. Meanwhile, Arriaga’s grainy, warm voice and laid-back delivery reveals the influence of artists like Keith Urban.