First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos and albums that dropped this week.
New projects abound this week with the Cadillac Three’s distinct brand of country heard throughout their fourth studio album Country Fuzz while Canadian singer William Prince embraces the steep traditions of revered country songwriters before him like Kris Kristofferson and Charley Pride on his new album Reliever.
Sam Hunt announced earlier this week that his anticipated sophomore album Southside will be available April 3. In addition to current single “Kinfolks” and previously released “Sinning With You,” both scheduled to be on the project, Hunt dropped a brand new song called “Hard To Forget” today (Feb. 7).
Additional highlights this week include Abby Anderson’s stirring “I’ll Still Love You,” just in time for Valentine’s Day, as well as John Anderson’s new collaboration with Blake Shelton on “Tuesday I’ll Be Gone.” Tenille Townes also unveiled her excellent six-song Road to the Lemonade Stand EP.
Below are several new projects to listen to this weekend.
Abby Anderson, “I’ll Still Love You”
Anderson’s heartfelt new love song has the singer-songwriter sweetly reminiscing of the seasons of love. The soaring ballad has Anderson looking forward to a second date with a new beau before she fast forwards to the pair growing old together. “Whatever this life puts us through baby, I’ll still love you,” she croons. Co-written by Anderson and hit-songwriter Jordan Minton, “I’ll Still Love You” was produced by Grammy Award-winner Josh Kerr.
John Anderson, “Tuesday I’ll Be Gone” with Blake Shelton
Country legend John Anderson gets an assist from upcoming tour mate Blake Shelton on the traditional ballad on leaving, “Tuesday I’ll Be Gone.” The song’s vivid imagery is brought to life in a music video that includes the scenery of a car driving away alongside clips of Anderson and Shelton in the studio together. “Tuesday I’ll Be Gone” is one of 10 tracks featured on Anderson’s upcoming album Years, out April 10, and produced by Dan Auerbach and David Ferguson.
“I’m super excited about the new song with Blake. It was a dream to record with him at Easy Eye Sound,” Anderson says in a statement. “I also can’t wait to see everyone on the upcoming Friends and Heroes tour with Blake. I know it’ll be a great time as always!”
Sam Hunt, “Hard To Forget”
Hunt’s country roots run deep on his new song “Hard To Forget,” which includes a snippet of Webb Pierce’s 1953 hit “There Stands the Glass” at the song’s start and various moments throughout the entirety of the track. The beat laden song has Hunt lamenting of running into an ex everywhere he goes. It’s the first taste of new music off his upcoming sophomore album.
“You’ve got a cold heart and the cold-hard truth/ I got a bottle of whiskey, but I’ve got no proof / That you showed up tonight in that dress just to mess with my head/ So much for so long, outta sight, outta mind/ Girl, you’re lookin’ so good, it’s drivin’ me outta mine/ Aw, you’re breaking my heart/ Baby, you’re playing hard to forget,” he sings on the chorus.
Tenille Townes, Road to the Lemonade Stand
Townes’ memorable vocals and adept songwriting are on display throughout her six-song EP Road to the Lemonade Stand, out today via Columbia Nashville. Anchored by her powerful singles “Somebody’s Daughter” and “Jersey on the Wall,” the world is getting to know the Canadian singer-songwriter better with the introspective “Holding Out for the One” and emotional breakup song “I Kept the Roses.” The project comes on the heels of Townes announcing her first headlining trek, the Road to the Lemonade Stand Tour.
“It makes my heart so happy that this EP is out in the world with this collection of songs and that we are headed towards the full album coming in the spring,” Townes says in a statement. “I’ve been hearing people on the road ask about coming back for my own shows and I couldn’t be more grateful and excited for my very first acoustic headlining dates on the ‘Road to the Lemonade Stand Tour.’ I can’t wait to have hang time with everyone at these shows and keep walking down this road together.”
The Cadillac Three, Country Fuzz
The Cadillac Three return with their fourth studio album and the 16-track project is a memorable blend of country storytelling, ear-grabbing rock riffs and unmistakable soul. The trio penned 15 of the album’s 16 tracks with the exception of the feel-good “Back Home.” Highlights include the slick “Slow Rollin’,” barnburner “Hard Out Here For a Country Boy” featuring Chris Janson and Travis Tritt, and arena anthem “The Jam,” which exemplifies the band’s unique brand of country music.
Meanwhile, standout “Labels” is a bold song that has the band talking about the detriment labels can have on a person. Knowing all too well the difficulty breaking a label can be as a band, the song shines a light on a not often talked about topics in country music.
William Prince, Reliever
William Prince is swiftly making a name for himself within the country and Americana genres for his poetic lyrics and stellar musicianship. While he’s already a Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter in Canada, the U.S. is finally catching on. His Dave Cobb-produced new album Reliever highlights his descriptive storytelling with memorable songs like album opener “The Spark,” the reflective “Always Have What We Had,” and sage “Old Souls” where he sings, “Faith without action is just spinning no traction/ What the hell/ Like a life with no dream is just waking and sleeping ‘til you’re dead.” A standout project, Reliever promises that Prince will be a household name in no time.