First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos and albums that dropped this week.
The women rule the country releases today (Aug. 30), with several album and single reveals including Trisha Yearwood’s stunning Every Girl album and Ashley McBryde’s stirring “One Night Standards,” plus Caylee Hammack’s reflective “Preciatcha” and much more.
Here are six picks to spin at the barbeque during the last weekend of summer.
Ashley McBryde, “One Night Standards”
McBryde returns with “One Night Standards,” the first taste of new music since 2018’s standout Girl Going Nowhere. On her new single, McBryde paints the picture of two lonely people at a hotel who find temporary respite during a one night stand. With a unique perspective on the tune, McBryde lays out the plans and makes her message clear: “I don’t want a number you ain’t gonna answer/ Let’s just stick to the one night standards.”
Sheryl Crow, Threads
Aubrie Sellers, “My Love Will Not Change” feat. Steve Earle
Sellers teams up with Steve Earle on a rollicking cover of the Del McCoury Band’s “My Love Will Not Change.” The second single off her forthcoming album, Far From Home out Feb. 7 via Soundly Music, “My Love Will Not Change” was penned by Shawn Camp and Billy Burnett and features gritty guitar parts, a stomping beat and Sellers’ sultry vocals accompanied by Earle’s stunning harmonies. Transforming the bluegrass original to a soulful country-rock number, Sellers puts her distinct stamp on the standout version.
Caylee Hammack, “Preciatcha”
After introducing herself to the country genre with the autobiographical “Family Tree,” Hammack returns with the reflective breakup ballad “Preciatcha.” Penned with Jordan Schmidt and Laura Veltz, the song has Hammack thanking an ex for the lessons he taught her before they said goodbye. Realizing what they had wasn’t love, she is the bigger person in the story by saying, “I preciatcha/ Every time you made me cry/ Even how you said goodbye…But it taught me that isn’t love.” Her vulnerable vocals paired with reflective lyrics and memorable percussion further exemplify why Hammack is one of the most promising newcomers in the genre.
Craig Morgan, “The Father, My Son and The Holy Ghost”
Keep the tissues nearby for Craig Morgan’s powerful song “The Father, My Son and The Holy Ghost.” His first new music in three years since losing his son, Jerry, in a boating accident, Morgan shares the grief he’s gone through following the death of his child and how he coped with the heartbreaking news. Penned by himself and self-released, each verse is more vulnerable than the last. “I’ve been beat up, I’ve been pushed and shoved but never ever really knocked down…/But the pain of this was more than I ever felt before/ Yeah, I was broke,” he laments, before becoming hopeful. “I know my boy ain’t here, but he ain’t gone.”
Eric Church, “Monsters”
Eric Church details how a person’s fears change throughout his lifetime on the introspective “Monsters.” Church’s new single and follow-up to “Some of It,” his eighth No. 1 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart, on “Monsters” the Chief sings of the restless feelings he has had, first, as a child with monsters under the bed, and later his fears as an adult. “Fallin’ on my knees is my new turnin’ on the light/ I keep my faith intact, make sure my prayers are said/ ’Cause I’ve learned that the monsters ain’t the ones beneath the bed,” he sings in the chorus alongside soaring guitar riffs and backing vocalists that are reminiscent of a gospel choir.