First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos & albums that dropped this week.
Chris Young, “All Dogs Go to Heaven”
Young releases two new songs today, and each revolves around love and devotion. “Looking For You” depicts a couple’s love story, while “All Dogs Go to Heaven” is a tribute to man’s best friend. “He’s the closest thing to pure love that I’ve never known,” Young sings in “All Dogs Go to Heaven.” On this tender track, Young’s low-key (yet passionate) vocal still pierces the soul.
Lukas Graham and Mickey Guyton, “Home Movies”
Guyton teams with Danish pop band Lukas Graham for the inspirational ballad “Home Movies,” which leans into the value in looking back on memories, even the less than superlative ones. These two artists pair wondrously on this sleek, anthemic pop ballad. The song is from Lukas Graham’s upcoming album 4 (The Pink Album), out Jan. 20.
Dierks Bentley, “Same Ol’ Me”
Bentley mashes up a swampy, honkytonk vibe with bluegrass flourishes as he declares that though time brings changes to fashions, hairstyles and age, he will remain steadfast in his love for down-to-earth bars, getting rowdy and his significant other. The song is from Bentley’s upcoming 10th album, Gravel & Gold, out Feb. 24.
Diplo feat. Kodak Black and Koe Wetzel, “Wasted”
Thomas Wesley (aka Diplo) comes galloping back into the country scene, this time teaming with Koe Wetzel and Kodak Black for the party jam “Wasted.” The track is a deft blend of pulsating, hard rock rhythm with a lyric that muses on the peaks and valleys of being intoxicated. “The pistol on the counter keeps starin’ at me, I threw away the bullets and I gave it away/ ‘Cause life is so much sweeter when you taste it/ Bring me back to life when I’m wasted,” they sing. Diplo released his first country-tinged project 2020, spearheaded by the hit “Heartless” with Morgan Wallen.
Ian Munsick, “River Run”
Gorgeous fiddle laces this organic musical romp as he recalls a short-lived romance with a lover whose “gypsy blood runs through her veins.” Though he, like many in his small town “just settle like the dust when the day is done,” he acknowledges that she, like the river, will never stay still. His sophomore album, White Buffalo, will be released April 7.
Alana Springsteen, “You Don’t Deserve a Country Song”
“You didn’t give me anything that’s worth writing down,” Springsteen sings with a forceful retort over a jaunty melody, making it clear she won’t be wasting her pen, paper and songwriting talents on a subpar ex-lover. This confidence bolstering jam also namechecks Brooks & Dunn’s “Neon Moon,” Keith Urban’s “You’ll Think of Me,” and Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most.” Bonus points for Springsteen tacking on a voice memo of her co-writers singing along at the end.
Drayton Farley, “Norfolk Blues”
Farley parlays his time working on the railroad into this driving folk-rock track, which finds him chronicling working double shifts far from home and hanging onto the hope of providing his family a better life in the process. The honesty, ache and resolution in Farley’s rough-hewn voice are palpable, making him a potential major contender with the new wave of rawer rock production and vulnerable vocals that is currently impacting country music. “Norfolk Blues” will be included on Farley’s upcoming Sadler Vaden-produced album Twenty on High, out March 3 via Hargrove Records/Thirty Tigers.
Michael Warren, “Another Round”
Warren delivers a polished, radio-friendly track that simmers in the romantic early days of a relationship and namechecks Shenandoah in the process. Warren’s warm and amiable, paired with the song’s smooth production, should make this track at home on any number of country and pop playlists.
Royale Lynn, “Runs in the Water”
This newcomer brings ferocious, ceiling-scraping vocals and melds them with a roaring chorus and scorching guitar work on par with anything that came out of the hard-driving 2000s rock and country scenes.