XO – Kelsea Ballerini
This is most definitely one of my favorite up-beat jams on Kelsea’s new album, The First Time. It feels like a the female side version of Sam Hunt’s Ex to See, but with a hell of a lot more pop flair. There’s no denying that while there are moment where Kelsea is very country, she definitely veers more to the pop side of the genre than anything else, and nowhere more than this song. It’s fun, danceable, and so incredibly witty when it comes to the lyrics. Take a listen!
Uptown Funk (Cover) – CAM
I’m sort of obsessed with CAM. Her songwriting consistently hits the nail on the head, she knows how to put in to words what certain emotions feel like. But with her cover of Uptown Funk shows that she’s a seriously valuable performer at the same time. She can go outside of that country music zone and tackle even the most complicated of vocals with what appears to be little effort. Because lets be real, this wouldn’t be the easiest of covers. Check it out!
Can’t Believe You’re Gone – Dylan Jakobsen
Newcomer, Dylan Jakobsen, brings his emotional brand of country to the spotlight with his newest video for Can’t Believe You’re Gone. The sentimental song about remeniscing over a loved one through the things they’ve left behind is a heartfelt story that all of us can relate to. His emotive voice infused with a beautiful melody and aching harmonica make for a track you can truly get lost in. The visual in the video fits the storyline itself, going through the day with little reminders of the ones that have left us, while trying to find peace in each of those moments. It’s a beautiful song and a touching story that sets Dylan apart. This is definitely one of those tracks you hope to hear on the radio, and soon. You can pick up his self-titled debut EP, out now.
Ashley already had bonus point for me because of his work in Carrie Underwood’s band and as a member of Sons of Sylvia, little did I know, he can rock out his own music just as well. The Mutt Lange produced single is an emotional, slow burning single that gets to the heart of of desperate love. There’s an absolutely goregous string line that dances in the background, aiding to Ashley’s beautiful, clear vocals that capture the essence of the lyrics. Though I adored Sons of Syliva, I really do think that Ashley has found his calling with country music. He possess the perfect amount of emotional vulnerability and storytelling capacity to really make something of himself. And, it’s safe to say that he already is, as Rolling Stone and Music Row have featured his new single. Take a listen below and head to iTunes to purchase it!
21 – Hunter Hayes
There’s no need for Hunter to prove that he has talent, he’s probably one of the most talented guys in country music right now, while also being one of the youngest. But on 21 he veers just to the left of pop music, and proves that on top of being able to write and performer incredibly well, he also knows how to have fun. The bouncy chorus, walls of harmonies, and overall feel-good vibe is exactly the perfect style as summer begins to kick off. Chances are you’ve already heard this song, but go ahead and put it on your Memorial Day playlist anyway.