We quite enjoyed American Young’s debut single “Love is War.” It had a rootsy feel to it in the vein of something from The Civil Wars discography (in case you didn’t know, that’s a compliment. We love The Civil Wars) and both Jon Stone and Kristy Thomas proved themselves to be strong vocalists. As good as their debut was, their follow up, “Wasn’t Gonna Drink Tonight” (co-written by a another one of our favorites – Lee Brice), is even better. Better by quite a bit we may add.
Thematically it centers around a narrator seeing his ex at an outing, and he starts drinking to get her out of his mind when he went there to have a good time. It’s a strong lyric with a strong hook to build around. The production, which is equal parts traditional and modern creates a build up of suspense throughout the song, which is fitting considering the theme of the tune. The melody is equally effective in terms of conveyed emotion. But what really strikes us about the song is the performance from Jon. You can feel his pain, especially when he lets it go in the chorus, and Kristy does an equally fine job backing it up. The overall flow of the song may not be perfect, but we’ll gladly give that up if we get a performance as good and as emotional as we get here.
We’re really impressed with American Young’s work so far. They’re now 2-for-2 as far as singles go and obviously have serious talent. There are doubts that radio will ever fully embrace them, mainly due to the fact that they’re signed to Curb “we can’t buy a hit from anyone outside of Lee Brice” Records but personally, we’re impressed, and “Wasn’t Gonna Drink Tonight” is most certainly a contender for year end list.