We know what you’re thinking: yeah, right. But if you dig Rihanna’s gutsy and bombastic croonings on her emotionally gripping “Love On The Brain,” we’ve got some Nashville-grown tunes you’ll find yourself looping, whether you thought you liked country or not.
Brandy Clark – “You Can Come Over”
Brandy Clark is a songwriting savant and “You Can Come Over” is among her finest examples: heart-wrenching in that all too real “well, shit” way. This slow-rolling ballad, punctuated with soulful electrics, hits that same love-is-pain chord as “Love On The Brain.” With some imagination stretch, it could almost lean soul; if Nelly can cover “Die A Happy Man,” we want to hear a rhythm & blues take on Brandy.
Dustin Lynch – “Love Me or Leave Me Alone”
Dustin hasn’t released this yet, but he’s been playing it out live, and trust us, you’ll be hoping the Tennessee native releases that record soon. The song gets a bit bluesy, begging for commitment or mercy.
The song was written by Chris Gelbuda and Dustin Christensen (who you might recognize from Season 9 of The Voice). Here’s Christensen’s recording, which throws in a bit more grit and guitar:
Lucie Silvas – “Just For The Record”
A recent release, Silvas’ “Just For The Record” is smoky, emotive goodness, a solid mix of grit and heartache. If you’re ready to get into your feelings a la Ri-Ri, “Just For The Record” is the post-relationship side of the coin.
Maren Morris – “I Wish I Was”
Maren Morris has crossed musical paths with greats like Alicia Keys (shoutout to CMT Crossroads) and actually once covered Queen Ri-Ri herself, so it’s no stretch of the imagination to say these two songs go hand in hand. “I Wish I Was,” which Morris wrote with Natalie Hemby and Ryan Hurd, is heartache perfection, drenched in bluesy instrumentation and sugary soul.
Cam – “Burning House”
For a simple and stunning ballad with lyrical poignance, Cam’s “Burning House” is a must-listen. Fun fact for pop fans: Cam isn’t just a country girl – the California native co-wrote “Maybe You’re Right,” which Miley Cyrus recorded for Bangerz.