Lydia: “Mercy” by Brett Young
Brett Young’s “Mercy” is hauntingly beautiful. Co-written with Sean McConnell, the song is stripped down to a piano and Young’s vocals allowing you to fully connect with the song’s lyrics which are heaving hitting and meaningful. “Mercy” pleads with a former lover to make the cut quick and neat, pleading for them not to hold on and keep coming back. Young’s vocals really shine on this song and for me it’s the highlight of his self titled debut EP.
Key Lyrics: “If you’re gonna break my heart, just break it / And if you’re gonna take your shot then take it, take it / If you made up your mind, then make it, make this fast / If you ever loved me, have mercy.”
Listen here: “Mercy”
Christina: Illusion and Doubt by The Dead South
For our readers who love Mumford & Sons, The Dead South should be your new favorite band. Think “Little Lion Man” with a ton of banjo and hootin’ and hollerin’. The group members, natives of Regina, Saskatchewan, consider themselves modern hillbillies and create their own brand of bluegrass music with impeccable, foot-tapping banjo picking and mandolin playing. Their songs boast lyrics like, “Pulled out your gun, shooting me with words / Right through the head / Oh, just like I deserve / Throw me to the curb,” and I haven’t been able to turn off their latest album Illusion and Doubt. The band can be found touring overseas in Germany wearing their signature white shirts and black suspenders.
Listen here: Illusion & Doubt
Natalie: “Wasting Time” by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
I’ve been into Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats’ entire debut album lately. It’s jazzy and rowdy but feels honest and genuine, and in my dream world, Nathaniel and Anderson East are already working on a killer genre-blending collaboration. Amidst the loud, rebellious nature of the group’s overall sound, “Wasting Time” stands out as a gentler track on the album. The lyrics are nice, and the production sounds more comforting (i.e., the sweet isolated guitar moment at 2:05 that I wish I could play on loop). Something tells me they put on an epic live show.
Key Lyrics: “I got a feeling I, I can’t get over / Maybe all we had has always been right / Think of all the love you gain when you send it over.”
Liz: “Last Time For Everything” By Brad Paisley
Your summer anthem is here in Brad Paisley’s 80’s-themed new single, “Last Time For Everything.” The second release from his 11th studio album, Love and War
, is filled with imagery from some of life’s most monumental moments and contains stories from lessons learned along the way. In typical Brad Paisley fashion, this song is the definition of nostalgia from beginning to end.
Key Lyrics: “Kissing goodbye on her porch and driving away / Introducing her as your fiancee / Getting woke up at 5 am to see if Santa came / There’s a last time for everything.”Listen here: “Love and War”