Must-Listens for February: The Shotgun Seat Team Picks

This month’s favorites include Michael Ray, Cassadee Pope, Easton Corbin, Kenny Chesney and Travis Denning.

Lydia: “After A Few” by Travis Denning

Travis Denning’s authentic country sound and gravelly vocals stand out in his latest release, “After A Few.” It’s the relatable story of reconnecting with an ex after having a few drinks, and I think he’s an artist worth keeping an eye on.

“Shoulda stopped at one / Said goodbye, given up at two / If we didn’t wanna wind up falling into my bed like we always do / After a few / Oh, after a few”.

Markus: “Better Boat” by Kenny Chesney feat. Mindy Smith

I am perhaps a bit late to the party on this one, but it’s truly Chesney’s best song in years. It’s reflective and self-aware, built around a poignant, metaphorical title hook. The production is light and restrained, offering a seamless blend of evocation and breathing room. Smith offers a gorgeous harmony that adds depth to the song’s emotional output. The melody holds it all together, adding up to a stunning portrait of humanity that Chesney, when on his game, does as well as anyone in the genre.

Annie: “If My Heart Had A Heart” by Cassadee Pope

I’m a big Cassadee Pope fan, and I absolutely love the idea that turned into her latest single, “If My Heart Had A Heart.” It’s a novel take on heartache, packaged in lyrics like: “If my heart had a heart it would go on and leave me alone / It’d stop having a mind of it’s own / Let me forget you and let me let go.”

Amanda: “Somebody’s Gotta Be Country” by Easton Corbin

Easton Corbin has one of the best voices on country radio, and his latest single, “Somebody’s Gotta Be Country,” is one of the catchiest songs released this year. With a deep, traditional sound reminiscent of King George (Strait), Corbin’s recent release is exactly what country music fans have been itching for. It’s fun, upbeat, and the kind of country that actually feels country. Fans of Corbin’s early hits will no doubt love “Somebody’s Gotta Be Country,” hopefully running this jam straight to the top of the charts.

Natalie: “One that Got Away” by Michael Ray

I’m such a sucker for songs that name-drop other, older songs in any sort of creative way, and this one’s no exception. I first heard this while flipping through my car’s radio presets on the way home from work, and I let it play through, if only to enjoy the “woah-oh-oh”s of the chorus that totally remind me of 5 Seconds of Summer’s breakout hit, “She Looks So Perfect.” (Yes, really. Go listen.) One listen-through, and I was hooked. So catchy, so radio-ready—color me impressed.