May’s picks include both new and past releases from veteran artists and newcomers alike. Check them out below:
Natalie: “Shine On Me” by Dan Auerbach
Auerbach (of The Black Keys fame) is back with a new single from his forthcoming Nashville-tinged sophomore solo record, Waiting On A Song. “Shine On Me” is a recent addition to my driving-around-windows-down playlist – it’s upbeat, smart, and happy. Plus, this opening verse… come on:
“You only got a couple miles to go if you’re trying to drive me insane / Saw you crack a smile a couple weeks ago in the middle of the pouring rain.”
Christina: “I Should Go to Church Sometime” by Tyler Farr
I have always been a fan of the hidden songs on Farr’s albums, the ones that weren’t quite radio friendly. For instance, the title track to his most recent LP Suffer in Peace never made its way to radio however it was poignant and important. Fans who listen to full albums were able to appreciate the desperation felt by so many, through songwriters Phil O’Donnel and Aaron Baker and through Farr’s impeccable delivery. “I Should Go to Church Sometime” has a similar feel but this time, it is the second single off of the next LP, following “Our Town.” The lyrics, written by Brinley Addington, Michael Hardy and Sarah Turner, are for anyone who seeks redemption or decides that maybe their faith should be a bigger part of their lives, not only when it is convenient. The song, which starts out slow and stoic progresses to a full blown gospel choir, backing the singer’s heartfelt confession.
Key Lyrics: “I should go to church sometime / Maybe walk a little straighter line / Lord knows I could use some light / To get where I’m goin’, / I shouldn’t say, ‘Next Sunday’ / I shouldn’t let my pride get in the way / I know I shouldn’t be afraid / Of what I know I’ll find / I should go to church sometime.”
If “Our Town” and “I Should Go to Church Sometime” are any indication of what is to come from Farr’s forthcoming third studio album, hopefully fans will see a how much depth the artist can emote.
Lydia: “Madam D’s” by Drew Dixon
Drew Dixon’s latest release “Madam D’s”
caught me by surprise when I first heard it. His sound is so unique, it’ll grab your attention from the first note and hold you captive until the very last. Dixon has a raw, gritty, southern rock sound mixed with plenty of soul and filled with darkness. “Madam D’s” leaves you wanting a sequel of sorts – you just don’t want the story to end. I’m looking forward to what Dixon has to offer in the future. Do yourself a favor and follow his journey.
Annie: “Wasting Time” by Frankie Ballard
Yes, I know this album came out in June of last year; no, I don’t care in the slightest. El Rio
was vastly under-appreciated (I’ll harp on this another time), and “Wasting Time” is a gem, both windows-down danceable and thoughtfully written. Sure, it’s Ballard trying to talk to a girl in a bar, but, you know, what a woman would actually want to hear: “Now if you wanna be alone / Well girl, you can just say so / But if you got a pissed off / I’ll help you cuss it / Just want some small talk / Girl, let’s discuss it / If you’re feeling lonely / You’re not the only one / Walking that line, girl … If you’re just wastin’ time, girl / If you don’t mind, girl / Waste some of mine, girl.”
Markus: “No Such Thing Thing as a Broken Heart” by Old Dominion
I never, ever would have imagined I’d have an Old Dominion song in this slot, but here we are. Truth be told, these guys have always had the talent, even if the material hasn’t been particularly good. But this, this is a legitimately good song. It’s well-written, blending simplistic charm with unifying anthemic qualities. It’s empowering, wholeheartedly positive, and just makes you feel happy. The production is relatively stripped down, the performance is convincing, and the melody is riveting. Meanwhile, the guitars add a layer of texture without becoming overwhelming, while the hook is both parts creative and memorable, and the vocal and lyrical nuances are perfected. This is a tremendous record from a band that had failed to previously impressed me, and is easily among my most-played and favorite singles of 2017 to-date.
Lisa: “Blue Tacoma” by Russell Dickerson
While Fords and Chevys are the staples of most Country songs, Russell Dickerson sings about a Toyota in his song “Blue Tacoma.” Penned with Casey Brown and Parker Welling – the same co-writers behind his hit song “Yours” – “Blue Tacoma” is sure to be one of the songs of summer. With an upbeat and carefree vibe, Dickerson paints a picture of the perfect drive down the California coast on the ultimate adventure. This easy-living song is a must-have on every summer road trip playlist.
Key Lyrics: “It’s never running out of golden road / Always having your hand to hold / In a blue Tacoma, California / Oooh, if heaven is anywhere / It’s right here.”
Corey: “Right Girl Wrong Time” by Jon Langston
This isn’t your traditional love song. Langston pours his heart out into “Right Girl Wrong Girl,” a song about a girl who stole his heart but lost her. A talented trio penned this single – Langston, Cole Taylor and Jordan Rager – and the crafty lyrics bring out the abilities of all three men.
Key lyrics: “She talked… with a drawl / Had me wrapped around her pretty little finger / Her eyes…caught mine / Pulled me in like a tide, hook, line and sinker.”