Wednesday night, recently-signed Sony Music Nashville singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd joined Maren Morris in front of a sold-out Nashville crowd as she closed out her 2017 Hero Tour. Today, he releases his four-song debut EP, and we can’t get enough of it. Prior to releasing music as a solo artist, Hurd held his own as an acclaimed songwriter, earning cuts by artists like Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Brothers Osborne and Dierks Bentley.The EP opens with Hurd’s lead single, “We Do Us,” which is by far the most fun and playful track and carries a bouncy melody and rhythm throughout. The song, which reveals the simple joys of being in a relationship, proved to be Hurd’s first of many successes as both a songwriter and artist (“We Do Us” received over 2 million streams on Spotify in the first two weeks).
Hurd brings down the buoyancy and amps up the emotion in “Love In A Bar,” which from start to finish is one of the standouts on the EP and a songwriting victory. Hurd sings: “We found love in a bar in the back of a patio corner / Away from the lights it was us and Corona / And hearts on fire like the cigarettes you smoke when you drink now we can’t turn back / ‘Cause the words came out and the truth can’t lie / And we’ve been saying it with our eyes the whole time, that you have my whole heart / Yeah, we found love in a bar.”
“City Girl” is another highly heartfelt track that takes a twist on traditional love songs, using the “bright lights big city” metaphor to depict the fear of a one-sided relationship. The fear of being led on while still trying to play it cool is expressed when Hurd sings, “City girl, you’re gonna love me and leave me, ’cause it ain’t gonna mean what it means to me to you.”
The final song off the EP is yet another shining moment. “Hold You Back” brings the melody back up while still relaying a powerful message, again revealing Hurd’s strength as a songwriter. “Hold You Back” tells the story of having to say goodbye to an off-again, on-again love, and the difficulty of making a clean break from a relationship. Hurd sings, “You had your heart in a cage / I’ll cut you loose, baby, fly away / I’m holding on to what we had / But I don’t wanna hold you, I don’t wanna hold you back.”
If the RCA Nashville artist proved anything through the release of this EP, it’s that we have great things to look forward to. Hurd continues 2017 with a number of tour dates, both in the US and internationally. To see a complete list of tour dates, check out his website and follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.