First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos and albums that dropped this week.
New country music abounds this week from newcomers and veterans alike. Luke Bryan dropped his feel-good “One Margarita,” complete with a music video filmed in Mexico starring his mother and wife.
Meanwhile, newcomer Blanco Brown shows off his pipes with the soulful “I Need Love” while former Gloriana member Rachel Reinert introduces herself as a solo artist with her debut release Into the Blue.
U.K. based duo The Shires return with their fourth studio album Good Years while revered singer-songwriter Jessi Alexander shares the title track off her upcoming album Decatur County Red.
Here are several must-listen to country songs and projects out this week.
Blanco Brown, “I Need Love”
Brown introduced himself to the country world last year with the infectious feel-good single “The Git Up” and while the international smash showcases his fun side, “I Need Love” offers a different perspective from the trailertrap creator. The soulful and hopeful ballad highlights Blanco’s sultry vocals alongside a slick beat and hand snapped rhythms.
“Purpose comes from something bigger than us,” he says in a statement. “Right now, my brothers and sisters in Nashville have had their world torn apart and they need love, at the same time people all over the world are going through struggles and everyone everywhere needs love and support and I feel like sharing this song is part of God’s plan as I follow my purpose. I need love, we all need love; love and blessings. There can never be too much love.”
Jessi Alexander, “Decatur County Red” feat. Jonathan Singleton
Alexander gives a nod to her roots growing up in Tennessee in the vivid title track to her forthcoming March 27 release Decatur Country Red. With plucks of the acoustic guitar and smoky vocals, Alexander paints the picture of her childhood and puts listeners in the song with her. “This song is the heart of the album. It helps remind me of my roots and brings me home,” she says.
Luke Bryan, “One Margarita”
For country fans wondering what Bryan’s Crash My Playa music festival is like, the country singer gives a hint within his new video for “One Margarita.” Set on the beach in Mexico, Bryan and his family and friends are shown kicking things into high gear with plenty of margaritas flowing. With views from the pool, the beach and the ocean, Bryan’s “One Margarita” is likely to be the party song of the summer. Look close for cameos from Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, and members of Old Dominion.
Rachel Reinert, Into the Blue
Reinert shares her distinct brand of California country with the world on her debut solo release Into the Blue. Several years in the making, the former Gloriana member shows her power as a vocalist and songwriter on songs like debut solo single “Cool” which embodies a memorable sweeping Laurel Canyon sound. Additional highlights include the atmospheric “Secret” and deeply confessional “All We Have” where she details having to sell her house in the midst of being a struggling solo artist. A diverse project that showcases all the musical influences of Reinert, Into the Blue proves that some things are well worth the wait.
The Shires, Good Years
U.K.’s the Shires return with their fourth studio album Good Years. The standout 12-track album has the band’s Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes trading lead parts and harmonies throughout deeply personal yet universal songs. Album highlights include the infectious opening track “Lightning Strikes” penned by Cam, and empowering “Independence Day,” which offers hope to a friend following a breakup. Heartfelt album closer and soaring piano ballad “Crazy Days” offers a unique take on the struggles life on the road can have on one’s family as the duo sing of missing home.