It may have felt like an eternity, but we are officially just over halfway through the first half of 2020. And in a year where there haven’t been a whole lot of positives, there has been so much excellent music released this year. Read below for our favorites (in no particular order), a little about each and a chance to give each a listen!
“The Time For Flowers”- Emily Scott Robinson
This song is a light in the darkness that has been the first half of 2020. With an uplifting message of hope, this is a song we all need right now.
“Cowgirl”- Erin Viancourt
Sometimes, you hear a voice that just captivates you. For us, one of those voices is Erin Viancourt. It’s retro, yet a breath of fresh air, and the sparse instrumentation on “Cowgirl” allows it to shine.
“You Would Be Mine”- Alec Davis
With four excellent singles released this year, Davis could have had several entries on this list. Single number two of the four sounds like it could have lived in the 90s, but doesn’t sound dated as Davis looks forward to settling down and enjoying life.
“Rhinestone”- Payton Taylor
Standing out is a challenge in any profession, which makes this song so universally relatable. Solo written by Taylor, she ponders just how she can do it with her artistry with an impressive lyric and even more impressive vocal.
“Nothin’ Good About Goodbye”- Hershell Golden
When the opening steel lick hits, this song hooks you. Sad songs are still some of our favorites, and Golden delivers this one excellently.
“Blue”- Caitlin Quisenberry
This song might be our newest discovery on this list. Likening colors to memories and feelings, Quisenberry delivers the lyric with a smooth, Alison Krauss-esque vocal that immediately draws attention directly to it.
“Rodeo Clown”- Randy Rogers/Wade Bowen
With the way this year has unfolded, we can all use a good laugh. Over the course of 3:14, Rogers and Bowen deliver several of them, combined with instrumentation that is country as hell.
“Patsy Kind of Night”- Graycie York
Music is a healer, and for Graycie York, Patsy Cline is her go-to artist to confide in. The song, along with its follow up single “Forever,” have us really excited for her upcoming EP.
“Forgot About You”- Triston Marez
2020 is picking up where 2019 left of for Marez. On this steel-soaked heartbreaker, Marez is reminiscing about a relationship that he had forgotten about, only remembering after seeing old milestones in the relationship. It’s country music gold.
“Kindergarten Rodeo Clown”- Hunter Thomas Mounce
Sometimes all it takes to initially draw you into a song is the title. On his newest single, Mounce reminisces about his first friend and what the friendship meant to him. It’s personal, and you can feel it.
Tessy Lou Williams- Self-Titled
This album is heartbreak at its finest. Williams’ voice is stellar, and features songs written with and by some heavy hitting songwriters. It’s an excellent debut album, and one that is sure to hold up.
- “Mountain Time in Memphis”
- “Why Do I Still Want You”
- “Your Forever Will Never Say Goodbye”
Anderson Elswick- Relic
This is some pretty stellar stuff from an artist who willingly admits that music is more of a hobby than a career. If you love steel, fiddle and stone cold country music, this EP is for you.
- “Mercy Walked In”
- “A Whitley Song”
- “Helluva Ride (For Kev)”
Brandi Behlen- Self-Titled
After the release of her debut single “Daddy’s Money” in June of 2019, we were anxiously awaiting Behlen’s debut EP, and she didn’t disappoint. It’s doused in steel and stories songs, and still has us going back time and time again.
- “The Back Row”
- “I Feel a Heartache”
- “Wine in a Coffee Cup”
Jeffery Allen Imler- Another Shot
This album is so excellently hooky. The infectious, singalong choruses match top off an album full of songs that prove that there’s still a place in country music for traditional storytelling.
- “Drive Me Country”
- “Jonesin’ For Jones”
- “Full Time Country”
Sam Bowlds- My Own
Luckily, we stumbled across Bowlds’ debut single “Innocence” about a week before the release of her debut EP, so as much as we loved “Innocence,” we didn’t have to wait too long for its follow up. “Holy Ground” sounds like a bit
- “Safe With Me”
- “Holy Ground”
- “Where You Are”
Callie McCullough- After Midnight
When we heard McCullough’s debut single “Five Dollar Pearls” for the first time, we replayed it at least five more times immediately afterwards. On her debut EP, McCullough blends country and bluegrass for a stellar introduction. Add big name players to the mix, and this EP has everything you could want.
- “Five Dollar Pearls”
- “Missing You”
- “Three Quarter Time”
John Baumann- Country Shade
Baumann is taking full advantage of the attention coming from a cut on Kenny Chesney’s Songs for the Saintsand an album with the Texas supergroup The Panhandlers. With his newly released album, Baumann once again flexes his songwriting chops and raspy voice on what might just be his best album to date.
- “Daylight’s Burning”
- “The Country Doesn’t Sound the Same”
- “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”