If you blinked a few too many times, it might shock you to realize we’re already through the first half of 2021. There’s been plenty of great country music released this year, and in case you missed any of it, or want to catch back up, we created a list, in no particular order, of some of our favorites!
Addison Johnson- “Dark Side of the Mountain”
At its core, country music is about storytelling, and Addison Johnson has proven himself to be a hell of a storyteller. Any of the 10 songs on his newest album, Dark Side of the Mountain, could have legitimately made this list, so when in doubt, we went with the title track, a bluegrass-tinged tune that perfectly encapsulates what makes the album, and Addison Johnson in general, so great.
Sarah Martin- “Those Days”
The newest song on this list, Sarah Martin dropped “Those Days” just in time to make this list! Showcasing a badass, rocking side that she hasn’t fully unleashed before, Martin is back in a big way. And if you’re anything like us, you’ll rewind and listen to that high note at the end multiple times in a row.
Hershell Golden- “Somebody Else Will”
Hershell Golden truly struck country gold with his newest single. In only took about three seconds, a twanging guitar and a fiddle line for us to realize that we were going to love this tune, and we continued loving all 195 seconds of the song. If you like early 90s country, this song is made for you.
Thomas Fountain- “It Don’t Matter”
In the midst of a trying year-plus, a good-timing, boot stomping tune is a great remedy, and Thomas Fountain delivered an excellent one. A singalong chorus made for windows down driving and a rollicking fiddle make for an enjoyable listen every time.
Alexis May- “Pain, Memories and Time”
If you’re looking for some great, tear in your beer country, Alexis May is your girl. Her aptly titled debut EP, Killing Pain, Memories and Time, navigates its way through heartbreak on songs dripping with steel guitar. The title track paints a clear picture of heartache, and May’s vocal sounds like it was transported from a time of country music’s yesteryear, in the best possible way.
Chad Cooke Band- “Señorita Sky”
The Chad Cooke Band have released plenty of hooky, catchy, tunes with singalong choruses, but their newest single, “Señorita Sky,” may be their best yet. A laidback, islandy melody lays behind the band’s always reliable harmonies. The song sounds straight out of the 70s and comes equipped with lush steel guitar throughout as well, and it was just sent off to Texas country radio!
Sam Bowlds- “Old & Grey”
Sam Bowlds has released a steady stream of music since her debut EP, My Own, last year, and while each of her recent releases could have found a spot on this list, her newest single, “Old & Grey” takes the spot. Offering an interesting perspective of what a town would say to someone who left it behind in pursuit of a dream, “Old & Grey” is sure to hit home for anyone who needs a reminder of home.
Zach Neil- “Half Bad”
If he had it is way, Zach Neil would admittedly release ballad after ballad and be quite content with it (as would we). However, with his newest single, “Half Bad,” Neil offers a fun, upbeat side of himself that he has yet to fully reveal with his music. “Half Bad” is Texas country music at its finest, and it’s a damn good time at that.
Paige King Johnson- “She Holds This House Together”
There’s something about a song about mamas that pulls at the heartstrings every time. Released as a love-letter of appreciation for her own mother, Paige King Johnson’s newest single, “She Holds This House Together” is sure to bring a tear to the eye of anyone who puts their mother inside of the story as well, especially if you listen with the accompanying music video slideshow.
Jeffery Allen Imler- “Cowgirl Don’t Ride Away”
Jeffery Allen Imler has been a reliable source for stone cold country music since the release of his debut album, Another Shot, last year. His newest single sounds straight off of a George Strait record, and is the kind of love lost, heartbreak tune that we would love to see plenty more of these days. Pair that with Imler’s baritone vocal, and this one is hard to beat.
Hunter Thomas Mounce- “Alone in the Lone Star”
Hunter Thomas Mounce began a new musical chapter with his first single of 2021, and damn if we aren’t excited for what he has up his sleeve next. He’s released three standout singles already this year, each of which would have been at home on this list. “Alone in the Lone Star” sounds straight out of the Lonestar State. A driving fiddle runs throughout the track, and Mounce is sounding and writing better than ever.
Molly Lovette- “Break a Heart”
Many heartbreak songs come from the perspective of the person whose heart is being broken, which is what makes Molly Lovette’s “Break a Heart” so unique and interesting. Written from the perspective of “the heartbreaker,” Lovette digs deep on the song’s lyrics, while the song’s acoustic melody, coupled with tasteful steel guitar, allow the lyric and Lovette’s vocal to shine.