DISClaimer is really mixing it up this week.
We have hip-hopper Tanner Adell, bluegrassy Hailey Whitters, rocking Lanco and balladeers Adam Doleac and Luke Grimes. Black female country speaks up in an excellent effort from Tiera Kennedy. Cody Hibbard is an Asian Pacific American and his hard-country approach wins him a DISCovery Award.
Hibbard was not without competition, since the other newcomers today who turned in solid efforts included Peyton Aldridge, Zoee and The Mizes.
With Chris Stapleton in the lineup, do you even need to ask who owns the Disc of the Day award?
LANCO / “Sound of a Saturday Night”
Writers: Brandon Lancaster/Tripp Howell/Jeremy Spillman/Tate Howell; Producer: Jay Joyce; Label: Riser House
– Punchy and rocking. This is a summertime romp to crank up with the windows rolled down on a moonlight cruise down a back road. I’d have put more bottom in the mix, but you can’t beat the energy generated by this sound.
BRETT YOUNG / “Let Go Too Soon”
Writers: Brett Young/Chris LaCorte/Jon Nite; Producer: Dann Huff; Label: BMLG Records
– “Dance With You” remains the single, but here’s another foretaste of Young’s Across the Sheets collection, which drops Aug. 4. On this pleasing midtempo track, he muses about a relationship that might have ended before either one of them was ready to move on. His intimate-sounding singing voice is deployed to great affect here. The too-busy backing track is fortunately mixed far enough back so as not to interfere.
HAILEY WHITTERS / “I’m In Love”
Writers: Nicole Galyon/Lee Thomas Miller/Cameron Bedell; Producers: Jake Gear/Hailey Whitters; Label: Pigasus/Big Loud/Songs & Daughters
– ACM New Female Artist of the Year Whitters returns with the delightfully zippy title tune of her new EP (which also includes her breakthrough hit “Everything She Ain’t”). The track bubbles along merrily while she expresses the dizzy, ditzy mood of a star-struck country gal. Totally lovable.
CHRIS STAPLETON / “White Horse”
Writers: Chris Stapleton/Dan Wilson; Producers: Dave Cobb/Morgane Stapleton/Chris Stapleton; Label: Mercury Nashville
– His voice is such a torrent of sound that he can make your heart beat faster without hardly trying. This fiery single blurs the lines between country and southern rock while confirming his bonfire intensity as a performer. Undeniable.
TIERA KENNEDY / “Jesus, My Mama, My Therapist”
Writers: Tiera Kennedy/Emily Falvey/Joe Fox/Trannie Anderson/Emily Landis; Producer: Cameron Bedell; Label: The Valory Music Co.
– As clever as it is catchy. Everyone in town gossips way too much, so the only people she can tell about her busted heart are the three named in the title. The track boasts stuttering rockabilly guitar, loads of happy rhythm and a cheeky vibe that are all irresistible. Her saucy vocal is perfect. To my knowledge, this is the first country song with “therapist” in the title. So cute.
CODY HIBBARD / “We Speak Country”
Writers: Carlton Anderson/Kasey Tyndall/Logan Wall; Producers: Jim Catino/Julian King; Label: Droptine Recordings
– What a breath of fresh air. A for-real country singer with a for-real country song. The thumping rhythm track is joyous. The blue-collar lyric is rousing and anthemic. This would sound splendid as an award-show opening number.
PEYTON ALDRIDGE / “Oh Yeah”
Writers: John Ramey/Jeffrey East; Producer: Russ Zavitson; Label: Puba Records
– This competitor on The Voice combines blues and twang on his new single. The song’s a funky little thing, but doesn’t have a lot of meat on its bones.
ZOEE / “Whatever It Takes”
Writers: Zoee/James House/Stone Aielli; Producers: Zoee/James House; Label: Zoee
– This new Nashvillian hails from Tasmania, Australia. She has a strong, assured country-pop vocal presence with plenty of depth. This single and its parent album Waves both drop a week from tomorrow, so be prepared for a slap of driving rhythm and some wildly catchy melody. The crisp production is superb. A star has started to twinkle.
TANNER ADELL / “Buckle Bunny”
Writers: Tanner Adell/Jesse Thomas/Cameron Bartolini/Louis Bartolini/Leelee/Sean Anthony; Producers: Leelee/Cambo/Louallday; Label: Columbia Records
– This mix of country and trap drops vaguely country/cowgirl images in a production that blends rapping with looped electronics and country-tinged instrumentation. Lyrically, it is utter nonsense. But enjoyable.
LUKE GRIMES / “Hold On”
Writers: Ilsey Juber/Foy Vance; Producer: Dave Cobb; Label: UMG Nashville
– Low-key and downbeat, this has an attractive, meditative quality that is soothing to the ears. Like the song, his voice kinda sneaks up on you. Grimes has a fan base from being in the Yellowstone TV cast. But I fear he’s going to have to come up with a song that is more undeniable than this drowsy one is.
THE MIZES / “Hitched Up”
Writers: Logan Mize/Jill Martin; Producer: Daniel Agee; Label: LM
– Solo artist Logan Mize is now also a duet act with his wife, Jill Martin. Their debut single is a hilarious twangfest about a Venus-and-Mars couple. It recalls the funny-fight masterpieces created by Loretta & Conway, Porter & Dolly and George & Tammy. If I were in charge, this would go straight to the top of every hillbilly playlist.
ADAM DOLEAC / “Biggest Fan”
Writers: Adam Doleac/Abe Stoklasa/Andy Skib/Sarah Buxton; Producer: Andy Skib; Label: Sony Music Nashville
– The man can sing. This melodic ballad glows with romance and emotional intimacy. The soul-music touches in the production and eloquently tasteful guitar solo are exquisite additions to the mood. Lend this man your ears.
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