First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos and albums that dropped this week.
Country fans got plenty of new music this week with the title track of Luke Bryan’s upcoming album Born Here, Live Here, Die Here, Cam’s first single and cinematic video in nearly two years with “Till There’s Nothing Left,” and Carly Pearce’s much anticipated follow-up to 2017’s Every Little Thing in the form of her heartfelt self-titled sophomore album.
Love is a theme this week, as Pearce scheduled her record for a Valentine’s Day release, while Brandy Clark revealed another new song off her forthcoming Your Life is a Record -- the sultry “Love Is a Fire.”
Plus, longtime country songwriter Niko Moon (Zac Brown Band’s “Loving You Easy,” “Homegrown,” “Keep Me In Mind”) marked his transition into an artist career with his debut EP, Good Time. The five-track project marks new territory for the singer-songwriter who blends country storytelling with hypnotic beats.
Here’s some new music to spin, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Brandy Clark, “Love is a Fire”
As Clark readies the release of her upcoming Your Life is a Record, out March 6, the singer has unveiled her sizzling new ballad “Love is a Fire.” On the sultry throwback track, she sings of a kind of love that can’t be tamed.
“I was obsessed with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and Ryan Murphy’s ‘The Feud’ just got in my head,” Clark says in a statement. “That idea that love is a fire, you just never know if it’s going to warm you -- or burn you. That’s where ‘Fire’ came from.”
Cam, “Till There’s Nothing Left”
The music video for Cam’s new single “Till There’s Nothing Left” is just as captivating as the song itself. Taking place in the beginning of an apocalyptic world, news anchors warn the public that the end is near. As the future is uncertain, bar patrons find solace in each other during the destruction as Cam sings of her undying commitment to her husband delicately while seated at a bar stool.
Carly Pearce, Carly Pearce
Pearce focused on the many stages of a relationship throughout her new self-titled Valentine’s Day release. There are songs inspired by her new husband, Michael Ray, including the hopeful “Heart’s Going Out of Its Mind” and sweet “Finish Your Sentences” as well as moving on after a breakup like the vulnerable “Halfway Home” and current Lee Brice-assisted single “I Hope You’re Happy Now.”
It’s on the poignant ballad “It Won’t Always Be Like This” that shows Pearce’s true power as a lyricist and vocalist. An autobiographical tune for Pearce, the nostalgic tune serves as therapy for the singer. “I know nothing lasts forever/ But sometimes I still forget,” she sings on the chorus about her hardships in the industry before landing her record deal with Big Machine. Now, it also serves as a reminder of the loss of her producer, busbee, who died of brain cancer last year. “That song and that lyric, and just understanding that life is so precious,” she previously told Billboard.
Luke Bryan, “Born Here, Live Here, Die Here”
Bryan gets sentimental on the title track to his forthcoming seventh studio album, Born Here, Live Here, Die Here. The newest song off his April 24 album release has Bryan reminiscing about his upbringing in a small town. The descriptive story song, written by Jameson Rodgers, Josh Thompson, and Jake Mitchell, has Bryan singing of driving down the same back roads, attending the same church services and drinking the same beer as his father did before him.
“The second I heard the song ‘Born Here, Live Here, Die Here’ it related to me, how I grew up, how I have so many roots and so many ties to my hometown,” Bryan said in a statement. “Being tied to your hometown is very important in country music. I fell in love with the song right away and now we have an album and a tour derived from this song. It’s pretty amazing. I’m proud of this new music and I’m really excited to get it out!”
Niko Moon, Good Time EP
Moon rose to songwriting success penning hits with Zac Brown Band and now the singer-songwriter is showing the world his distinct brand of country music with his debut project. Descriptive story songs coupled with infectious hooks and foot-stomping beats round out his five-track EP. The hypnotic “Paradise to Me” and hook-laden first single “Good Time” showcase Moon’s feel-good vibe while “Good at Loving You” highlights his sensitivity. Singing of “trying to do right,” Moon admits he’s not the best at some things, but is “good at loving you.” A prolific songwriter himself, Moon co-wrote every song on the project where his clever wordplay is supplemented by ear-grabbing beats.