Megan Moroney, Kameron Marlowe, & More – Single Round-Up

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Never Left Me – Megan Moroney Written By Ryan Lippe 

On the latest song from the movie Twisters, Megan Moroney brings a softer touch than the soundtrack’s previous releases, but her music is just as enjoyable. With a slick cadence and pronounced pop-country undertones, producer Kristian Bush layers the beautiful bending of the strings on steel and guitar to complement Moroney exceptionally well. The thumping drums maintain a calming rhythm, allowing the listener to follow the song attentively. Moroney and Connie Harrington wrote this single with songwriting greats Jessi Alexander and Jessi Jo Dillon; each writer’s different styles are present in the track and blend very charmingly. Ahead of her upcoming sophomore album, the expectations for Moroney have never been higher, and with each release, she continues to raise the bar, even on her non-album singles.


I Can Run – Kameron Marlowe Written By Brandon Iozzo

As he embarks on a new album cycle with “Keepin’ The Lights On,” fans can expect more introspective and self-reflective tracks, such as “I Can Run.” Co-written by Ben Roberts, Oscar Charles, and Tucker Beathard, the single has a fast-paced feel that amplifies its brutally honest lyrics, describing the challenges of living life on a fast track while working through one’s inner struggles. Marlowe’s powerhouse delivery makes the track deeply relatable for striving to control their insecurities and find resilience through those errant feelings. “I Can Run” showcases a new level of confidence from Marlowe and solidifies his signature style, built on his blend of contemporary country and classic rock. Despite minimal changes in musical production, these tracks form an impressive body of work that builds on his debut.


Dirt Roads Dirt – Noah Hicks ft. Justin Moore Written By Brandon Iozzo

Noah Hicks and Justin Moore pay tribute to blue-collar workers, rednecks, and locals in their song “Dirt Roads Dirt,” celebrating small-town life. They namecheck diesel trucks, white churches, and water towers, but the track feels like a rehash of similar bro-country singles, particularly Jason Aldean’s 2021 track “Small Town Small.” After listening to the entire song, it feels like the record was meant for a solo release from Moore about 15 years too late. Based on Hicks’s recent, catchy cuts, “Dirt Roads Dirt” is a letdown and doesn’t showcase his potential as a newcomer.


Big Blue Sky – Jackson Dean Written By Creed Miller

Jackson Dean pays tribute to his late dog Carl in his latest release, “Big Blue Sky,” reflecting Carl’s life and final moments. In particular, the chorus, sung from the dog’s perspective, makes it a real heartbreaker. He describes the big blue sky in his mind, almost as if he is at peace with what will happen. One of the best parts of the song is the production; most emotional tracks focusing on grief come in the form of a slow ballad, but this isn’t the case for “Big Blue Sky.” Luke Dick’s production is much more elaborate, featuring dynamic, country-rock sounds. It’s refreshing to hear such a challenging subject approached in this way. The con is that it can make the single very busy; Dean can sometimes be hard to understand, which takes away from the bigger story he’s trying to tell. Still, the 23-year-old is off to a hot start in his career, and “Big Blue Sky” could be his most impressive track to date.


Gassed Up – Brendan Walter Written By Creed Miller

Brendan Walter has quietly become one of country music’s most exciting up-and-comers to watch, and he shows exactly why with his latest release, “Gassed Up.” It’s not the most thought-provoking song in the world, but that is part of what gives it its charm. The immediate toe-tapper is about going out, experiencing the world, and simply living life to the fullest. Walter’s vocals continue to be a strong suit. His voice resonates with Grady Smith’s lighthearted, rockabilly-tinged production that keeps things smooth and polished. The concept of the track is funny and happy, and the production aptly reflects that. The occasional bright electric guitar licks also keep the song exciting and unpredictable. “Gassed Up” proves why Brendan Walter should be on more people’s radar, as he is quickly making a name for himself with one stellar single after another.


Better Days – Colby Acuff Written By Adam Delahoussaye

With the music scene constantly evolving and new interpretations of “country” music emerging regularly, it’s reassuring to have a consistent voice like Colby Acuff’s. His style is not mundane or outdated but a modernized echo of his Western forefathers. His latest single, “Better Days,” reinforces these qualities. The song tells a simple story of losing something once cherished and questioning the resulting sorrow, a theme that’s universally resonant with audiences everywhere. He remains true to himself without aiming for grandiosity, making his music accessible to everyday people. Acuff, never reaching for the stars but still somehow climbing up towards them, addresses human strife as simply as it comes.


Austin (Boots Stop Workin’) [Stripped] – Dasha Written By Cam Greene

Dasha continues to benefit from the success of her hit song “Austin,” and rightfully so. Her latest release takes a different approach, toning down the pop elements and showing off a more earnest, stripped-back interpretation of the song. The new “Austin” rides high on Dasha’s raw, emotional vocals highlighting her versatility as an artist. It retains the groovy country vibe of the original and is still easily relatable, making it an excellent choice for anyone who’s been let down by their partner. It also serves as a gateway to Dasha’s diverse music catalog, which offers more acoustic songs with a similar sound. While it’s not fair to directly compare it to the original, this version stands out. It appeals to a broader audience, specifically more conservatively-minded country music fans who may have passed on the glitzy line-dance single that was the first “Austin.”


Maddie & Tae – Sad Girl Summer Written By Cam Greene

If Maddie & Tae’s new song indicates what this summer holds for country music, then we are in for a really good “sad girl summer.” Like Miranda Lambert’s style from the 2010s, the duo’s latest release is filled with rock n’ roll instrumentals and excitable lines that you’ll want to sing along to. The playful, hit-or-miss lyrics talk about how this summer won’t be sad and encourage the listener to forget about that man and do what they want. It’s not a sophisticated single, but it doesn’t need to be; it is what it is, and for that, it’s a pretty engaging track. Maddie & Tae can convey deep feelings in sadder songs and bring high energy to songs with party themes, all while delivering strong songwriting. This commendable trait ultimately saves a song like this from blending into the background.


New Me – Josh Ross Written By Max Buondonno

The Nashville machine has a new obsession with Josh Ross, who continues to ship cookie-cutter singles and albums with just enough uniqueness to mask his underwhelming personality. On his latest track, “New Me,” things don’t get any better. Rehashing a concept that’s been explored countless times on country radio, the song follows a breakup where the girl wants her man to change, but wouldn’t you know it? He refuses to change, hence her discovery that there is no “new me” upon reconnection. Written by Ross, Corey Crowder, Mason Thornley, and Matt Geroux, the song’s lyrics are easy to digest but likely won’t appeal to anyone outside Ross’s fan base or those not paying attention to what’s playing on a streaming service playlist. Mixed with bland, trailer-trap production, “New Me” continues to solidify Ross as yet another mainstream brand that’s next to impossible to distinguish from the crowd.


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