Post Malone, Lainey Wilson, & More – Single Round-Up

Adam DeGross

Lainey Wilson, “Out Of Oklahoma” – Written By Adam Delahoussaye

Next on the cyclone of country behemoths from the impending “Twisters” soundtrack is Lainey Wilson. This is the most understated of the bunch thus far, though maybe also the most visceral voice the project has seen. While not a native Oklahoman herself, the Cajun cowgirl here would have you convinced that corn fields and dust devils are fueling the ink in her pen on this newest single. Wilson, in many ways, feels like the eye of the hurricane both in lyrics and arrangement that seem to have made peace with what’s to come. Rather than run from her trials and tribulations, Wilson is boarding up windows and ready to weather the storm, staring her in the eyes. True to her roots or not, Wilson can wear many hats, and “Out Of Oklahoma” proves to be no exception. As bloated as this 30-artist project is sure to feel upon release, it’s comforting knowing someone like Wilson is willing and able to give it ample breathing room to the best of her ability.


Ella Langley & Riley Green, “you look like you love me” – Written By Will Chapman

After a stream of viral teasers on social media, Ella Langley has teamed up with Riley Green for the much-anticipated release of her latest single “you look like you love me.” While there are countless songs about picking up a girl at a bar, this playful track provides a refreshing, feminine take on the trope. Langley finds a way to give a new perspective to a previously stagnant and overused narrative. The top-notch storytelling and the creative use of playful dialogue between Ella and Riley truly elevate the track to another level. From the spoken word verses to the traditional, pedal steel-filled production, everything about “you look like you love me” makes it feel like a timeless country duet. 


Post Malone & Blake Shelton, “Pour Me a Drink” – Written By Creed Miller

Post Malone is back with the second track on his highly-anticipated country album, F-1 Trillion, teaming up with Blake Shelton for a party-ready duet titled “Pour Me a Drink.” The toe-tapper is an excellent option to play out on the water or cruising down the road with the windows down, but it could use a unique twist to make it stand out. The generic story has been told repeatedly: things go south, or a pretty girl walks into the bar, and the drinks start flowing. The lack of lyrical originality allows listeners to passively turn their brains off while listening. The one interesting addition is the use of the fiddle to give it a more traditional flair, saving the single from sounding like every other song on the radio. It keeps things fresh and exciting, avoiding needless repetition. Although “Pour Me a Drink” is relatively commonplace, it’s overall a fun tune and catchy enough to keep us looking forward to the Post Malone country era.


Lauren Watkins & Jake Worthington, “Fly on the Wall” – Written By Christina Bosch

Labelmates Lauren Watkins and Jake Worthington team up for a classic country duet with “Fly On the Wall.” One of the the many impressive songs on Watkins’s project, The Heartbroken Record, the push and pull of wanting to know about an ex’s new relationship without actually feeling the hurt of it showcases their chemistry perfectly. Twangy production by Joey Moi feeds into the heartbreak and as they trade off verses, the listener becomes the observer of both sides of the story. The longing, pain-filled vocal deliveries by Watkins and Worthington are flawless and give depth to the narrative. Wishing you could be a hypothetical “fly on the wall” to see how the new love interest is being treated is a fresh, unique plotline. This duo certainly does the song written by Watkins, Summer Overstreet, Brett and Brad Warren, and Andy Sheridan justice.


Corey Kent, “Never Ready” – Written By Christina Bosch

A song that can tell a person’s life story in just four minutes and change certainly has its place in country music history. Corey Kent’s latest takes you through the emotions of life, falling in love and getting married, becoming a parent and then losing your own parents. It’s heartfelt and powerful but not a slow ballad; the acoustic guitar that drives the production keeps the track moving just as quickly as life tends to go. As predictable as each verse is, the chorus and the meaningful words change perspective with each new phase of life. A new era “Don’t Take The Girl,” the sentiment certainly hits home for fans who were moved to tears by the 1994 Tim McGraw classic. As a young husband and father, Kent delivers this journey with finesse and ease as he continues to impress listeners with his storytelling ability. 


Kashus Culpepper, “After Me?” – Written By Creed Miller

After building a large enough following to headline his own tour, Kashus Culpepper finally rewards his listeners by releasing his debut single, “After Me?” Penned by Culpepper and Mark Addison Chandler, the track looks at the agony of a former love interest marrying someone new. The central character is in a state of denial over the fact that she has moved on as he sings, “does he know that her snow-colored gown is a lie?” Culpepper’s raspy vocals stand out throughout the track and complement the production nicely. His passion cuts through the air as if you can hear the pain he is going through. Production-wise, the single has an apparent blues influence, which matches perfectly with Culpepper’s voice. Subtle piano sprinkled throughout helps elevate the song to the next level. The Alabama native’s sound has a strong sense of familiarity but remains unique enough that there aren’t any direct comparisons. Culpepper is one of the most interesting “newcomers,” and “After Me?” is an excellent look into what could be an incredible career.


Chase Rice, “Go Down Singin'” – Written By Max Buondonno

Chase Rice has done what very few country artists have in changing his approach to creating music, diving deeper into the themes and stories he wants to tell at the expense of more commercially friendly production. And, it’s been paying off. From his 2023 album I Hate Cowboys and All Dogs Go to Hell to his first single of 2024, “Fireside,” Rice has been on a solid run of releases filled with dusty drums and acoustic percussion that give his music a unique aesthetic reminiscent of a band’s jam session around a bonfire. His latest single, “Go Down Singin’,” is another striking example of this. Capturing his passion for singing and relentless hard work to achieve what he wants, Rice uses a slower pace to invite the listener to a tasteful melody of smoky instrumentals that feel warm and authentic to Chase. While it’s a personal story about never giving up, there’s something relatable about the track many will identify with. Rice’s next album seems to be on the right creative track thanks to these two singles alone, and if the rest of the project is as good, it could be in contention as one of the year’s best records.


Dylan Scott, “I Owe You One” – Written By Max Buondonno

As one of mainstream country music’s favorite acts at the moment, Dylan Scott continues to release songs that try too hard to have any sort of mainstream appeal they can, whether that be a decent performance on the radio, an easy “add” to your playlist, or a viral moment on TikTok. His latest single, “I Owe You One,” is no exception to that rule. The song, with star-studded credits including Mark Holman, Ashley Gorley, ERNEST, and Morgan Wallen, is instantly familiar to anyone who’s heard a song about the people and small towns that are left behind when artists enjoy some level of success. This one’s no different; we hear Scott reminiscing about his hometown, the people who shaped it, and the gratitude he has for his upbringing. However, just because this is a Wallen co-write doesn’t mean it’s a good song. If anything, the track feels weaker than the material you’d usually find associated with names like Wallen or Ernest K. Smith. Instead, it’s a conventional “I miss you guys” message with typical, bland Dylan Scott production and too few unique attributes to make it memorable. The song may eventually find itself on the radio, but in the grand scheme of things, it feels like nothing more than filler for a larger project.


Brothers Osborne, “I Won’t Back Down” – Written By Ryan Lippe

Brothers Osborne brings their recognizable sound to a single that has taken on a life of its own beyond Tom Petty’s iconic career. T.J. Osborne does an excellent job delivering the song using his trademark baritone voice but still capturing the original track’s extensive range. Despite being written by Petty and Jeff Lynne for his Full Moon Fever album, the duo gives the song a contemporary energy like it was designed for a modern-day Brothers Osborne album. For fans more familiar with the original, hearing the original riff in a different key may shock some. Still, Mike Elizondo keeps a similar cadence to the one Petty and Lynne created with Mike Campbell, the Heartbreakers’ guitarist. While this song holds many similarities to the original, it serves as a respectful tribute to the late icon and his music.


Chase Matthew, “Saltwater Cinderella” – Written By Ryan Lippe

Immediately when this single starts, the listener is blasted in the face with synthesizers reminiscent of an 80s pop dance track followed by echoes of the song’s namesake. Marketing “Saltwater Cinderella” as a country song should prove difficult as it carries little instrumental elements of contemporary or neo-traditional country. It opens with lyrics shallower than a small pond, saying that this girl is as “hot as a beach and cool as the wind.” Lacking much substance, the two concise verses do nothing more than act as segways to the chorus. Although the track starts with pop rhythms, the guitar solo before the bridge is relatively energetic and provides the song’s only a mildly redeeming quality. It feels like a track one would hear looping endlessly in a retail store.


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