First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos and albums that dropped this week.
The country genre showcased its vulnerability this week throughout several releases. Old Dominion’s much anticipated self-titled third studio album dropped today (Oct. 25), having the band dive deeper into more confessional songwriting while Lauren Alaina’s poignant “The Other Side” pays tribute to her late stepfather Sam Ramker.
Additional highlights this week include the stunning “Ruin That For Me” from newcomers Avenue Beat, Luke Bryan’s triumphant “What She Wants Tonight” and Kaleb Lee’s sultry “Nothin’ On You.”
Here are some of the best country tunes released this week to keep on repeat over the weekend.
Avenue Beat, “Ruin That For Me”
Avenue Beat detail the heartbreak a relationship’s end can often bring throughout the vivid “Ruin That For Me,” but the girls decide to take the high road. On the infectious track, the up-and-coming trio channel a woman who decides not to avoid her favorite diner just because she said goodbye to her ex. "I'm still doin' what I like/ Just 'cause you said goodbye/ Ain't gonna change my life," they croon on the chorus. Hand-snapped rhythms and three-part harmonies further flesh out the empowering female anthem.
Kaleb Lee, “Nothin’ On You”
Kaleb Lee gained national attention while a contestant on Season 14 of The Voice where he finished in the top 6. With Kelly Clarkson on his side as a mentor and his upcoming debut EP, due out in 2020, Lee is sharing a taste of what to expect with the ear-grabbing “Nothin’ On You” which he co-wrote with Dee Briggs. His soulful and whiskey-soaked vocals are at the forefront of the yearning love song where he vows that even the most beautiful things in life have nothing on his girl.
Lauren Alaina, “The Other Side”
Alaina debuted the poignant “The Other Side” during a powerful performance on Dancing With the Stars earlier this week. A memorable ballad that serves as a prayer to Alaina from her late stepfather, who died last year after a battle with cancer, Alaina’s vocals and vulnerable lyrics leave a lasting mark on the listener.
“He was always my champion. He was always my number one fan,” Alaina shared on social media. “Now he’s my guardian angel. I wrote ‘The Other Side’ in Sam’s memory. I wanted to create a song that did him justice. He couldn’t hear me sing without crying because he was so proud of me…I wrote this song so that he can live on, and never be forgotten.”
Luke Bryan, “What She Wants Tonight”
Wavering electric guitar parts introduce Bryan’s sultry new single “What She Wants Tonight.” A song about a woman ready to move on from her past with Bryan, pulsating beats and the superstar’s rhythmic singing style further the song’s intrigue. It’s Bryan’s best vocals to date and a song sure to do well in the live setting.
Old Dominion, Old Dominion
Old Dominion returns with its most ambitious and reflective album yet. While fans got an early taste of the project with previous Billboard Country Airplay No. 1 single “Make It Sweet” and its sentimental follow-up “One Man Band,” the group diversifies its sound and ups its songwriting game with the deeply vulnerable “Some People Do” and standout “I’ll Roll.”