8 Must-Hear New Country Songs: Zach Bryan, Scotty McCreery, Morgan Wade, Margo Price & More

This week’s batch of new country music includes songs from Zach Bryan (with The War and Treaty), Morgan Wade, Scotty McCreery, East Nash Grass, Grant Gilbert and more.

Zach Bryan and The War and Treaty, “Hey Driver”

One of four collaborations featured on Bryan’s 16-track, self-titled album (the others being collabs with Kacey Musgraves, Sierra Ferrell, and The Lumineers), this gritty track pairs Bryan with married duo (and superb vocalists) The War and Treaty. Lyrically, the song conveys a road-weary musician in need of a respite, one who has spent his heart on his music and wisely perceives tourmates who are “gambling with more than just their cards/ With their bottles and their drugs and their bibles and their hearts.” The one-two vocal punch of Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter’s otherworldly harmonies would push any artist to give their best, and this piano-based song finds Bryan offering some of his most affecting vocals on the album.

Scotty McCreery, “Cab in a Solo”

As an artist and a songwriter, McCreery has been on a hot streak of well-crafted, notably performed songs over the past few years, notching five No. 1 hits on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart. With his latest, which he wrote with Brent Anderson and Frank Rogers, McCreery continues to slake music listeners’ ongoing affinity for ’90s country, thanks to a neo-traditional sound connected to vivid lyricism. The song’s hook sums the protagonist’s reaction to a lover who’s moved on, with the nimble wordplay “drinking cab in a Solo/ solo in the cab of my truck.”

Morgan Wade, “27 Club”

A standout from her new album Psychopath (which released Friday, Aug. 25), this solo write from Wade references the “27 Club” — a catalog of musicians who died at age 27, including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse — as she exquisitely details surviving and rising above the strains of mental health afflictions, addictions, suicidal thoughts, media obsessions and Hollywood “romances,” to find moments of peace within oneself. Wade’s signature husky, worldly vocals drive home the scrappiness and the disappointment of a superficial relationship with someone who “only knows me ’cause I wrote the song about the hotel lobby,” referring to Wade’s breakthrough hit “Wilder Days.”

Chayce Beckham, “Little Less Lonely”

The “23” hitmaker and American Idol alum returns with this radio-friendly track about assuaging heartbreak by inundating oneself in neon lights, music, libations and the arms of a potential new lover. Beckham wrote “Little Less Lonely” with Lindsay Rimes and Matt Rogers.

East Nash Grass, Last Chance to Win

A collection of some of the bluegrass genre’s towering younger talents, East Nash Grass is nominated for the 2023 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)’s new artist of the year honor. Their 11-track album Last Chance to Win, offers ample evidence as to why they’ve earned such accolades. Each member of the group — guitarist James Kee, banjo player Cory Walker, mandolin player Harry Clark, dobro player Gaven Largent, fiddle player Maddie Denton and bassist Jeff Picker — has a sterling resumé, but their collaborative efforts further esteem their musical potency ranging from traditional bluegrass sounds to more progressive fare. Whether the fleet-fingered picking displayed on the Uncle Dave Macon mainstay “Railroadin’ and Gamblin’” or their superb takes on Bill Anderson’s “Slippin’ Away” and Johnny Rodriguez’s “How Could I Love Her So Much,” this collective offers distinguished musicianship as one of the most exciting new groups in the genre.

Margo Price, “Strays”

Price continues unspooling her previous album Strays, with the upcoming double project Strays II (out Oct. 13). The album is spearheaded by this psychedelic, rutilant roots-rock groove she and her husband, fellow musician Jeremy Ivey, wrote about the boundless experience of falling in love more than two decades ago, a time with little money but plenty of will and determination. Price further cements her position as a keen-eyed, poetic lyricist and an inimitable artist.

Chris Lane, “Find Another Bar”

She’s broken his heart, and now she’s deadset on taking over the space he’s staked out for his own emotional refuge. Written by Lane with Josh Thompson and Justin Ebach, Lane’s new release finds him veering slightly from hip-hop infused, polished pop-country to a sound with a ragged rock edge, while still residing squarely in his musical wheelhouse. “Find Another Bar” marks Lane’s first release on his new label home at Red Street Records/Voyager Records.

Grant Gilbert, “Turn It Down”

Gilbert is currently aloft the Texas Regional Radio Chart with his “Six Pack State of Mind,” featuring Josh Abbott. While the Santo, Texas native’s sleek twangy vocal remains intact on his followup, “Turn It Down,” this outing veers into sultry, soulful, rock-tinged territory, as it hinges on the nexus between fiery tensions and romance as salve. A bluesy, grainy guitar groove only heightens the song’s sensual storyline. “Turn It Down” was written by Lainey Wilson, Driver Williams and Arkady Gilman.

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