Music

5 Must-Hear New Country Songs: Lainey Wilson, Lily Rose, Thomas Rhett & More

This week’s batch of new music includes fresh releases from Billboard‘s current cover star Lainey Wilson, as well as the recently BB-feted duo The War and Treaty. Musical trailblazer Lily Rose offers up new music as country radio mainstay Thomas Rhett issues his latest dance-worthy track, while Whey Jennings builds upon his familial legacy with his new music.

Lainey Wilson, “Hang Tight Honey”

Heading into Academy of Country Music Awards week, Wilson is up for trophies including entertainer of the year and is celebrating by dropping new music and revealing her upcoming new album Whirlwind, out in August. Wilson looks to further accelerate her ascendance to elite stardom with her new song, written with Driver Williams, Jason Nix and Paul Sikes.

Here, she keeps a fervent pace on this barn burner, rife with searing electric guitar riffs and space for Wilson to unleash her powerful vocals. She revels in her wild ride on the road but maintains that during all those concerts and long hours away from home, her lover stays on her mind and she’s counting down the days when they are reunited. “Hang tight honey, got a pocket full of money / And I’m headed straight home to you,” she sings, evoking every entertainer’s struggle for balance between work and homelife. This feels like another winner from Wilson.

The War and Treaty, “Leads Me Home”

The Grammy-nominated husband-and-wife duo of Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter have appeared on stages from the Academy of Country Music Awards to the MusiCares Gala. This duo’s music defies categorization, with Michael Trotter Jr.’s voice effortlessly weaving from gospel-soul to distinct vocal timbres that bring to mind some of country music’s traditional talents. Simultaneously, Tanya Trotter’s rafter-reaching soprano is a true marvel — together, they form an unstoppable musical force. Here, with the follow-up to their 2023 major label debut Lover’s Game, they revisit their Americana roots with this emotionally charged tale of a love that beckons one to return to their roots of country roads and winding streams. Their inimitable, Gospel-swathed harmonies are highlighted by tastefully reserved, cascading piano, answered by banjo and acoustic guitar and a conclusion of ragged fiddle.

Lily Rose, Runnin’ Outta Time

Rose, who broke through with the hit “Villain” and recently made her Grand Ole Opry debut, makes the personal universal on her new six-song EP Runnin’ Outta Time. Opener “The Goal” pays homage to lessons gleaned from her childhood as she works to balance striving for success while keeping her loftiest goal as staying true to herself and her loved ones. “Back Pew” finds Rose seeking the courage to find grace and refuge not only in faith but foremost in herself. Elsewhere on the project, she delves into nostalgia and making each moment count. Along the way, Rose has etched her own musical imprint, thanks to perceptive songwriting, a conversational vocal style, and sonic arrangements that meld country and soul-dipped pop. Taken together, these elements make this trailblazing singer-songwriter’s newest release one for the ages.

Thomas Rhett, “Beautiful as You”

With nearly two-dozen No. 1 Country Airplay hits to his credit, one of country music’s premier architects of both pop-polished up-tempo hits and tender romantic ballads returns with a new summer-ready single. He continues with his thematic terrain, layering starry-eyed, romantic adoration atop a churning, dance-ready groove as he vows to “spend the rest of forever just treasurin’ you,” as he ponders just how he managed to build a life with a lover he knows is out of his league. “Beautiful as You” serves as the first song from Thomas Rhett’s upcoming album.

Whey Jennings, “One of These Days”

Jennings, the grandson of country singer-songwriter Waylon Jennings, has put in the work in forging and refining his own sound over the course of multiple EPs, and miles on the road. His latest song trades in hope and self-determination, while placing the focus on his voice, as smooth yet gritty and world-weary as the dirt and rocks embedded on a well-trod backroad. “One of These Days,” from his upcoming August album Jekyll & Hyde, was co-written by Jennings with Sam Lowe. The album as a whole encapsulates his own journey to sobriety and faith, while the raw emotion of “One of These Days” hinges on acknowledging his own proclivities for rambling and wandering, while putting forth his own dreams and aspirations, as he promises a loved one he will change his ways and settle down — well, one of these days.

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