8 Must-Hear New Country Songs: Miranda Lambert, Randy Travis, Tenille Arts & More

This week’s crop of new releases includes Miranda Lambert’s first new music since inking with Republic Records in partnership with Big Loud, as well as Randy Travis’s new song, which was recorded with the help of AI. The lineup also includes music from Kameron Marlowe, Tenille Arts, Colby Acuff, Jesse Daniel with Ben Haggard, and more.

Miranda Lambert, “Wranglers”

Lambert returns to the kind of burn-it-all-down revenge stories that first served as her musical introduction, and as her fans know, this Texan’s vocal is often at its best when issuing a twangy, low murmur of a warning to anyone who has dared do her wrong. Written by Audra Mae, Evan McKeever and Ryan Carpenter, this song etches the tale of a woman dead-set on independence and undeterred by the fiery bout of revenge required to set those plans off the ground. “Wranglers” is Lambert’s first new music under her recent deal with Republic Records, in partnership with Big Loud.

Randy Travis, “Where That Came From”

Though the use of AI has largely been viewed as a threat to artists and songwriters over the past few years, Country Music Hall of Famer Travis’s label team at Warner Music Nashville was intent on using the technology to aid the singer, who has had limited speech for more than a decade, following a 2013 stroke that left him with aphasia. This song, originally recorded by singer James Dupre and written by Scotty Emerick with John Scott Sherill, serves as a key vessel, one that feels every bit as classic as many of Travis’s previous hits. Through the help of AI and meticulous sonic editing from Travis’s longtime producer Kyle Lehning, Travis returns with “Where That Came From,” with his vocal sounding remarkably close to Travis’s timeless recordings in the 1980s and 1990s.

Tenille Arts, “So Do I”

Arts delves into the despair of loneliness on “So Do I,” drawing on feelings of confusion, frustration and not quite measuring up, while wrapping it all in a beguiling pop hook. “Do you feel like the whole world’s waiting for you to get it right?,” she asks on this track, written by Sasha Sloan, King Henry, Demi Lovato and Laura Veltz. The song is featured on Arts’ latest album, to be honest, which was released on May 3 and draws on her penchant for soul-excavating frameworks and deeply detailed story arcs. The album is released via Dreamcatcher Artists and distributed through STEM.

Colby Acuff, “Scared of the Dark”

Acuff, who signed with Sony Music Nashville last year, excels in pairing acoustic-propelled sounds with his grainy voice and deeply personal storylines. His latest, which he wrote solo and produced with Eddie Spear, builds from pared-back fiddle and vocal into pounding percussion, razor-sharp fiddle lines and relentless acoustic guitar, drawing out the lyrical arc of an incessant mental health battle with depression and shame, but ultimately drawing out the hope for better days ahead.

Lonesome Ace Stringband with The Andrew Collins Trio, “May Day”

It’s been nearly two decades since the Lonesome Ace Stringband played a sound-refining residency at Toronto’s Dakota Tavern — roughly the same time that Lonesome Ace’s Chris Coole wrote this track with Andrew Collins of The Andrew Collins Trio. The two groups combine their talents on this breezy, exquisitely performed instrumental, with a mesh of mandolin, banjo, bass, guitar and fiddle that capture the warm, lively essence of springtime.

Kameron Marlowe, “On My Way Out”

Marlowe’s formidable vocals are front and center on his new song, written by Michael Hardy, Ben Johnson, Hunter Phelps, Taylor Phillips and Bobby Pinson. By turns soaring and tender, Marlowe’s voice is an ace foil for this song musing on how he wants to leave this life better than he found it, right his wrongs and give thanks for those who meant the most to him. A top-shelf outing from this North Carolina native and former The Voice contestant.

Chase Matthew, “First”

He’s trying to move on from a fizzled relationship, but everyone he spends time with only comes in second place when compared to his first love. He catalogs each of the first moments of burgeoning love in that standard-setting relationship, from the first time she called him “baby,” to the first time she kissed him. Sonically, the song stands up to the pop-oriented songs on radio, while the melody gives his burnished vocal room to soar. Matthew wrote the song with Ben Hayslip and David Lee Murphy.

Jesse Daniel & Ben Haggard, “Tomorrow’s Good Ol’ Days”

Dripping with harmonica and winding guitar, this collaboration between Daniel and Ben Haggard (son of country music legend Merle Haggard) is the latest hard-hitting honky tonk release from neo-traditionalist Daniel. Here, they lament a country that is “on the brink of war,” kids who “are growin’ up too fast” and corporations buying up farmland and reshaping the economy in the process. Their weathered, craggy voices are a perfect foil for the storyline, in a throwback to other classic country compositions that have grieved over various economic and societal changes they have deemed damaging. The song is from Daniels’s upcoming project Countin’ the Miles, out June 7 on Lightning Rod Records.

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