From album cuts to indie releases, we have compiled a list of the top tracks for September 2021 based on our review readership.
Pop upstart Halle Abadi has all the confidence in the world on new single, “Focus.” Crossing over elements of her Persian/Afghan culture into catchy commercial music, Abadi’s impressive vocal chops set her apart from the crop of young hopefuls. First gaining popularity on TiKTok, “Focus” is a dominant jam worthy of editorial playlist placement.
Listen to “Focus” below.
Need a boost of endorphins? Crank up Obeeyay’s debut single, “Make You Mine.” Obeeyay is a rising pop/hip-hop artist coming out of Utah and if his debut release is any indication of his potential, color us impressed. The upbeat track features Obeeyay’s lush and dynamic vocals alongside danceable beats and commercial production.
Listen to “Make You Mine” below.
Southern Rock meets Country gold on newcomer Bobby Watson’s latest release, “Get Down.” The standout, anthemic song recalls vocal elements of Chris Stapleton with the edgy, rocking’ production factors of Brantley Gilbert. Screaming electric guitars, chorus style BGV’s and Watson’s soulful country vocals are expertly combined together on “Get Down.” This track should put Watson on the map as an artist to watch on the country scene.
Listen to “Get Down” below.
It doesn’t need to be a rainy day to soak in Arthur Gunn’s new song. Aptly titled “Rainy Days,” his voice, which took him to second place on American Idol in 2020, envelopes you from within, like a good cup of hot tea will do. “Hope the rain will fill your thirst wherever you may be,” he sings, swinging from Bob Dylan power lines. While he certainly nods to folk tradition, there’s just something so wonderfully unique and vivacious about his storytelling. It’s hooked into the past, yet never tethered to it totally. Just surrender to the beauty.
Listen to “Rainy Days” below.
There’s a Brooks & Dunn pulse found inside Laine Hardy’s “One of Those,” off his new record, Here’s to Anyone. A reedy rasp, the American Idol champ honors tradition but firmly plants his feet within the modern landscape. “It’s gonna be one of those real slow dancin’ in the car light, spinning you in all the fireflies, losing myself in your blue eyes kind of nights,” he coos. It’s feel good and warm and enveloping, enough to sweep you away on your own memories.
Listen to “One of Those” below.
Scotty McCreery – “The Waiter”
Scotty McCreery blossoms with his new record. Same Truck weaves together radio fodder with some of his most sterling storyteller songs. Case in point, “The Waiter” could very well be a Randy Travis b-side, yet McCreery’s performance is wholly his own. No one else could deliver such a moving story. Everybody says he’s crazy. That old man done lost his mind – Bbut he ain’t missed a date with her since 1959,” he sings, a sweetness to his voice.
Listen to “The Waiter” below.
Catie Turner caved to the pressure. After posting snippets of a demo for “New Girl,” the American Idol alum decided to post the full version. “I used to be you, girl. He’ll promise the whole world, just to lay you down,” Turner knitts every sore emotion into a plea to her ex’s new lover. “There will be a next one after you,” she sings later through parted lips. The folk arrangement has a visceral quality, a background on which the singer-songwriter pours out her heart like buckets of paint.
Listen to “New Girl” below.
John Sierra – “A Dream Worth Keeping”
Many artists face a fork in the road at some point in their career. Do you keep believing, or live with the loss of what could have been? Singer/Songwriter John Sierra weighs his options on new single, “A Dream Worth Keeping.” Driven by primarily an acoustic guitar, Sierra sells the dramatic track with an emotional vocal delivery. Sierra has loads of potential and we are rooting that he continues to release great music.
Listen to “A Dream Worth Keeping” below.
Runaway June – “Forgot About That”
Listening to Runaway June is like flipping on the radio in the ‘90s. It’s vintage but polished with modern flourishes. “Forgot About That,” an essential from the trio’s new EP, warms the soul with its rumbling electric guitars that glisten and shine. “Well, I never say never, but I swore I’d never waste any more time on you,” sings Naomie Cooke. In such frankness, soon unraveling other things in a long-dead relationship she’d totally forgotten about, she comes clean about “heartbreak amnesia,” even if it ultimately does more damage.
Listen to “Forgot About That” below.