From red dirt risers to talent show alumnus, we have compiled a list of the top tracks for October 2021 based on our review readership.
“We gotta change to be the change,” Just Sam (Samantha Diaz) sings with a trembling vibrato. Following her 2020 American Idol trophy, the singer-songwriter returns with her second single titled “Change,” coming on the heels of “Africando” earlier this year. Rampant gun and gang violence weighed heavy on her heart, so she put pen to paper to pour out her heart. A moody, somber melody lays thick among the brushes of clanky, off-kilter production. “Promise yourself that you can do better, better, better,” she trails off.
Listen to “Change” below.
There are few who can cover George Strait and really pull it off. A smokiness all his own, Parker McCollum straps into Strait’s leather boots and does his best turn on “Carrying Your Love with Me,” finding his voice slipping over the melody with an amber quality. “You’re right there in everything I do,” he swings, hang-gliding right into the chorus. “‘Cause I’m carryin’ your love with me – West Virginia down to Tennessee. I’ll be movin’ with the good Lord’s speed.” Syrupy sweet, not flashy, but it gets the job done.
Listen to McCollum’s “Carrying Your Love with Me” below.
Cake and frosting hangs onto a sharp kitchen knife – that’s one helluva image for the cover art to Francisco Martin’s “Bittersweet.” Once you dig into the song itself, you’ll understand why choosing such a visual dichotomy is essential. “Now that you’re gone, and I’m lost in a faceless crowd, that would be fine if I knew you were safe and sound,” he sings, pulling on both the good and bad strands of a now-dead relationship. His emotions are tangled, permitting the singer-songwriter to attempt to unravel it all in song form.
Listen to “Bittersweet” below.
Eva Campbell knows her worth on new single, “Echo.” With hopes to empower and encourage people to not settle for mediocracy, Campbell passionately delivers the uplifting track. Campbell’s timeless voice recalls the tone of Celine Dion with the commercial pop sound of Ariana Grande. At only 19-years-old, the Ireland native and former The Voice UKcontestant is destined for a bright future in music.
On the inspiration behind the song, Campbell explains, “I wanted a song to dedicate to Dublin Pride, for all the partners who have been hidden away due to internalised homophobia. It is also written to empower those who’ve been through a breakup, or who haven’t got the love they deserve.”
Listen to “Echo” below.
Red dirt artist Hayden Haddock is everyone’s best friend on new single, “Wind It Down.” The good-time, party anthem features a two-stepping worthy beat and Haddock’s classic country twang. The electric guitar and fiddle infused tune keep the song in the traditional country lane, while the production is modern enough to make it contemporary. The first new music from the promising artist in nearly two years, Haddock has stepped it up a notch across the board with this release and we can’t wait to hear what comes next.
Listen to “Wind It Down” below.
Just because you break hearts around town doesn’t mean your own heart doesn’t split right down the middle, too. That’s what Cassadee Pope posits with her song “Break Too,” a cut from her new punk-country hybrid LP Thrive. A rockin’ punkish attitude from Pope’s early days adorns a strip steak of country storytelling. “Just ‘cause I let you go that don’t mean I ain’t going through all the pain of the change,” she sings, stripping away the ego to reveal her own vulnerability underneath.
Listen to “Break Too” below.
Emerging Country artist Nicky James’ new single is a heartbreaker. Written by Country star Chris Young and hit songwriter Matt Rogers, “Goin’ Through” documents the rollercoaster of emotions that come from an unwanted breakup. James’ clear and distinct vocals are on full display throughout the mid-tempo track. “Goin’ Through” follows James’ previously released tracks this year including “Your Name On It,” “Addicts Knot,” and “Common Ground.” James’ ability to write and deliver quality music coupled with his obvious talent is putting him on the map in the format.
Listen to “Goin’ Through” below.
Miko Marks is as an angel sent down from heaven. With The Carter Family’s “Foggy Mountain Top,” the singer-songwriter catches the listener up in a savory and wistful finger-plucker. If I was on some foggy mountain top, I’d sail away to the West,” she cries. “I’d sail all around this old wide world to the boy I love the best.” But her tears are not of the sorrowful variety; a twinge of regret mingle with abandon, firmly basking in life’s every sweet drop.
Listen to “Foggy Mountain Top” below.
It’s a matter of scientific fact how powerful Brandi Carlile’s voice is. She’s left her mark forever on our hearts, and somehow, with her brand new record, In These Silent Days, she grinds our emotions into powdery dust. “Letter to the Past” arrives at a time when we all could use it most, a mid-tempo ballad written to her younger self. “You’re a stone wall in a world full of rubber bands,” she sings. Her voice is unwavering, imparting a vital message about endurance through life’s most terrible moments. We dare you not to cry.
Listen to “Letter to the Past” below.