As every Friday passes, there are numerous songs that come out from independent country artists whose songs are well-written, beautiful, or simply fun. We’ve compiled a list of songs that were released last week by independent acts that deserve much love and attention. Who knows, you might find your next favorite song.
1. “Used To” by Andrea Vasquez
Singer-songwriter Andrea Vasquez introduced her brand new single, “Used To” on TikTok while sitting in a Target parking lot saying, “So this song is for anybody who’s ever been in a relationship where you just know that it’s coming to an end and you’re trying to save on to that little bit of hope that’s still there.” The track is slow and powerful. What’s most mesmerizing about “Used To” is Vasquez’s vocal performances. Yes, the instrumental is beautiful with soft drums and both steel and electric guitars, but Vasquez sings in a way that emulates a heartbreaking feeling. If a listener didn’t know what the song was about, the torment in her voice would explain it all. The lyrics are also extremely honest as she practically cries out, “You don’t look in my eyes like you used to. There’s a scent on your shirt I’m not used to so I bite my tongue not to lose you. Love me like you used to.”
2. “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing Today” by Sofia Claire
Singer-songwriter Sofia Claire release her debut single, “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing Today” last week. What strikes the listener is Claire’s vulnerable-sounding vocals as she sings about feeling burnt out and tired. The lyrics, penned by Jennifer Adan, Ruth Collins, and Donnie Skaggs, are beautifully written and overwhelmingly relatable. In the verses, Claire asks for space and sings about feeling distanced. In the chorus, she exclaims, “So I’ll go through the motions like everything’s okay. I’ll spin around, keep wearin’ this smile upon my face. And maybe by tomorrow, everything will change, but I don’t feel like dancing today.”
3. “Why Can’t It Be Over” by Chase Wright
“Why Can’t It Be Over” is the fifth single of 2021 from country singer Chase Wright. Wright has made significant moves as an independent artist as he’s amassed over 45 million total streams across platforms. The new track, written by Wright, Jerry Flowers, and Jared Keim, deals with the troubling feeling of trying to move on after a breakup when your ex moved on faster than you. In the chorus, he asks desperate, painful questions, “Why can’t it be over for me if it’s over for you? How did you get there and I not be there too? Was I blind to the signs? Am I losin’ my mind? Cause I’m dyin’ here and you’re just fine.” After the first section of the chorus, Wright’s voice comes in through an electric static adding an extra layer of sound to the song.
4. “Ouachita River” by Mary Heather Hickman featuring Stefanie Joyce
Rising country singer-songwriter Mary Heather Hickman follows up her TikTok viral track, “Treasure” about her bad taste in men, with a murder mystery song titled “Ouachita River.” Hickman, an Arkansas native, grew up near the river and got the inspiration for the title when away at her dad’s cabin for a writer’s retreat. “I could’ve called the law, I could’ve up and left but I took some rope and a bag of stones and I tied him up instead. Run river run cover up what I’ve done. Carry away what’s left of that sinner. Theres secrets in the Arkansas sand, mud on my boots, and blood on my hands, and a body at the bottom of the Ouachita River.” The song tells a movie-like story and Joyce’s background vocals add an ominous effect. You can read our interview with Mary Heather Hickman here.
5. “Sure Like Lovin’ You” by Raleigh Keegan
After a series of singles, country singer-songwriter Raleigh Keegan released “Sure Like Lovin’ You,” the last single before his first full-length album comes out on October 15th. “Sure Like Lovin’ You” begins with knee-slapping drum sounds and punchy electric guitars. In the first verse he sings with attitude, “I don’t like that alarm clock wakin’ me in the morning. I don’t like that coffee pot empty when I really want some. And I don’t like the fact that I got work to do ‘cause baby I sure like lovin’ you.” Out of all of Keegan’s pre-release singles, this one is full of soul. It’s a catchy, bluesy-inspired country song that shows off Keegan’s signature sound.
6. “Over You” by Stephanie Ryann
The latest release from country singer-songwriter Stephanie Ryann, “Over You,” is a breath of fresh air about moving on after a relationship. The song has an upbeat, sunshiny instrumental. Ryann evokes a sense of growth and newfound happiness through her words and especially in the chorus where she states, “Cause I’m on to the next, don’t need to try to forget. I’ve moved on and I’ve gotten good at goodbyes.” The bridge is striking and bittersweet as Ryann sings softly, “I wouldn’t change a thing. I won’t forget your name. Sometimes it just don’t work out but I don’t have regrets.”
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