There’s room for more than just one Aussie in country music, and Morgan Evans is dedicated to proving that throughout his career. His sophomore project, The Country And The Coast Side A is his first since his album Things That We Drink To in 2018. Evans kicked off his career after winning a songwriting competition in 2007, releasing his debut EP Big Skies at the age of 22. In just fourteen years in his career as a country music singer/songwriter, Evans has gone on to sign a major label deal, release award-winning albums with gold-selling singles, and marry his American country-star wife, Kelsea Ballerini.
The six-track album kicks off with “Love Is Real”, which is also remixed as the last track. The song has already climbed charts on both Apple Music and Spotify as his first single for the album. Written by himself with the help of Jordan Reynolds and Parker Welling, Evans’ classic country accent shows through his clever lyricism that seems to have a personal touch to it.
“Soon as ‘It’s Your Love’ came on / I felt every word / Hearin’ your pretty voice sing along changed the way I heard / The way I feel / The Way I see / Honestly made me believe / That I could drive / Your hand in mine / Oh baby we’ll go till we run outta road / And the rust runs out these wheels / The way I feel / I know I always will / I am yours / You are mine / Love is real”
“Country Outta My Girl” gets even more personal knowing Evans’ wife is country music star, Kelsea Ballerini. With her own success in the industry, Evans commemorates her with a song full of Nashville mentions such as “Singin’ George Strait down Fifth Avenue”, “Honky tonk angel on a rooftop bar”, and “She takes Tennessee all ‘round the world”. With these references and more, Evans’ makes it known that his girl is just as, if not more country than him, and he’s proud of it.
There’s no arguing that “Beautiful Tonight” is a love ballad based on personal experience. The lyrics with the romantic background track is enough to give us butterflies. Evan’s passion shows through his voice in the powerful chorus that lingers with a magical touch in the music behind him. The way he describes his love is so vague, yet meaningful all the same, in a way that is relatable and personal at once. The song gives his relationship privacy while sharing his oath of love to the world, and giving us a song to apply to our own relationships without the specific references mentioned before.
“Every time you smile / Every word you speak / It’s a work of art / Just to watch you be / Just the way you are / You don’t have to try / Darlin’ you look beautiful tonight”
In “American Dream Truck”, Evans takes us back to his early days in the industry. He describes his first time visiting Nashville, his struggle in achieving the “American Dream” in the country music industry, and how it wasn’t always pleasant. From there, he celebrates how far he’s come with his “ticket to anywhere” and the power hiding within the struggle. It’s an intimate celebration that Evans perfectly crafted for us, and inspiring as he looks at the past, present and even the future in all that he has and wishes to accomplish. Evans makes it clear that he’s achieved his dream, however, is not slowing down anytime soon.
A country music EP wouldn’t be complete without a “Sing Along Drink Along” song, and Evans leaves no room to wonder what his might be. The fifth track on the EP is rightfully titled as he creates the southern bar atmosphere in great detail and a catchy chorus that has us raising our cups up high in our own figurative honky tonk.
Morgan Evans’ The Country And The Coast Side A is a carefully crafted album from beginning to end in which he shares just enough of his life to pull us in, and wraps it up in a big bow of relatability for listeners. Though most songs are boldly told from personal experience, being written by Evans himself and having references to his own life, wife, and success story, he makes sure to leave room for us to apply our own life experiences to them. Ending the EP name with Side A only hints that there’s more where these six tracks came from, and we can’t wait to see what Evans may deliver with a Side B installment sometime in the future.
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