Posts Tagged ‘Country’


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

More and more, I’m finding myself strung out by soul. Combining fiddles, electric mandolins and fizzling guitars with unexpected drumbeats, The Boston Boys have hooked a soniferous strangeness. At first play you find yourself insta-chilled, yet the longer you listen the more you find there’s definite movement beneath their deceptively cool exteriors.

Apparently they belong to the music style “Future Roots”, a smoothie-blend of soul, rock, americana and blues, topping it all off with the cherry of pop-friendly melody. One of the seven bands nationally selected for Obama’s re-election campaign, they are the poster boys of luck as well as hard work. What You Say?!, their first EP, was released in 2012, yet they’ve already snuck back into the studio to put down Keep You Satisfied, which won’t be officially let loose until October. However, if you’re thirsting for new vibrations, they’re already streaming it HERE.

Better still: though they formed in Boston (hence the name), they’re currently based in Brooklyn, and we all know how much BTB loves that borough!


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

“The only way I’d be caught without makeup is if my radio fell in the bathtub while I was taking a bath and electrocuted me and I was in between makeup at home. I hope my husband would slap a little lipstick on me before he took me to the morgue.”

-Dolly Parton


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

“Someone said to me yesterday that this album is like taking a knife and stabbing myself in public. And it’s true — I’m letting everyone watch while I rip my guts out. There was not an ounce of me left to put on this record. It was the most fearless I’ve ever been, in anything that I’ve ever done.

“After people have written my life for me for the last four and a half years — and it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not, it’s what sells the most magazines that week — this was the first time I could dig into my emotions and write from this perspective, and not have to apologize for being human. A lot of people don’t see me as that, and haven’t for a long time.”

-LeAnn Rimes
On new album Spitfire

This is the most honest record I’ve heard in years. LeAnn Rimes has taken the pain of tabloid fodder and created an album that solidifies her place as one of the greatest female performers in country music. Her voice is crystal clear and her nails are sharp. Not many women could have handled the sexist double standard in this situation the way that she has. She is no longer a child prodigy but a female pioneer, tearing down the celebrity walls and revealing a vulnerable human being underneath.

Two of my favorite tracks from Spitfire below: Who We Are (tear-felt live performance) + the incredible Where I Stood following.

Painfully gorgeous!

[Related Post: Rimes Releases Stunning Ballad To Ex-Husband]


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

There is no denying that American music has recently joined forces with folk, crossing the genre over to mainstream success with bands such as The Swell Season and The Lumineers. Following these acts is The Lone Bellow, a band on the rise with their single Bleeding Out, which is currently sitting for free over at iTunes as the featured single of the week.

I fell in love with this three-piece from Brooklyn after they captured my attention touring with The Civil Wars (before the band’s hiatus). Their sound is timeless, playing an insanely catchy style of country and gospel-inflected folk that is heartfelt, raw, and amazing.

Their self-titled debut record will be released on January 22nd, and I cannot wait to see what else this band has to offer.

In the meantime, bask in the glory of Bleeding Out (live) below.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Phoenix Stone, anyone? No, not Rosetta Stone, you idiots! Phoenix. As in fresh, up and coming country recording artist, Phoenix Stone. I know, I know… I don’t often write about country music (although it does have a place in my heart), but something about Phoenix seemed worth the time. And in case that name rings a bell, it’s basically because the dude has been active in the music industry for a long ass time, beginning his career as an early member of the Backstreet Boys.

Yup! You heard me!

After his departure, he was signed to a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music and has since worked with some prominent names, including Art Garfunkel. In 2010, Phoenix’s inspirational charity single, Proud To Be (Born Again American) went to #11 on the Country/Christian chart.

Currently, Phoenix has just released a music video for new single 100 Proof Moonshine, and upon first spin, it’s apparent that this is a radio-friendly/feel-good track that works, fitting comfortably beside any Tim McGraw record. The digital single is the first song that Stone is releasing in support of his new album, We Got A Lot To Drink About, which will be released next year.

Video for 100 Proof Moonshine below.

Drink up, peoples!


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Love and heartache is the peanut butter and jelly to any good breakup anthem, but when you take those two elements and throw them into a media scandal, the ingredients get amplified and the taste can often be more bitter than sweet, more brutal than comforting.

That’s certainly been true for LeAnn Rimes, whose personal life revolving around her now ex-husband hit every gossip rag over an affair with a married man, actor Eddie Cibrian.

However, when fuel turns to fire, what do you do with it? If you’re a talented artist, you turn it into something mesmerizing and real, and that’s exactly what LeAnn has done. On her new stunning track What Have I Done, LeAnn is as vulnerable and broken open as a thousand tiny shards of glass.

This song is truly the apologetic post-breakup letter to an ex we’ve never heard before. It’s exquisite, beautiful, haunting. And so damn real…

This is one of the best country records I have heard in years.

I love it so much!

Thank you, LeAnn… For such an incredible, HONEST song. I knew upon first listen, that this song was truly from the gut.

Listen to an intimate, acoustic performance of the track below.


By: Natalie Yarden
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

A mixture of catchy-pop tunes and songs that are meant for listening post-heartbreak, Taylor Swift’s fourth studio album, Red, starts off with the song State of Grace, which some say is heavily influenced by U2. The song does have a Brit-rock vibe to it. The lyrics are emotional and mature, yet still relatable to her younger audience. It’s definitely not the sweet country-pop Taylor we are used to, but nevertheless this song is absolutely winning.

The two great happy/jumpy songs on the record? The international smash We Are Never Getting Back Together and 22. 22 is my personal favorite on the album. It falls in the same party vein as The Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling and Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night. It’s not as serious as some of the other songs on the album, which makes it stand out.

Of course, you can’t have a Taylor record without a few infamous songs about the fellas, considering that’s what she’s become known for. You know, the ones where she takes all of her emotions after a tumultuous relationship and transfers them into words. My two favorite songs like this are I Almost Do and All Too Well. In I Almost Do, she describes how she wants the guy to know that he’s still on her mind, yet she can’t bring herself to let it be known, even when it’s right on the tip of her tongue. All Too Well is another classic breakup song that anyone can relate to. It’s a true tragic love story.

Another cute song from this album is Stay Stay Stay. It’s a feel good song that’s good for lazy afternoons. At first, I thought it sounded like the beginning of a credit card commercial, but the more I listened to it, the more I loved it!

Red is an all-around great album. You can tell that Taylor is trying something new, which is working for her, yet she still stays true to her usual country-pop roots.

[Related Post: T-Swizzle Moves On]

[Related Post: The Vaccines Take On Taylor Swift]

[Related Post: Hanson Tackles Taylor Swift In Aus]


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

To state the obvious: I’ve been on a pop kick lately. I know, I know, when am I not on a pop kick? As much as I love fresh talent + indie rock (hello, it’s what we do!), pop is always present in my daily musical diet. And today’s intake is no different.

Carrie Underwood delivered chills last night when she covered Coldplay’s Fix You for VH1’s Unplugged. The slice-of-heaven performance is exactly what you might expect: tearworthy, splendid, and pitch perfect (aca-awesome, anyone?).

Underwood may not be the most interesting or intriguing amongst radio’s blonde bombshells, but if one thing’s for certain, it’s that the woman knows how to deliver an emotionally-driven tune unlike any of her peroxide peers.

Sidenote: I am so jealous of her legs! Carrie, you suck.

Carrie’s version of Fix You below.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Ok, you guys. Confession time. I’ve been on the Hanson bandwagon since their MMMBop days and I’ve never quite fallen off. If that somehow makes me not as cool now, I really don’t give a rat’s ass. These guys are incredibly talented, writing and constructing pitch perfect pop songs with more hooks than a Bass Pro store. (See what I did there?)

And personally, I can’t get enough!

The boys recently paid a visit to Australian drive radio show Fifi and Jules, where they tackled Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, reminding the world of their awesomeness.

Check out the acoustic makeover of the song below.

[Related Post: The Vaccines Take On Taylor Swift]

[Related Post: Hanson Realness]


By: Natalie Yarden
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

There’s a new thing that I like to do, where I make myself discover new music every few weeks. It’s a great way to listen to music you would have probably never known existed. I do this with the help of Rolling Stone and NME. My theory is that the best musicians are the undiscovered ones.

This week I discovered Patterson Hood.

I usually don’t listen to country music, but when it’s this amazing I just can’t help myself! It’s not your typical country music; it has more of an edge to it. Nevertheless, I love it!

Hailing from Alabama, Patterson began writing songs in the 3rd grade, later playing guitar in a local band by the age of 14. He was formerly in the band Drive-By Truckers, before pursuing a career as a solo artist.

His lyrics and melody are what makes his songs utterly unique. His songs have a country base with a pinch of indie and good old fashioned rock. His lyrics are sometimes hard to digest, talking about his past and small stories about people in the South.

He has released three solo albums:
Killers and Stars (2004)
Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs) (2009)
-And most recently; Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance (2012)

My favorite song of his is Back of a Bible, which appears on his sophomore release. This song literally gave me the shivers when I first heard it.


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

It blows my mind when covers can sometimes own originals. I must admit, the new Taylor Swift single is insanely catchy. She owns her genre, no matter what you think of her taste in lyrics and music.

The Vaccines recently covered the song at BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, and it’s amazing. This song can definitely be used as an anthem for so many people in their relationships, and it’s nice to hear a different spin on it.

[Related Post: Jessie J Takes On ‘We Found Love’]


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Welcome to a new era of country-infused pop music.

Meet Poema (sisters Shealeen and Elle Puckett), New Mexico natives who cite Patsy Cline, Nickel Creek, John Mayer, and Loretta Lynn as influences.

In listening to their music, it’s apparent that these soulful songbirds have a soft spot for folk and music rooted in whiskey.

Says Shealeen: “It’s the story-telling. It draws you in. We write like that and connect with those types of songs.”

Poema’s full-length debut, Remembering You, is set to be released on September 11th via Tooth & Nail Records.

Listen to the track, Clean Getaway, below.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

In case you live under a rock, Taylor Swift has just dropped a brand new single. Yup! T-Swizzle is back, and more Bitter Betty than ever. Well, not entirely. Entitled We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, the country songbird stays true to the tradition of her previous work, writing about ex-boyfriends in a way only she can. Except this time, the surface is much different. The track completely abandons the country aesthetic for a full-on pop makeover. Instead of the borderline melancholy that usually backs a Taylor song, this number is extremely poppy and lighthearted.

This is definitely not the Taylor Swift we’re used to hearing. Who’s to blame? Easy. That would be producers (and co-writers) Max Martin and Shellback. Pop powerhouse hit-making machines.

So far, critics seem to either love or hate it, many claiming the song sounds too much like an Avril Lavigne record.

Regardless, I LOVE TAYLOR SWIFT! And I don’t care who knows it.

Personally, I think the song is catchy as hell and kinda funny. Especially the “LIKE EVER” part during the breakdown of the song.

Formulate your own opinion!

Lyric video below.

*Sidenote: Do you think this song could be about Jakey Snugglebutt?


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Imagine chopping up parts of Fleetwood Mac, Mumford & Sons, and Adele, and throwing it all into a blender with bluegrass twang. That’s the pseudo formula for Durham, North Carolina six-piece band, Delta Rae.

This band is one ginormous family. Literally. Made up of siblings Ian Holljes, Eric Holljes, Brittany Holljes and their buddies Elizabeth Hopkins, Mike McKee, and Grant Emerson. The band was created when Ian and Eric graduated college and asked Brittany to jump on board with their idea of forming a music group. Soon after, they brought in Elizabeth Hopkins, as well as Mike and Grant, who joined in 2010. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The band has recently released their killer debut album, the noteworthy Carry The Fire, which has received praise from Rolling Stone and Billboard.

Honestly, this band has completely blown me away.

Case in point? Press play.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Seriously. This is kinda weird, no? For some reason (clueless party of one, please!), Taylor and Justin were invited to the Walmart Shareholders Meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas last week. I have one question: WHY? I’m completely confuzzled!

Timberlake, who hosted the event, talked to thousands of Walmart peeps from the stage. And by peeps, I assume this means people who invest in the company, not the actual employees themselves? Again, clueless. Anywho, CCC (cute, cuddly, and charming) JT informed the crowd that he wanted to bring out an actual Wally World customer to interview regarding their overall shopping experience at the super cheap (no shade, the place is cheap!) establishment. As it turns out, the shopper was Taylor herself.

Taylor was also a guest performer of the evening.

I mean, I get it. It’s good promotion, but it’s still slightly odd! AMIRIGHT?!

Funny and cute interview regardless.

Interview below + Taylor performing Mean at the event following.