First Country: New Music from Jake Owen, Breland, Margo Price and More

As we head into Memorial Day weekend, some of country’s top artists have fresh tunes to keep you company through your sheltering-in-place backyard barbeque. In addition to Florida Georgia Line’s new 6-Pack, here are some top selections to quench your thirst for new music.

Jake Owen, “Made For You”

Owen follows up “Homemade,” his eighth No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart, with this sentimental, straight-down-the-middle love ballad that is sure to be a mainstay at weddings for years to come. It finally goes to radio after already garnering more than 41 million streams, many of them after Owen performed the tracks on The Bachelorette last year. From high school romance to breaking curfew to getting married and the inevitable “two pink lines” on a pregnancy test, the song celebrates every milestone we’re expected to go through once we find the one.

Breland, Breland

Trying to take the same old town road that runs through the intersection of country and trap similar to his predecessor Lil Nas X, Breland releases his self-titled EP. The set, which includes features from Chase Rice, Lauren Alaina and Sam Hunt, is a comfortably shape-shifting effort that will appeal to fans of both genres and pop (where it resides most comfortably), even if country radio still doesn’t quite get it.

Jordan Davis, Jordan Davis

Davis dropped the latest single, the light-hearted, sweet “Almost Maybes,” from his self-titled EP two weeks ago. The song was one of four new tunes on the six-song set, that also includes previously released “Cool Anymore,” featuring Julia Michaels, and “Detours.” The set solidly builds on Davis’s 2019 debut album, Trouble Town.

Craig Morgan, God, Family,Country

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Morgan returns with an album that questions these times, but ultimately finds resolutions in the pillars mentioned in the title. The set, which includes five new songs and five remastered ones, opens with “The Father, My Son, and the Holy Ghost,” the searingly honest ballad that details how life is following the death of his 19-year son in 2016.

“It’s very uncomfortable singing that song,” Morgan told Billboard. “It was extremely uncomfortable writing it. I cried the whole time I wrote it. I didn’t want to do it, but I knew that I must do it. And now my pain is part of it. That’s my cross that I must bear. But it’s not a dark song. It is a positive song. It’s a positive message.”

Margo Price, Perfectly Imperfect at The Ryman

Taken from Price’s trio of shows two years ago at the Nashville’s mother church, the live set features guests Emmylou Harris (on “Wild Women”), Sturgill Simpson (on “Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This”) and Jack White (on the White Stripes’ “Honey, We Can’t Afford to Look This Cheap”), as well as her swampy take on “Proud Mary.” The collection is available only Bandcamp as a fundraiser for MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. To purchase, go here.

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