Written by Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves
If you’re already a fan of Kacey Musgraves, you’ve heard most of this before.
“Biscuits” combines elements of “Follow Your Arrow” and “The Trailer Song”, advocating being yourself and minding your own business. Even the arrangement is a souped-up take on “Arrow”, with more of a beat and quite a few more instrumental flourishes.
Today is International Women’s Day. Historically speaking, country music has never enjoyed a reputation for being socially progressive.
For the general public, the definitive statement the genre made was “Stand By Your Man.” That Tammy Wynette classic is often cited as country music’s counterpoint to the women’s liberation movement, although Wynette wrote the thing in fifteen minutes without any agenda in mind. She just needed a song to sing.
I generally consider the classic country era to have ended with the seventies, preceding the Urban Cowboy and New Traditionalist movements. What follows are some of the best deliberate statements made by country artists during those years in support for women’s rights. Some were big hits. Some were not. But they were all ahead of their time and are still interesting to listen to today.
“Young & Crazy”
Written by Rhett Akins, Ashley Gorley, and Shane McAnally
“Young & Crazy” is like a used car that’s been refurbished by a crack team of mechanics. From a distance, it can look brand new, but get a little closer, and you can see it’s been constructed with spare parts.
“For a Boy”
Written by RaeLynn and Laura Veltz
More childlike than childish, there’s a sweetness to RaeLynn that reminds me of a young Taylor Swift. The talent is there but the life experience is still trailing behind.
Written by Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley, and Jaren Johnston
We’ve reached a point where Billy Currington can release a “Hey girl, let’s get down tonight” anthem and sound like an elder statesman of country music.
“Turn it On”
Eli Young Band
Written by Rodney Clawson, Matt Dragstrem, Mike Eli, and James Young
“Turn it On” is the title track from Eli Young Band’s upcoming EP. It has a lot of energy, if not a particularly good hook.
“Like a Wrecking Ball”
Written by Casey Beathard and Eric Church
This is a bold single choice. “Like a Wrecking Ball” sounds like nothing on the radio today. Irregular rhythms, a vocal sung out of the corner of his mouth, and a lyric that makes every other love song out there sound like child’s play.
“Raise ‘Em Up”
Keith Urban with Eric Church
Written by Tom Douglas, Jaren Johnston and Jeffrey Steele
A collaboration between Keith Urban and Eric Church was bound to have personality and charm, but what the two gentlemen pull off the best is a sense of breezy confidence. None of the bombast that usually occurs when superstars collide is evident here, as it was on “We Were Us.”
Written by Eric Church and Luke Laird
Nostalgia works a lot better when the one indulging in it has put some time and distance between them and the memories.
“Take it On Back”
Written by Dylan Altman, Chase Bryant, and Tommy Lee James
How many times can the title be repeated in a song? I thought Little Texas had answered that question definitely with “My Love”, but Chase Bryant is giving them a run for their money.