First Play Friday w/ MJ (May 21)
Every Friday (between 10a-1p), MJ features SIX brand new songs from artists you already know and love, and artists you will get to know and love.
If you missed today’s FPF, check out the songs featured below!
BLAKE SHELTON – BODY LANGUAGE
Blake Shelton’s new album Body Language is officially available! He celebrated the new release yesterday during his exclusive iHeartCountry Album Release Party.
Body Language is Blake’s 12th full-length studio album and follows 2019’s Fully Loaded: God’s Country.
The new album features 12 new songs, including “Minimum Wage,” “Happy Anywhere” featuring Gwen Stefani, and a guest appearance from The Swon Brothers on the album’s title track. It was actually written by The Swon Brothers who, of course, were once Team Blake on The Voice years ago.
Blake shared how everything came full circle, saying
“They actually wrote the song and I didn’t even know they wrote it. It came to me from my producer and it wasn’t until I said I wanted to cut it that I found out that those guys wrote it.” Blake went on to explain “it’s funny because we’re in contact all the time, once a week we text, but they never told me that they were sending a song over. And so it happened the right way. But, obviously, I had to have them on the song with me singing. So, it’s actually featuring The Swon Brothers, you’ll hear them singing all the backgrounds and stuff. It’s one of my favorite things on the record.” (via)
NEEDTOBREATHE, CARRIE UNDERWOOD – I WANNA REMEMBER
Our next FPF song comes from country rock band, NEEDTOBREATHE, who got a little help from the one and only Carrie Underwood on their new single. If you’re unfamiliar with NEEDTOBREATHE, they’re an American Christian band from Seneca, South Carolina. The name of the band is related to Socrates and seeking God, which makes me think of one of my favorite Socrates quotes, “When you want wisdom and insight as badly as you desire to breathe, it is then you shall have it!”
NEEDTOBREATHE have released seven albums to date, including last year’s “Out of Body.” This new song will appear on the band’s upcoming eighth album, which will also feature collaborations with Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman and Natalie Hemby of The Highwomen.
The band explained the meaning of the song in a statement, saying, “It’s a nostalgic track and takes you back to the moments you never want to forget. We all came from small towns, and those roots have cemented into the fabric of the band and our music.”
They also explained that band member Bear Rinehart worked with Carrie on some of her recent projects, and that they felt like her small-town roots and humble beginnings were the perfect addition to this song.
Carrie said she’s been a huge fan of the band for a long time, and was honored when the stars aligned and Bear agreed to lend his incredible vocals to a song on her recent gospel album.
“Needless to say,” she said, “I was thrilled when he and the band invited me to be a part of their new project. I love the song and have had the best time getting to know and sing with these amazingly talented guys.” (via)
JORDAN DAVIS FT LUKE BRYAN – BUY DIRT
Jordan Davis has established himself as stars in country music after the release of his No. 1 debut single, ‘Singles You Up.’ His 2018 debut album ‘Home State’ produced the follow up hits ‘Take It From Me’ and ‘Slow Dance In A Parking Lot’. In 2020 Jordan Davis released his six-track self-titled EP and today, he’s back with a brand-new EP ‘Buy Dirt,’ available now!
The ‘Buy Dirt’ EP features 8 tracks including ‘Almost Maybes’, his current single, which also appeared on his self-titled EP.
The new EP also includes previously released ‘Need To Not’ and ‘Lose You’. ‘Drink Had Me’ is one you can crank up and crack open a cold one, while ‘I Still Smoked’ shows off Jordan’s edgier side. The final track, ‘Trying’ is the perfect song to close the EP. It feels like a deep exhale and a feeling of relief.
It is a highlight of the EP, for me, as well as this one. It’s the title track and features Luke Bryan.
TENILLE ARTS – BACK THEN, RIGHT NOW
In April, Canadian Artist, Tenille Arts scored her first ever number 1 hit in the US with “Somebody Like That.”
Arts, however, admitted that before it went No. 1, she celebrated every single milestone that the song hit. She also said there were moments where she would just celebrate that her song was on the chart. Gratitude, ya’ll. That’s how it works, isn’t it?
After the song finally hit No.1, she confessed she heard from so many people, including several she hadn’t heard from in years. But that didn’t phase her, she responded to every single person that reached out because she said it was cool to see everyone know how important of a dream that was for her.
Since that single, Arts shared “Give It To Me Straight,” and now this new one, “Back Then Right Now.” (via)
OLD DOMINION – I WAS ON A BOAT THAT DAY
Right from the beginning of this song, it’s a party, a dang good time!
According to lead singer Matt Ramsey, the new song isn’t a new idea for the band.
“I don’t know how many times we decided not to write this song,” Matt Ramsey went on to say, explaining that co-writers Shane McAnally and Josh Osbourne actually helped the band see the idea for what it could be.
Since they knew the song needed to sound like a party, and a little intoxicated, Matt Ramsey said, “We drank some tequila and went in and did our best little party dance song.” (via)
TIM HICKS – SLOW
Multi-Platinum award-winning entertainer Tim Hicks released a new EP, Campfire Troubadour, a seven-song collection available NOW! While Tim Hicks has become a star recording artist within the Canadian country music industry, he began his career by charming bar patrons nightly with solo acoustic material designed to please a crowd. Campfire Troubadour pulls from his past and humble beginnings. As Tim shared with us when he was Feature Artist last week, this EP re-imagines his chart-topping sound for a more intimate setting, as if we were chillin’ with him around a fire at his home.
On the EP, you will find a reinterpretation of his current single ‘The Good, The Bad And The Pretty, a stripped back version, honoring the fans and experiences that shaped Hicks as a person, artist and performer.
The new EP’s lead track, the one you’re about to hear – feels like some of those late night singalongs with friends, and it sets the tone for the rest of the EP.