After a couple of weeks off I’m back with another weekly playlist. Last time around, you chose the new kings in town, so let’s hear it for the new guard, the young ones, the next generation of future legends.
My first highlight this week is Heartache Medication. When I first heard this song on the radio, I swore it was an oldie – an Eagles-era trad-country classic that I just hadn’t heard before. And then I heard the name Jon Pardi everywhere. Pardi is leading the neo-traditional boom right now, with Midland right behind him – and I’ve been loving every second. Modern production, fresh twists on old tropes and a deliciously vintage sound? Yes please!
You Should Be Here is my second highlight of the week. This is one for the feels. It is, just as the title suggests, a melancholic aside. Written for Swindell’s late father and co-writer Ashley Gorley’s daughter (alive and well, but not present at the time), the song is hauntingly heartfelt with an ache that edges almost into desperation. It’s stoic and somber, but the punch to the gut is real.
I Wish Grandpas Never Died takes the third spot this week and for good reason. This is an acoustic, more heartfelt performance but the album track hits just as hard – the title lyric is one that gives an extra special punch to the gut for so many of us. There are some lovely lyrics in this song, regardless of the taboo of being a little checklist-y – including one or two tongue-in-cheek, oblique references to the state of country radio. Just about everyone can find a line in this song to relate to, and it’s one I can’t listen to without welling up.
Listen to the full playlist here on Spotify.