This week’s CMT Roundup has a little bit of everything – some empowerment, nostalgia, sass, a dose of alcohol and a heavy dose of gossip to get you through the weekend.
Check out new songs from Elle King, Madeline Edwards, Randall King, High Valley, Hailey Whitters and Nate Smith with Tenille Townes, plus CMT’s extensive new music playlist Roundup.
High Valley, “Somebody Tell That Girl” (Feat. Anne Wilson): Written by Jason Gant, Matt Rogers and High Valley singer Brad Rempel, “Somebody Tell That Girl” is a harmony-rich, bluegrass/contemporary country fusion celebration of the importance of empowering women.
The hook is, “Somebody tell that girl she’s perfect.”
“I’ve loved Anne Wilson’s voice from the first time I heard it,” Rempel said in a statement. “The message in ‘Somebody Tell That Girl’ is so important, and it makes an even stronger statement with (contemporary Christian artist) Anne singing it.”
“Somebody Tell That Girl” is from High Valley’s upcoming 13-song, sixth studio album “Way Back,” which will be released May 20, 2022.
Randall King, “Shot Glass”: Written by Tony Lane and Brett James, “Shot Glass” is the title track from King’s 11-song major-label debut album that came out today. King leans heavily into the traditional heart of country music. His deep, textured and expressive vocals could anchor any era of the genre but arrive at a time when country music needs roots more than ever. “Shot Glass” brims with nostalgia and all the emotion that goes with it.
“In the song, you take a shot and you’re hit with a memory,” King told Billboard. “You’re hit with several memories throughout this song and you step back and go, ‘How did all that fit into a shot glass?’”
The album continues the theme. Produced by Bart Butler and Ryan Gore, “Shot Glass” (the album) is based on a night out at a bar. Each song represents a different point of view of the people in the room.
Madeline Edwards, “Port City”: Edwards wrote “Port City,” a determined coming-of-age ballad, with Josh Moore and Courtlan Clement about moving from Texas to Nashville with her husband to chase her dreams.
Lyrics include: Where I go| I might not understand| But I’m leaving this port city|With the hopes of finding land|And if I don’t sink now, I may never learn to swim
“I think everyone has one of those moments, whether it’s moving out of the house for the first time, getting married, having a baby, going off to college; so I wanted a song that incorporated everyone’s first experiences of taking a leap and having the faith to complete that journey,” said Edwards, who is one of CMT’s 2022 Next Women of Country.
– Cindy Watts
Hailey Whitters, “Boys Back Home”: Breakout artist Hailey Whitters fled her small-town life in Shueyville, Iowa to pursue her artistry. Shortly after Whitter’s stepped foot in music city, she managed to score a record deal, made her Grand Ole Opry debut, and even joined critically acclaimed musicians out on tour. While climbing the ranks in the country music genre, the powerhouse vocalist never lost sight of where she came from.
On the heels of her hometown-inspired track “Raised,” the singer-songwriter is now paying homage to the supportive men in her life with the new release “Boys Back Home.” The traditional country track penned by Whitters, hitmaker Brandy Clark, and Jessie Jo Dillon proves that she wears her pride for Iowa on her sleeve. The reflective anthem is destined to leave fans with goosebumps, as her charming twang effortlessly transports listeners back to the carefree good ol’ days.
“This song was inspired by the boys I grew up with. On any given Friday night, we used to pile in the back of one of their pickup trucks, get a bottle of cheap Hawkeye vodka and drive out to a clearing in the middle of the woods where we’d start a fire and sit around all night drinkin’ and talkin’ about life,” shared the budding songstress in a statement. “I grew up with a lot of wild boys that turned into strong, hardworking men. They had my back then, and I know they still have it now. I wanted to sing this song as a way of saying thank you and celebrating them. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without ’em.”
“Boys Back Home” is one of many radio-ready hits on her recently released third studio album, “RAISED.” Throughout the 17-piece project, Whitters used imagery to paint a clear vision of her down-on-the-farm upbringing. Her distinctive Midwest vocals and self-assurance as an artist shine through on each moving melody.
– Tiffany Goldstein
Elle King, “Out Yonder”: Leave it to powerhouse Elle King to bridge the gap between “edge and twang” in recently released anthem, “Out Yonder.” The fierce songstress breaks down the barriers of mainstream country music with her sassy southern rock single “Out Yonder,” as she blends the banjo with the electric guitar to create a mysterious melody.
“I am so excited to share all of the creative twists and turns the last couple of years have brought me! Starting with one of my absolute favorites, ‘Out Yonder!’” said Elle in a previous statement. “This little ball of fire has been just burnin’ me up! I hope you all stomp and kick and dance to it like I have been.”
The razor-sharp lyrics tell a story about piping hot gossip spreading like a roaring fire across a tiny town. However, the resilient vocalist does not seem bothered by the rumors and casually brushes them off.
“It’s all this | He said, and she said | Always two sides and the truth | There’s so much shit around these parts | You gonna get some on your boots |It’s just a straight line down the grapevine | Gotta rip it right up at the roots| You can keep your mouth runnin’| Hell Jesus might love ya’ | But that don’t mean I do| So take your front page, two-faced, petty ass drama| Leave it out, leave it out, leave it out yonder,” King belts with conviction.
The party playlist banger penned by Matt McKinney, Bobby Hamrick, and Ella Langley, follows her Video of the Year win at the 57th ACM Awards for “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” with chart-topping artist Miranda Lambert. The genre-bending trailblazer is set to incorporate the punk-like track “Out Yonder” into her headlining shows and will pull it out while opening for Chris Stapleton come April. Elle King is the dash of spice the country music genre has been craving for quite some time.
– Tiffany Goldstein
Nate Smith and Tenille Townes, “I Don’t Wanna Go To Heaven”: Country music hitmaker Nate Smith recently released (March 18) a fresh rendition of his fan-favorite track “I Don’t Wanna Go To Heaven.” To elevate the ballad, Smith called in labelmate Tenille Townes. Smith’s baritone vocals complement Townes’ velvet-like sound.
While delivering the faith-centric anthem, the two flawlessly create mesmerizing harmonies that could easily make the collaboration the most-talked-about duet of the year.
“I’m a huge fan of Tenille, and I kind of just cold emailed her asking if she’d be willing to be part of the song,” Nate mentioned in a statement. “I was such a fan of Nate’s voice and had been hearing the song already and loving it,” Tenille added. “It’s so fun to sing this with him so I’m so glad he reached out.”
Smith penned the uplifting single alongside gifted songsmith Daniel Fernandez and garnered around 25 million worldwide streams upon release in late January. The two delivered a simple, yet compelling music video to bring their duet to life. Both Smith and Townes allow the powerful words to convey the heartwarming message of endless love and heaven on earth.
– Tiffany Goldstein
Listen to the full Roundup Playlist: