New Music Friday: Maren Morris, Walker Hayes, Maddie & Tae and More

Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde released an acoustic version of their powerhouse duet "Never Wanted To Be That Girl"

It's the first Friday of 2022 and country music is coming hard and fast with a host of songs from some of the genre's biggest stars. This week's list includes Maren Morris, Walker Hayes, Maddie & Tae, Eli Young Band, Caitlyn Smith, Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde and more.

Maren Morris “Circles Around This Town”: Morris puts her story to song in “Circles Around this Town.

Written with her husband Ryan Hurd and prolific songwriter Julia Michaels, Morris details her tenuous trek from Texas to where she is today in the most personal song she’s ever released. She describes it as “jangly” but emotional and says she hopes that others can find themselves in her story, too. It’s really about “keeping the gas pedal down on your dreams,” she said.

Carly Pearce feat. Ashley McBryde “Never Wanted To Be That Girl – Acoustic”: The women put an acoustic spin on their popular cheating song “Never Wanted To Be That Girl.” The minimal production spotlights their voices and makes the story of two women – one who is betrayed and the other who unknowingly cheats with another woman’s partner – even rawer.

Seaforth, Jordan Davis “Good Beer”: Seaforth and Jordan Davis embrace the contemporary elements of the genre in this boppy ode to a good time that is sure to be a hit at every barbecue, frat party and lake hang as soon as the weather warms up.

Morgan Wade “Run”: Wade co-wrote “Run” with her producer who is Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit guitarist Sadler Vaden. The toe-tapping mid-tempo is married with Wade’s textured voice and a dark and pleading lyric about escaping a harmful relationship. Wade’s deluxe version of “Reckless” will be available Jan. 28.

Walker Hayes “Drinking Songs”: Hayes pairs the clever wordplay for which he’s known with enough references to Hank Williams Jr. for Bocephus to feel like a bonafide collaborator even though he isn’t. Hayes, who is sober, wrote “Drinking Songs” with Jordan Gray and it’s infectious melody and classic country theme might make it his most radio-friendly release to date.

“I don’t drink anymore, but I still connect with how a song can get you through, just like a drink can for some people,” he said. “We’ve all been in a bar full of people singing together, arms around each other. Plus, the lyrics and the beat just have a relatable quality to them that feels so country to me.”

Eli Young Band “Love Talking”: EYB is back with contemporary, harmony rich morning-after song. Written by Mike Eli, Jeffrey East and Eric Arjes, “Love Talking” includes the lyrics: Did I overstep the line we’ve been walking?|Swear I wasn’t even drunk|So if I said too much|Oh, that was just the love talking.

“We're really proud of this song,” the band said in a post on Instagram. “We think we accomplished something big with a little sleight of hand and misdirection! We sincerely hope y'all are rocking with "Love Talking."

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Maddie & Tae “Strangers”: Written by Maddie & Tae, Adam Hambrick and Jimmy Robbins, “Strangers” is a love song to the duo members’ husbands. The song showcases the unique blend of their harmonies and includes the lyrics: 'Cause the thought of the days without|You and all your love|Have all but disappeared|I'll never be convinced, baby, that you wеren't always here|How wеre we ever strangers?

Caitlyn Smith, Monarch Cast “The Card You Gamble”: The moody mid-tempo is the theme song from Trace Adkins’ and Susan Sarandon’s new Fox series “Monarch.” Written by Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey and Liz Rose, “The Card You Gamble,” is explores the risk you take when you put your heart on the line.

“Monarch” premieres Jan. 30 on FOX.

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