Summer has officially begun and it’s time to blast your favorite country summer music! Songs from the genre’s biggest stars like Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington and Jake Owen have been long-time staples. After all, a summer party isn’t a summer party without “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” “Good Directions” or “Beachin’,” right?
As country fans get ready to put together their ultimate summer playlist, Sounds Like Nashville has specially picked the Top 12 best new releases perfect for this sunshine season. Featured are songs from Scotty McCreery, Restless Road, Old Dominion, Alexander Ludwig, Kat & Alex, Ryan Griffin, Zac Brown Band, Walker Hayes, and more. Did your favorites make the list?
Old Dominion are back with their summer anthem that’s aptly titled, “I Was On a Boat That Day.” This fun breakup song is an instant pick-me-up and will have fans wishing for their next carefree boat trip. “The river was rolling / I was getting my float on / She was telling me so long / I was already so long gone,” lead singer Matthew Ramsey admits wryly. Sometimes the boat’s great to both throw a party and celebrate one’s post-breakup freedom at the same time. Just ask these guys.
While Kat & Alex’s “How Many Times” is the single that has taken them to new heights, one would be remiss to leave out “You and the Radio” for this summertime feature. Coming in at just three minutes, the country newcomers’ sprightly song is the perfect roll-your-windows-down anthem. Part spirited, part fun and entirely fitting for this season. This one is a delightful must-add to any road trip with friends.
Ryan Griffin lost his record deal and publishing deal earlier this year. But, like a true go-getter with a “never say never” attitude, Griffin decided to share “Salt, Lime & Tequila” on TikTok, not realizing it would eventually take on a (viral) life of its own. Now, the bona fide hit boasts over 2.3 million Spotify streams, which started amalgamating even before summer officially arrived. With its summery production and hooky chorus, listeners are going to find themselves hitting the repeat button as they make “one, two, maybe three margaritas” in no time.
The lead single off Scotty McCreery’s forthcoming new album, “You Time” is all about that passionate desire to spend time with one’s significant other. This ebullient track couples an incredibly catchy hook with confessional lyrics co-written by McCreery, Aaron Eshuis and Frank Rogers. If the proverb “absence makes the heart grow fonder” was a song, “You Time” would be it.
Country music’s hottest new trio is cruising strong with their second release of the year, “Bar Friends.” On the infectious tune, Restless Road’s Zach Beeken, Garret Nichols, and Colton Pack celebrate the indispensable role good friends play in their lives. The singalong chorus is universal in its message, and every listener will be able to find themselves in the song. “I got work friends and I got church friends / I got hometown, grew up on the same red dirt friends / I got great friends and I got fake friends,” the group reflect, before admitting that when life gets hard, they’ll be out with their “bar friends.” This one is an undeniable bop, as the kids say, and will definitely be stuck in your head for days…or all summer long.
Looking for the perfect song to accompany your long, summer, sunroof-down drives? Look no further than Tiera and BRELAND’s new collaboration, “Miles.” The song boasts the singers’ velvety harmonies and blends their country, pop, and hip-hop influences with a breezy melody. The result? A winning combination that will instantaneously hook listeners.
Actor and country singer Alexander Ludwig dropped his summer-ready debut EP last month. The five-song collection highlights Ludwig’s long-time musical influences, which include Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and George Strait. One of the tracks, “Summer Crazy,” is all about having a good time and ushering in everything that’s to love about this time of the year. “Give me that live oak smoke fire / Dancin’ just to turn me on / Gimme that two lane fast car highway / Aviators lookin’ my way / Yeah, some are long, some are lazy / Summer nights, summer crazy,” Ludwig sings on the feel-good chorus. This song is an essential addition to any summer playlist.
After four years, Brooke Eden returns with a reintroduction to her life and artistry. Over the past few months, the country singer has released three brand new songs, which include the vibrant “Sunroof.” “You feel like a sunroof / On a classic Mustang / Seventy five degrees outside / With the summer sunshine on my face / Sipping on cherry lemonade / Fall into your mirror shades,” Eden sings over a bright melody. Is there a more perfect track for the summer?
Laine Hardy is back with his first release of the year “Memorize You.” The song is pure up-tempo country perfection that finds the American Idol winner head over heels for the girl who’s captured his eyes (and heart). “I wanna know your heart by heart and your kiss by kiss / Wanna know what it was like / Every day before me, what’s your story? / Baby, every single line,” the Louisiana native sings flirtatiously. Who can resist a little summer romance, right?
Walker Hayes’ “Fancy Like” was country music’s newest viral hit last week, all thanks to TikTok. Earlier, Hayes and his 15-year-old daughter had uploaded a clip of them dancing along to a set of self-choreographed moves accompanying the track, which soon garnered an outpouring of comments, likes and shares. Today, that video’s likes stand at over 643,000. With the singer’s bouncy delivery and adorable moves, getting a “Bourbon Street steak with the Oreo shake” from Applebee’s and jamming out to the tune might be the perfect set-up for the summer.
After surviving and recovering from a horrific road accident in August 2020, “The Git Up” singer Blanco Brown is back with a new song, “Nobody’s More Country.” The euphoric tune blends Brown’s signature genre-blurring production with lyrics that celebrate his humble roots. “I’ll drive a dirt road over paved / I’ll slow it down I like the pace / That simple life’s just simply hard to beat / I love them open acre fields of gold / That paradise that I call home / I’ll park it here no better place to be,” the Georgia native proclaims proudly. Brown has been known to light up smiles with his personality and music, and this track does just that again.
“Same Boat” is a timely return to form for one of country music’s beloved and acclaimed groups. Serving as the first release from their new label home (Warner Music Nashville), Zac Brown Band continue to deliver their signature sound over a buoyant melody that will transport fans to their “same boat.”
Other Highly Notable Mentions:
Kameron Marlowe – Tequila Talkin’
Juna N Joey – Something Good To Miss
Hailey Whitters – Fillin’ My Cup (feat. Little Big Town)
Alan Jackson – Beer:10
Triston Marez – Day Drinking
Tenille Arts – Back Then, Right Now
Mickey Guyton – Rosé
Brian Kelley – Beach Cowboy
Brothers Osborne – I’m Not For Everyone
Andrew Jannakos – Somebody Loves You
Eric Church – Heart On Fire
Dustin Lynch & Chris Lane – Tequila On A Boat
Check out all the songs mentioned and other perfect country summer jams on our Today’s Country: Summer Edition playlist below!