Welcome to Feel-Good Friday, a weekly roundup of heartwarming stories, lighthearted videos, and inspiring country news that reminds us all there is still good in the world.
Carrie Underwood Announces Long-Awaited Christmas Album
It’s hard to believe Underwood has never released a holiday album. That will all change this fall when the powerhouse singer drops My Gift on Sept. 25. Underwood’s Christmas album was produced by Greg Wells (Adele, Celine Dion) and will feature traditional favorites celebrating her faith and the spiritual nature of the holiday, as well as original material.
“I’ve always wanted to make a Christmas album and it’s been a long time coming,” Underwood says in a statement. “I knew this would be my next music project after wrapping my tour last year, and I think it’s turned out to be the perfect time for an album like this, in this period of such personal and spiritual reflection. For me, it’s more important than ever to focus on the true meaning of Christmas in a project like this. Even though it has been a tough year, sometimes I feel like the greatest realizations can be inspired by the most difficult times, and make us more thankful for the things that we do have.”
Songwriter Emily Landis Hears Her Gabby Barrett Single On the Radio
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Was scanning thru my usual stations when i heard a familiar song…..I sat and let it play and cried more happy tears!!! 😭🤩😭😩❤️🙏🏼 To past emily I’m so proud of you😭 to future Emily you can do ANYTHING. Thank you @1033country & @gabbybarrett_ Life changing feeling🙏🏼 #thegoodones
Grab the tissues before watching this heartwarming video! Songwriter Emily Landis was scanning through her local radio stations when she heard her latest cut — Gabby Barrett’s “The Good Ones” — on the radio for the very first time. What she describes as a “life changing feeling,” Landis is visibly emotional as she listens along. “I’m in shock … I swear I’m happy, I’m just in disbelief,” she says through tears.
Mickey Guyton Asks For More “Heaven Down Here,” Challenges Women to Share #WhatAreYouGonnaTellHer Advice
With a knack for releasing music for the current times, Guyton shares her questions and heartaches with God in the poignant new song “Heaven Down Here.” On the powerful ballad, she sings of being “disappointed in the way this world is coming unglued” before asking, “I can’t help but wonder are you?” An introspective song that hits at the core, Guyton delivers on the emotional plea “Heaven Down Here.”
While Guyton’s music serves as an inspiration for many, the singer herself was moved by others sharing “encouraging and beautiful messages” about her song “What Are You Gonna Tell Her.” As a result, Guyton has challenged many of her fellow female country singers to offer their pearls of wisdom with women of the world. Artists like Cam, Caylee Hammack, Natalie Hemby and Laura Bell Bundy extend their answers and advice to young women in the latest Internet challenge #WhatAreYouGonnaTellHer.
Miranda Lambert Enlists Some Furry Friends For “How Dare You Love” Video
Lambert is not shy when it comes to her love of animals so it’s only fitting she enlisted some adorable pups for her latest lyric video for “How Dare You Love.” Thanks to the help of the country star’s massive fanbase, Lambert included countless dogs in the video from fan submissions in support of her MuttNation Foundation. A song about falling in love, the video features many beloved pets chilling in the pool, playing fetch and greeting their owners.
Taylor Swift Drops Surprise Album, folklore
With little fan fair and less than 24-hour’s notice, Swift released her eighth studio album folklore. The 16-track project highlights Swift’s singer-songwriter side with descriptive storytelling and soaring landscapes blending her country-folk roots with stripped down and ethereal pop production.
“Before this year I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed,” Swift says in a statement. “My gut telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with.”
On folklore, the country turned pop star enlisted the help of Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff, who served as co-producers alongside Swift. Equal parts whimsical and nostalgic on songs like “epiphany” and “august” to dark and confessional as heard on “illicit affairs” and “mad woman,” folklore showcases Swift’s versatility as an artist.
Swift’s Nashville country roots shine on the picturesque “invisible string” and harmonica infused “betty” while stunning duet “exile” with Bon Iver and standout new single “cardigan” offer a new side to Swift’s artistry. All the while, folklore showcases Swift’s ability to be a chameleon. Well known for her catchy pop-hooks and arena anthems, Swift strips things down on folklore allowing her adept songwriting and smoky vocals to shine alongside an ambient vibe. No doubt offering much needed light for fans during COVID-19, folklore unveils a welcomed new layer of Swift’s musicianship as she continues to grow as an artist on each project she releases.
Tim McGraw Surprises Health Care Workers With Virtual “Drop In”
McGraw is featured on a new episode of the Spotify series “The Drop In.” In the episode, the country singer surprises several nurses in a COVID-19 unit at Virtual Health in New Jersey when he drops into their virtual video call.
“Nice to see y’all, I’m Tim,” McGraw says with a smile and wave as the shocked nurses look on. “I just want to thank you for all the great work you’re doing, on behalf of me and my family. Most importantly for me, it’s an inspiration for my daughters. As they go out into the world, they can see what you guys do and that’s one of the bright lights I think through all this, is being able to see how much people care, how hard people work, how selfless people can be, especially you guys, our frontline workers who put their lives on the line to take care of people. You give our kids something to emulate as they go forward in life and I just wanted to say thank you for that.”
The country legend then checks in with each nurse, asking how they’re doing during the pandemic before playing an acoustic version of his latest single “I Called Mama.”