Travis Denning released his debut EP, Beer’s Better Cold, on Friday, May 15th. The six-song project is his first collection of tunes since finding success with early singles “David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs” and his current Top 10 single, “After A Few.” While those songs initially introduced Denning as an artist, the Warner Robins, Georgia-born artist hopes to allow fans to get to know him even better through this EP.
“I’m just trying to give people a glimpse into the way I grew up and the people I come from,” says Denning in an exclusive interview with Sounds Like Nashville. “I want to tell that story of middle Georgia and Warner Robins and Bonaire where I come from, and I think this is a great first look into that. Luckily, it’s mainly all of the good sides of it: the beer drinking and the fun and the good stuff like that, but there are things that everybody goes through, which is love and heartbreak, in a few songs.”
Denning kicks off the project with “Where That Beer’s Been,” the perfect song for anyone’s beer drinking playlist, co-written by Denning, Rhett Akins, Chris Stevens and Jeremy Stover. He then segues into the electric guitar-laced “After A Few,” which details an inevitable rendezvous between old lovers. While the project is undeniably country, many tracks, like “After A Few,” feature nods to Denning’s love of rock ’n roll.
“As a guitar player, that’s my first love and it’s kind of the core of everything I do, is playing guitar,” says Denning. “As an 11-year-old kid, I just wanted to hear it loud and fast, so it was AC/DC and Zeppelin and Metallica and Slayer and Pantera and all these guitar-driven rock and metal bands.”
Denning continues that electric-infused country energy on “ABBY,” the only track not written by the singer, which finds him telling an ex love that he’s moved on with ABBY — that’s “Any Body But You.”
The remaining tracks on the EP tap into the more heartfelt side of Denning. These include “Tank Of Gas And A Radio Song,” in which the singer remembers a scene from a relationship that wasn’t meant to last, and “Sittin’ By A Fire,” a bonafide love song about trading a night out with friends for a night in with one’s significant other. Situated between these two songs is the title track, “Beer’s Better Cold,” which may sound like a party song, but is really about facing the cold hard facts of life, including the fact that “beer’s better cold” and “she ain’t coming back.”
“I want it to just completely hit you out of left field when you hear that hook and you realize it ain’t about beer,” says Denning of the title track. “It’s about the obvious things in life and, unfortunately, sometimes that obvious thing is that she ain’t coming back and you messed up this time.”
The six tracks on Beer’s Better Cold not only give fans a better look into who Denning is as a person and as an artist, but he says they are a “good look” into what to expect from his set on Sam Hunt’s Southside Summer Tour. Denning will join Hunt and fellow opener Kip Moore on the tour, kicking off July 10 in Bangor, Maine.