The Boot’s Weekly Picks: Willie Jones, Mya Byrne + More
It's time for another fresh installment of The Boot's Weekly Picks, highlighting the best new tracks from country, Americana, and everything in between.
Today, we're spotlighting an infectious, party-ready anthem from Willie Jones, a stunning proclamation from Caylee Hammack, and a thoughtful reminder about what's really important from Jordan Davis.
Keep reading to check out the latest installment of The Boot's Weekly Picks, and check back every Thursday for more great tracks curated by our contributing team.
Willie Jones"Them Girls Do"
Willie Jones is rolling right along into spring and summer time with his new uptempo jam, "Them Girls Do." Penned by Jones, Nick Autry and Justin Ebach, the pop-inflected number finds the singer marveling at a woman's demure and wild sides.
"Them girls do everything wrong at the right time / Raised right but they sure got a wild side / A little Sunday morning and a little Friday night / Got the devil on their shoulder, and an angel in their eyes," he sings in the jaunty chorus.
Of the track, Jones says they "wanted a different type of party vibe and when those opening banjo licks get goin', you just wanna turn up."
"I'm not afraid of a little mischief, but most of the time, it ain't me starting it; it's 'Them Girls,'" he quips. -- Jeremy Chua
Mya Byrne"Lend You a Hand"
Mya Byrne continues teasing the release of her Kill Rock Stars debut Rhinestone Tomboy with the slinky, nostalgic "Lend You a Hand."
With Aaron Lee Tasjan in the producer's chair, Byrne crafts a comforting song that is redolent with the warmth and experimentation of '70s power pop.
Byrne's performance is pleading, elevating the track beyond that of a concerned lover into a soul desperately trying to reach another. With the homey instrumentation backing Byrne up, we sense that solace can and will be found. -- Rachel Cholst
Channing Wilson"Gettin' Outta My Mind"
Songwriter Channing Wilson (Luke Combs, The Oak Ridge Boys, Travis Tritt, Robert Randolph & The Family Band) sings about getting stoned to the bone to escape from the lonely and rugged realities of life on the country rocker "Gettin’ Outta My Mind."
A co-write with Kendell Marvel, the song is the fourth single released from Wilson’s forthcoming debut album, Dead Man, out Feb. 24. -- Matt Wickstrom
Caylee Hammack"All or Nothing"
Caylee Hammack is back with "All or Nothing," her first new song in over two years. The effervescent, groovy number showcases Hammack's feistiness and sass as she professes to her love, "If you want a little it of my love, it's all or nothing."
This ultimatum gradually builds up to the bridge and final chorus bridge as Hammack and co-producer Dan Huff kick things up a notch to match the Georgia native's impeccable emotionally-driven vocal cry.
"'All or Nothing' has been persistently burning through my pocket since we wrote it," shares Hammack, who co-wrote the track with Thomas Finch and Tofer Brown. "This song felt fitting as the introduction to my second album coming later this year. Everybody loves a good old war cry for good love sometimes."
"All or Nothing" is the lead single from the singer's upcoming as-yet-untitled sophomore record with Universal Music Group Nashville. -- Jeremy Chua
Cinder Well"Two Heads, Grey Mare"
Having spent a few years soaking up traditional Irish music, Cinder Well (Amelia Baker) has returned to Southern California. Her particular brand of doom-folk hasn't lightened up, but it does refract the Pacific Coast's sunny rays.
On her new song "Two Heads, Grey Mare," Cinder Well unfurls an atmospheric tale of truth and fiction.
"It's about a human spending a night with a selkie-like vision who comes out of the water," she explains. "The selkie disappears in the morning, and the human is left with an experience that they can't put their finger on, questioning reality and experiencing a huge sense of loss."
The adventure is brooding and haunting, echoing with the waves of both the Pacific and the selkie's habitat of the Northern Atlantic. Her album Cadence will be out on April 21 via Free Dirt Records. -- Rachel Cholst
Julian Taylor"It's Not Enough (Sunset Version)"
Toronto-based Afro-Indigenous folk artist Julian Taylor chronicles the feeling of living with self-doubt and your own inadequacies but still finding room to love on “It’s Not Enough (Sunset Version).”
A reimagining of a track by the same name from his 2020 album The Ridge, the ultra-stripped back performance was taken from a podcast recording at Toronto’s Woodshed Studio — where Taylor also recorded the album — and features Tim Vesely on bass and Jane Gowans on piano and backing vocals. -- Matt Wickstrom
Jordan Davis"Money Isn't Real"
Jordan Davis has dropped another life lessons-driven song, "Money Isn't Real." Written by Jameson Rodgers, Josh Thompson, Jake Mitchell and Sarah Turner, the honest track implores listeners to stop chasing dollar signs and focus on the things that truly matter in life — family, friends, and loved ones.
"Money isn't real / It can't call you like your mama does / It can't make you old friends / It can't make you young again / It can't buy you real love / It's just paper and some ink / It'll never ask you how you feel / A dollar doesn't make you rich when it comes to happiness / Money isn't real," Davis sings in the powerful chorus.
"Money Isn't Real" is the latest preview of Davis' forthcoming LP, Bluebird Days, which drops on Feb. 17. -- Jeremy Chua
Terry Blade"Won't Be Around"
Terry Blade is nothing if not prolific, churning out Americana and (under a separate name) pop music. The common element is a deep sense of disquiet, which is abundant in "Won't Be Around."
The song revolves around a blues guitar lick that slowly builds in intensity, even as Blade cooly brushes off the person who has spurned him. The Chicago-based singer-songwriter is versatile, having just released his album Ethos: Son of a Sharecropper in January. -- Rachel Cholst
Bryan Martin"Wolves Cry"
Up-and-comer Bryan Martin has just unleashed a haunting and gritty new song, "Wolves Cry." The soaring autobiographical track, which was written by Martin, proudly showcases his Louisiana roots and the rough-around-the-edges upbringing he had.
"'Wolves Cry' is purely about how I was raised," Martin says. "It's a testament to appreciating your roots, even if you don't come from much. I want it to serve as a reminder to people to not let your past get in the way of what you really want in life."
"Wolves Cry" is the latest preview of Martin's forthcoming collection, Poets & Old Souls, due out on March 31 via Average Joes Entertainment. -- Jeremy Chua
Jamie Stillway"Wood and Windows"
Jamie Stillway's latest album, Lullaby For a Stranger, came out this past winter but is no less immediate for it. The guitarist holed up in a cabin without internet on an island in the Puget Sound to create a deeply personal -- and difficult -- album. Stillway is the daughter and granddaughter of women who abandoned their children.
On Lullaby For a Stranger, Stillway's compositions seek to tell their stories and gain empathy for their decisions many years later. "Wood and Windows" exemplifies Stillway's approach to the album, with skillful guitar playing and evocative melodies filled out by distortions and echoes from the guitar itself. -- Rachel Cholst