Willie Shaw's "Moonlight Memories" is a patient love song that introduces the California-born singer as a compelling vocalist to watch in 2022 and 2023. The pop-friendly track describes two lovers falling for each other, with intentional stops and starts building anticipation.

Along with Jim Beavers, Shaw wrote a truly fresh country lyric, but it's the way producer Noby Sidez presents this song — debuting exclusively on Taste of Country — that's remarkable. An organic arrangement relies on acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards and a jazzy drumbeat. Shaw croons through the song with an occasional STOP just before his chorus.

It's what he says and how he says it:

"Well baby I / I don't care if the sun burns out / Or if it never comes back around / Cause baby I / I don't ever wanna leave this pier / Spend forever dancin' slow right here/ Just you and me / Making moonlight memories," he sings at the chorus.

Now based in Nashville, Shaw has plans on an independent EP called Roots for early 2023. "Moonlight Memories" is the first single from that set, and it promises to be a collection of songs influenced by a dynamic mix of sounds and artists. Seventies rockers are who he cites when pressed for the music he was raised on, but this song recalls something a little older.

Great singers aren't hard to find, but unique vocalists are rare. The difference is in how they hit those notes and the movement within. Shaw's rangey chops include a vibrant falsetto in this song, but he seems to understand when to deploy it. "Moonlight Memories" isn't the kind of vocal showcase that will knock a wall down or break glass — but it is the kind that will stick with you for a few days.

See the Most Played Country Song from the Year You Were Born

Who had the most played country song during the year you were born? This list is a fascinating time capsule of prevalent trends from every decade in American history. Scroll through to find your birth year and then click to listen. Some of these songs have been lost through the years, many of them for good reason!

Men named Hank dominated early before stars like Freddie Hart, Ronnie Milsap, Willie Nelson Clint Black took over to close the 1980s. More recently it's been Tim Mcgraw, Rodney Atkins, Kane Brown and Morgan Wallen. Did the most-played country song from the year you were born become a favorite of yours later? All info comes from Billboard's country airplay charts.

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