What I’ve Been Listening To: December/January Edition

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Happy New Year! Now that 2022 is here, it’s time for me to share another round of my monthly song picks. Let’s get right to it:

December

“Things A Man Oughta Know,” Lainey Wilson

Rising country singer Lainey Wilson shares a thing or two she’s learned about life and love on her smash track, “Things A Man Oughta Know.” I love Wilson’s audible twang in her vocal and the wisdom she dishes out in a way that only a good ole’ country song can.

Standout Lyrics: I can hook a trailer on a two-inch hitch/I can shoot a shotgun, I can catch a fish/I can change a tire on the side of a road/Yeah, I know a few things a man oughta know/How to know when it’s love/How to stay when it’s tough/How to know you’re messin’ up a good thing/And how to fix it ‘fore it’s too late/And yeah, I know a boy/Who gave up and got it wrong/If you really love a woman, you don’t let her go/Yeah, I know a few things a man oughta know

“O Holy Night,” Josh Groban

I wish I had something more eloquent to say other than that one can do no wrong listening to any of Josh Groban‘s Christmas songs, and that his voice is so beautiful, it moves me to tears.

Standout Lyrics: O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining/It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth/Long lay the world in sin and error, pining/’Til He appeared, and the soul felt its worth/A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices/For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn/Fall on your knees/O hear the angel voices/O night divine/O night when Christ was born/O night divine/O night, O night divine

“Christmas In The Sun,” Morgan Evans

Country singer Morgan Evans warms up Christmas in this fun track about a holiday island getaway.

Standout Lyrics: Trade our jingle bells for coconut maracas/Find a tiki bar where we can hang some stockings/Tip the band to play “Mele Kalikimaka”/Hawaii, down under, the Bahamas/Don’t you want/A little Christmas in the sun/Red bikini and a tan/Mistletoe’s in the sand/Stick a ribbon on some rum/A hula angel on a palm tree/What you say this year we/Do like the song and Rudolph run/I’m making a list and number one/Is you and me just/Having us a sweet little/Christmas in the sun/Christmas in the sun/Christmas in the sun, baby

January

“Flower Shops,” Ernest featuring Morgan Wallen

Ernest and Morgan Wallen team up on this country ballad about the messier parts of love and using flowers to apologize. The duo released the song on December 31 at midnight, making theirs one of the first musical releases of the new year.

Standout Lyrics: Well, I took some pills and she took the dogs/Oh, it’s all gone to hell, she’s gone to her mom’s/And I took up drinking since she took the time/To tell me I took the best years of her life/So, buddy, I’ll take your roses/If you cut off the thorns, she can’t take no more/I’ll buy violets and daisies to hide all the crazy, it’s gonna take all you’ve got/It’s a tough day for love but a good day for flower shops

“Game Ball,” Colton Venner

Americana/Alternative Country singer-songwriter Colton Venner reflects on life, family, and changes in plans on his track, “Game Ball,” released on his 2021 EP of the same name. The track honors the tradition of great Americana/Country storytelling.

Standout Lyrics: I put down the bat/Picked up a guitar/He tried to learn/But he didn’t get far/I was fifteen then/I’d never given a lesson/Wasn’t patient enough to deal with his questions/He didn’t care about chords/He didn’t care for a song/He just cared that his boy was right there strumming along

“We’ll Figure It Out,” Smithfield

Country duo Smithfield–also known as Trey Smith and Jenn Fielder–deliver an emotional ballad with “We’ll Figure It Out,” a track from their latest EP, New Town (2021). The pair, who are best friends, never fail to amaze me with their harmonies; their bond is evident in the way the blend their voices together.

Standout Lyrics: Loving is easy/It’s the living that’s hard/Don’t know where we should be/But I like where we are/Even when the world turns on a dime/And you’re pinching pennies just to get by/Well, I don’t know how, I don’t know how/But we’ll be alright/Baby, the truth is/Nobody knows what they’re doing/I don’t have the why when or how/But we’ll figure it out, we’ll figure it out/Highways or dirt roads/Sunset highs and heartbreak lows/Together there ain’t no doubt/We’ll figure it out, we’ll figure it out

And those are my December/January song picks. Listen to them on Apple Music or Spotify, let me know what you think of them, and share what songs you’ve been loving lately. Until next time…keep calm and music on.

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