Going into the month of October I didn’t expect much. How can you when Florida Georgia Line and Sam Hunt are releasing new music? I did know that Wade Bowen and Angaleena Presley were releasing albums and I expected them to both deliver quality albums. They lived up to my expectations and have three songs each on my top ten list. What I didn’t expect is the artists at the top of my list to be #1, let alone even make my list. It isn’t a typo nor is it a mistake you see on the Spotify list above. My #1 country song for the month of October is The Swon Brothers’ “This Side of Heaven.” Now I know I gave the album a pretty mediocre grade and that’s being generous. There are some awful songs on it with a few decent ones. But “This Side of Heaven” is the absolute gem of it and arguably one of the best released in mainstream country music. Props to Carrie Underwood’s role in the song too as it gave it an oomph toward the climax of the song. Odds are slim this gets released to radio, but if it does I’ll be thrilled. If you haven’t heard it go listen to it.
The second best song of the month is Angaleena Presley’s “Surrender,” a song with raw emotion that hits you right in the gut. It’s the first of three songs from her brilliant American Middle Class album on my top ten list. Next is Wade Bowen’s “West Texas Rain,” a song about life that resonates with us all. This is also the first of three songs from Bowen’s solid self-titled album on my list. Next is Presley’s “Pain Pills,” a song that attacks big pharmaceutical companies. Rounding out my top five country songs for October is Bowen again with “Sweet Leona.”
At number six is the brilliant new single from the up and coming Mickey Guyton, “Better Than You Left Me.” If you haven’t listened to Guyton sing yet, please go listen to her music. I think she has a lot of potential and I think this could be the first of many appearances on my top ten lists. Up next is Bowen’s “Long Enough to be a Memory,” a song about reflection, choices and home. Presley’s third and final song on my top ten list, “Better off Red” is next. At #9 is Ray Scott’s dark song about domestic abuse, “Papa and Mama.” This is an underrated song on an underrated album that deserves more praise than it gets. Scott rounds out my top ten list with “Ain’t Always Thirsty,” a reminder of what country drinking songs should be about.
My honorable mentions: Ray Scott’s “Leave This World” & The Swon Brothers’ “Same Old Highway.” Also the rest of Wade Bowen’s album and Angaleena Presley’s album.