JT’s New Music Reviews: Week of August 13, 2021

Artists to Watch:

Jake’s Take’s Artists to Watch is back! Here are some of the performers that will (or are already) shaking up the music industry.

Parker McCollum’s Gold Chain Cowboy showcases a future country music superstar in the making. (Album cover property of MCA Nashville)

Gold Chain Cowboy by Parker McCollum

Country music up-and-comer Parker McCollum is taking Nashville by storm. From performing at events such as RedGorilla Music Fest to his appearances on The Bobby Bones Show, Parker McCollum is slowly becoming a country music star right before our eyes. Recently, Parker McCollum released his first record from MCA Nashville: Gold Chain Cowboy. While some of his contemporaries release constant songs that focus on bro-country elements, Parker McCollum features a diverse collection that showcases a balance between honest lyrics and guitar jams. I am looking forward to seeing what he does next. B+ 

Tracks to Download: “Wait Outside,” “Dallas,” “Drinkin’,” & “Falling Apart.”

“When I’m Gone” by Abby Bryant & The Echoes

Gastonia, North Carolina natives Abby Bryant and The Echoes dropped their first single, “When I’m Gone,” from their upcoming October 2021 debut album: Not Your Little Girl. “When I’m Gone” reminds me of a hybrid of a classic Carole King and Gerry Coffin track. I loved the saxophone solo, which would remind rock lovers of the late Clarence Clemons. They do not make bands like Abby Bryant and the Echoes anymore, and I hope they have a great career ahead of them. B+/A-

“Don’t Play with My Heart” by India Shawn 

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and Epic Records-signed recording artist India Shawn dropped a superb single. As I listened to India Shawn’s “Don’t Play with My Heart,” it reminded me of the first time I heard Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You.” India’s soothing voice combined with the superb production and lyrics makes “Don’t Play with My Heart” a sturdy contender for the Top R&B Song of 2021. A+

“We Were Never Friends” by Mia Morris 

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mia Morris released an intriguing new single: “We Were Never Friends.” I believe that Generation Z has found their Avril Lavigne as this song has shades of “Sk8er Boi” and “Girlfriend.” If she sounds this incredible at 17, then look out, world. B/B+ 


“Peace, Love, Rock N’ Roll” by Mrs. Henry 

San Diego-based rock and roll band Mrs. Henry dropped an impressive new single: “Peace, Love, Rock N’ Roll.” Mrs. Henry consists of bassist Blake Dean, drummer Chad Lee, keyboardist Jody Bagley, and guitarist Daniel Cervantes. All four members have fantastic voices as well. When I heard this track first, it reminded me of a combination of Slash’s guitars, Mick Fleetwood’s drumming, the Struts’ firepower, and a hint of Queen. In Mrs. Henry’s capable hands, rock N’ roll is in safe and capable hands. A-  

“M.I.A.” by Ray BLK featuring Kaash Paige

Nigeria native turned UK transplant Ray BLK is gaining a social media following thanks to her nearly combined 200,000 followers on both Facebook and Instagram. When music lovers first listen to “M.I.A,” they would be impressed with the production that could remind them of classic late-90s and early-2000s R&B. Ray BLK’s elegant and hypnotic vocals are the highlight of the track. I could see this be a significant player for Top 40 and R&B streaming and radio lists. 

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar