Country star Michael Ray has been teasing his upcoming third studio album for the last few months and Thursday night (2/11), he played a special ‘Warehouse Sessions’ virtual concert, that premiered exclusively on his YouTube Channel.
If you watched it, you know how much this new record will encapsulate the familiar throwback country sound as Ray’s promised. But, if you missed it, Sounds Like Nashville has the special recap for you! Here’s what country fans can expect in the Warner Music Nashville artist’s new record.
Influences from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s country artists will be sprinkled throughout the forthcoming project, with the lead single, “Whiskey And Rain” being a precursor for fans of both Ray and old-school country. “If you know me, you know that I love traditional country music. I really wanted to […] make that what this record was, and to give y’all a better insight to who Michael Ray is as an artist and a person,” Ray shared.
- New Song: “Holy Water”
This dark, swampy show opener was inspired by Ray’s hometown church, Cassia Baptist Church in Eustis, Florida and his family who “may have or may not have been running some moonshine back in the day.” The grit and mystery surrounding this tune is in the same vein as country favorites like Reba’s “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” and Carrie Underwood’s “Choctaw County Affair.” It starts off slow, before progressing to a loud up-tempo production accompanied by anthemic drum beats. We predict this will be an album highlight and future fan favorite.
3. New Song: “Picture”
Calling it one of his most personal songs he’s ever cut and written, “Picture” is a song dedicated to his late Uncle Terry, who passed away in June last year from an unexpected heart attack. What transpired from the mourning that followed was this song, which the 32-year-old penned with HARDY and David Garcia. While Ray and his family were going through photos and mourning their loved one, his buddy Ryan reflected and shared: “We have this long life but one day, no matter what you do, we’re all gonna be photos that people look at and gather round and tell stories about.” That immediately spoke to the songwriter in Ray and soon after, he penned the sentimental ballad with HARDY. “Take every snapshot while you can / Tell them that you love them while you got the chance / Make sure that you take it in / ‘Cause one day all you’re gonna have with them is a picture,” the singer reminds listeners in the chorus.
4. New Song: “Just The Way I Am”
The mid-tempo track is “a tip of the hat” to Ray’s hometown and every individual who helped shape him to be the man that he is today. The singer-songwriter shared that the autobiographical song, which lists his unmistakable and unique traits in the chorus, gives listeners an idea of both who he is and the way he was raised.
5. All Vocals Were Cut In True COVID fashion: Over Zoom
Ray started ramping up work on this upcoming record during the COVID lockdown and quarantine. But, he got creative, worked hard and laid down all that was needed for it. Ray tells fans, “I actually cut all the vocals that you’re going to hear on this album in the front closet of my tour manager’s house with Ross [Copperman], my producer, on Zoom.
Fans can expect Ray’s forthcoming third full-length record to drop later this year. In the meantime, listen to “Whiskey And Rain” below and check out our exclusive interview with him about the single.