While he’s yet to achieve household name status, Michigan native singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd has certainly earned his stripes.
With an impressive list of credentials so early in his career, including a penned #1 hit, Hurd has collaborated with country royalty compromising of Jake Owen, Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, The Cadillac Three and Dierks Bentley to name a few.
The Self Titled 4 track EP marks Hurd’s second release succeeding 2016’s ‘Panorama’ EP. Prior to the release Hurd had announced an extensive list of dates including a full UK tour (the latter being with partner and fellow singer-songwriter Maren Morris).
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Opener ‘We Do Us’ is the first single; upon release via Spotify the track notched up an outstanding 2 million plays within weeks, no easy feat for an upcoming artist.
From the offset the track emits an atmospheric haven for jovial summertime vibes orchestrated through the choral vocals and serene guitar tones. Lyrically Hurd explores subject matters prominent in contemporary country songs; sunshine, drinking, parties & good times told through the eyes of a relationship.
The ever-present theme surrounding love and relationships encompasses the entire EP. The anecdotal ‘Love In A Bar’ initially gives the impression of a poignant love song. Beginning with a gradual climb, stripped back simplistic acoustic guitar strum overridden by heartfelt, effortless vocals. The tempo soon changes encouraged by the heavy guitar riffs and mid section solo, enabling the ballad esque track to blossom into one of the true highlights on the EP.
Compellingly ‘City Girl’ sees Hurd vulnerably exploring the lesser attractive aspects of hooking up. “City girl, you’re gonna love me and leave me, ’cause it ain’t gonna mean what it means to me to you,” echoes amidst the melancholic piano, vocal chimes. Part way changing up “Baby, I don’t wanna scare you. I’m not tryna’ lock you down, I just want your time” assisted by the thunderous drum pounds almost suggests a pulsating heart beat as a last chance attempt at love.
While the subject of love may not be a foreign to many of his contemporaries, the 4 tracks delve into love from varying angles, enveloping all dimensions of Hurd as an illustrious songwriter.
Previously ranking amongst Rolling Stone Country’s ’10 artists you need to know’, chances are before soon, like it or not, Ryan Hurd will be a name familiar among many.
The ‘self titled’ EP is out now