In recent years, contemporary country music largely ignores one of the basic cornerstones that made the genre what it is: cheatin’ songs.
I mean, where would we be today without songs like “Your Cheatin’ Heart“, “Jolene“, “Reasons I Cheat“, “Who’s Cheatin’ Who” or “Whoever’s In New England“?
Country music has always been about facing up to life’s harsh realities, and sometimes that means dealing with betrayal or, in the case of Ashley McBryde’s gutsy new single, temptation.
The song, “One Night Standards“, is the first to be released from her upcoming untitled sophomore album. It was co-written by Ashley, Nicolette Hayford and Shane McAnally (who’s quickly becoming a household name thanks to his stint as a judge on NBC’s Songland).
McBryde tells Nash Country Daily that they hit on the idea for the song sort of by accident. Seems they were writing in a hotel room and…
“We had to walk away from it to give it a second to breathe,” she said. “When we got back in a room, this time Shane was with us and I joked, ‘You know, hotel rooms . . . they only have one night stand for a reason. They’re one night stand-ers.’ Shane and Nic’s eyes lit up, ‘Did you just say one night standards?’”
Lyrically, the song wastes no time getting down to business.
I ain’t gonna stay for the weekend
I ain’t gonna jump off the deep end
I ain’t gonna ask where your ring is
The thing is, we all got secrets
You don’t wanna hear about my last breakup
I don’t wanna worry about space you take up
I don’t even care if you’re here when I wake up
And, truth is, it’s probably going to be too sensitive a topic for country radio, which is a shame. Artists like McBryde, and fellow female outliers Kacey Musgraves and Brandy Clark, seem far more unafraid to address real life and real topics–the thing true country music does better than anything else–and often that’s to their airplay detriment. But the good news is, until my industry learns to be a little more unafraid, they have enough fan support they don’t necessarily need radio airplay. It will be nice if and when they finally get it though, because there is still a huge potential audience unaware of their talent, and those folks are the ones getting cheated.
Check out the song and see what you think.