If you’re on the search for something less “bro country” sounding, then Justin Adams’ latest EP, Horizon, might be your new favorite. You’ll find an eight-song collection of tunes that mesh 90’s country music with a contemporary feel. Part of that composition comes from Justin Adams’ voice, which is a little bit of modern country with a dab of traditional country; a familiar, yet unique sound which is prevalent all throughout this EP. The other component is that Adams chose to use less of a digital sound with electronic beats, and more stripped-down traditional country instruments to relay his message song by song.
Horizon was produced by 2016 ACM Guitar Player of the Year, Derek Wells, and it features quite a few highly accomplished songwriters, such as Brad Tursi of Old Dominion and multi-number-one hit songwriter, Ben Hayslip.
Track listing and songwriter credit:
The Road – Chase McGill, Ben Hayslip
Back Then – Justin Adams, Andy Sheridan, Jared Scott
Fly – Justin Adams, Trent Willmon
Don’t Hold It Against Me – Mark Nesler, Josh Osborne, Marty Dodson
Good Rain or Jesus – Jonathan Singleton, Barry Dean
Feel That Feeling – Justin Adams, Houston Phillips
How It Rolls – Eric Arjes, Brad Tursi
Green Grass Blue Water – Justin Adams, Eric Arjes, Lance Carpenter
“The Road” – that hometown road that you hold dear memories on, turned into a song to reflect on. It’s upbeat and sweetly nostalgic.
“Back Then” – thinking back on old times with an old love set to a catchy* beat with clever guitar riffs at all the right moments to support the points.
“Fly” – This could certainly be a radio hit. It’s about letting a lover go, even when you would rather keep them around, but you know you’d rather see them ‘fly.’ It’s full of hope that the person will fly back at some point, without being morbid or full of heartbreak.
“Don’t Hold it Against Me” – The musical simplicity sounds like something you’d hear on 90’s country radio, meddled with modern country. There’s a beautiful guitar solo around the bridge that is begging to be listened to. The lyrics are honest, sexy, and convicting. “I don’t want you to give yourself to me tonight and leave, if you can’t give me your heart. Girl, don’t hold it against me.”
“Good Rain or Jesus” – This song compares waiting on a lover to come back after a breakup, to waiting for ‘good rain or Jesus.’ I especially enjoy the subtle gospel choir twist towards the end.
“Feel That Feeling” – It’s an upbeat, catchy, hopeful song with the potential for radio success.
“How It Rolls” – This reminds me of something that Easton Corbin might sing. It’s contemporary contrary at its best; a sweet love song with witty comparisons set to a lively beat.
“Green Grass Blue Water” – This is a stripped down, mellow ending to Horizon. The lyrics compare the female lead to being that safe place, that joy in a relationship, “you’re my green grass, and my blue water.”
Beyond writing his own music, Justin Adams has also had songwriting success for other artists, including Granger Smith’s latest single to hit country radio, “You’re In It.” Adams is a one to keep on your radar! You can purchase or stream Horizon NOW.