Well, it looks like all those vision-board collages we created of Post Malone wearing cowboy hats have finally paid off. It's (almost) official - Posty is hard at work on his debut country album.
Although there's yet to be any label announcement, the man himself confirmed during a Twitch live stream that his “country record is coming”, before sharing that he recorded a song for the project when he was in Nashville that he can't stop singing. He also revealed that he's currently working on two albums, with one presumably being the country project, and the other possibly being a more mainstream release.
This followed Posty's post-CMA Awards performance interview, where he responded to the question of whether it was time to record a country album with “I think so. Yes, ma'am”.
It seems the ‘Chemical’ hitmaker already has a number of songs in the can, with Post Malone being photographed during a recording session with two of Music City's primary songsmiths, Morgan Wallen and Ernest, before being snapped alongside two more members of Nashville's songwriting royalty, Luke Combs and James McNair.
While we feel fairly confident that the products of these sessions will appear on Posty's debut country record, it's unclear as to whether Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen will be appearing on the tracks as vocalists or whether they've simply contributed as songwriters. However, if Luke and Morgan shared the studio with Post Malone and didn't lay down some vocals, it's safe to say we'll be sorely disappointed.
With Post Malone having spoken with Joe Rogan earlier in the year about his deep-seated love for traditional-leaning, alt-country artists such as Colter Wall, Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers, we'd be surprised if this style didn't colour some of Posty's record.
In the same interview, the multi-Diamond-certified artist recalled how he'd tried to work with Colter in the past, only to find that the famously reclusive cowboy wasn't prepared to leave his ranch to do so. Now, though, we're hoping Post Malone makes the trip to Saskatchewan for a session, because Posty's distinctive vibrato and Colter's husky, weather-worn vocals would undoubtedly sound incredible together.
Furthermore, Jelly Roll has repeatedly expressed his admiration for Post Malone's sonic blueprint, with the duo linking up backstage during the CMA Awards 2023.
With Jelly having previously underlined his eagerness to hit the studio with Posty, we think the ‘Need A Favor’ maverick is another name we can expect to appear on the album's tracklist.
In addition to Colter wall's outlaw aesthetic and the Hip-Hop-minded country fusion that Morgan Wallen, Ernest and Jelly Roll have pioneered, as we attempt to pin down what kind of record we can expect from Post Malone's debut country effort, we imagine there'll also be a notable retro country influence on the project.
In the past, Posty has shared stellar covers of classics such as Brad Paisley's ‘I'm Gonna Miss Her’ and Sturgill Simpson's ‘You Can Have The Crown‘, and his first ‘official’ foray into the genre has been his reimagined HIXTAPE duet with the late Joe Diffie, ‘Pick-Up Man’.
Post Malone's electrifying performance of ‘Pick-Up Man’ with HARDY and Morgan Wallen during the 2023 CMA Awards was undoubtedly one of the stand-out moments of the evening, with the single having since earned Posty his first Billboard Country Airplay hit.
However, given how HARDY and Morgan Wallen do not feature on the studio version of ‘Pick-Up Man’, and bearing in mind how big a fan HARDY is of Post Malone, it seems a little odd that he hasn't taken this opportunity to duet with the chart titan on a song.
This makes us think HARDY will be joining Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs, Ernest and potentially James McNair on the list of collaborators for Posty's upcoming country album.
Post Malone is set to perform a set of classic country covers at Stagecoach 2024 on April 27, a move he explained in a recent Esquire interview, “Everybody comes up to me like, ‘When are you doing a country album?’ And this is a nice little step into that world”.
With Posty now having made far more than “a little step” into country music, we think he may be eyeing this festival set as his deadline for his project, with the performance serving as the perfect opportunity to showcase a few original tunes alongside the covers.
Whenever Post Malone decides to drop his long-awaited debut country album, and whoever ends up on the list of featured artists, we're just happy this moment has at last arrived.
If Posty's rendition of ‘Pick-Up Man’ is anything to go by, his first full-length country project will be a truly game-changing moment for the genre - and we can't wait to hear it.
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