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Country Caffeine | 2023 Country Playlist (Morgan Wallen + More)

Powerful Playlists: 2023 Country Caffeine

by Seth Woolcock

“Powerful Playlists” is a lifestyle column by Seth Woolcock, serving as the DJ for life’s various moments. Read and listen on as Seth unveils another 2023 country playlist, offering upbeat tracks from the stylings of Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs and more.

Where there’s a strong scent of joe filling the kitchen each morning for some, it’s a face full of saltwater waves that start the day for others. Whether you’re an a.m. shower soaker, cigarette smoker or on-the-can stock broker, something gets you going daily.

Caffeine is king. The natural stimulant, or our own versions of it – Wordle, a run or a favorite breakfast – is always there for the jumpstart. 

Well, what if I told you that music could also be used to defeat the early morning grogginess? This edition of “Powerful Playlists,” featuring 2023 upbeat country hits from some of the biggest names in the genre, can help do just that.

Start your day here with country caffeine.

1. “Sun Sets in Colorado” – Dierks Bentley

With an upbeat melody and soulful lyrics, this is the best of Dierks Bently and country caffeine. “Sun Sets in Colorado” begins as most of our days do: a sunrise in a small town. But it takes us on a U.S. road trip, ending where Bentley’s sun sets in Colorado. Merging modern country music with bluesy banjo and fiddle, this is a true masterpiece and one hell of a pick-me-up.

2. “Where the Wild Things Are” – Luke Combs

Luke Combs continues our country playlist with a story of a west-coast adventure. Featured on the North Carolina native’s new album “Gettin’ Old,” “Where the Wild Things Are” is reminiscent of an ’80s rock hit with its use of steel guitar and snare. The gradual increase in tempo and Combs’ eventual hard-hitting notes are simply uplifting.

3. “red” (feat. Morgan Wallen) – HARDY

The first 45 seconds of this song are as perfect as it gets for a country playlist – an original key, building rhythm and relatable lyrics sung interchangeably by two of the genre’s best. HARDY’s “red” (feat. Morgan Wallen) at its core is an ode to small-town country living, leaving a sense of patriotism and appreciation for life’s simplicities.

4. “I Wrote The Book” – Morgan Wallen

We all specialize in something. But perhaps you’re like me… or apparently, Morgan Wallen, in that you’re a jack-of-all. This fun-loving track sheds a light on the things that the Tennessee native, and likely ourselves, didn’t write the book on: not cussing, fighting or drinking too much. It’s self-reflecting, backed with an optimistic melody and energizing beat, perfect for the break of day.

5. “Me To Me– Morgan Wallen

When you drop a 36-track double album, you have the right to back-to-back tracks in this country playlist. “Me To Me” is just a feel-good, pick-up song. It’s high-energy, showcasing Wallen’s southern influence, and is definitely an instant mood-changer.

6. “Walk That Easy” – Chase Rice

Chase Rice continues to bring creativity to country music with “Walk That Easy.” About the strength of love and how it’s worth fighting for, the chord progressions on this track are outrageous. This is another fun tune, seemingly burrowing influence from ’90s country with hints of banjo and ’80s rock with the clever use of guitar.

7. “Memory Lane” – Old Dominion

Since they first came onto the scene in 2015 with their debut album, “Meat and Candy,” Old Dominion has always had the ability to make sad songs feel happy. “Memory Lane” is more of the same, but different, as it poses the unique notion of buying a house on memory lane. Carefree country music is what you’re signing up for with Matthew Ramsey’s gang, and I’m here for it.

8. “What’s It Gonna Take” – Cheat Codes & Mitchell Tenpenny

Cheat Codes bring their electronic influence to the genre with their crossover collab album, “One Night in Nashville.” The Los Angeles trio makes each track sound like something from the featured artist’s catalog with an electronic dance music (EDM) twist. That’s exactly what you get from “What’s It Gonna Take” with Mitchell Tenpenny. This is a classic Tenpenny tune about getting over someone turned to a country-pop, getting-over-you anthem.

9. “Blindsided” – Kelsea Ballerini

I’ll take this closing track as an opportunity to shout out an artist finally getting her long-overdue flowers in country music: Kelsea Ballerini. The 29-year-old dropped this extended play (EP), “Rolling Up the Welcome Mat,” on Valentine’s Day, and it has some serious bangers. “Blindsided” is at the top of that list, offering a lively, EDM-influenced breakup narrative.

This country playlist can be found for streaming and/or download on Apple Music. And for more feel-good content, you can find me on Twitter @Between_SethFF.

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