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Song You Need to Know: Breland, ‘Cross Country’

The “My Truck” hitmaker embraces melodic pop-country on latest single about believing in one’s self

Following his breakout hit “My Truck,” which went platinum and scored a Chevy campaign, Breland has released another incredibly catchy single called “Cross Country.” At nearly three and a half minutes, the radio-ready song is a melodic rush of pop-country about a young man chasing his dreams and rising from obscurity, but it’s also a symbol of country music’s ongoing evolution.

As Breland recalls in the lyrics of the pre-chorus, he spent a while trying to fit in but only found success and confidence by eventually giving that up and following his gut.  “I’m different, yeah, I know,” he sings, showcasing classic R&B vocals. “The houses I stayed in were great, but they never felt like home.”

Breland, who started out as a songwriter churning out words for others, has fully emerged from those shadows. Here, he takes an autobiographical approach, singing about moving from New Jersey to Atlanta in the hopes of finding a way into the music industry, about his mom praying for him to trust in God, and eventually making his way to Hollywood. It’s the kind of emotive storytelling country music was built on. As with “My Truck,” Breland is a country star who’s proved he can weave his way through undeniable pop hooks.

“Cross Country” gently starts with a finger-plucked acoustic guitar and the sound of literal crickets, making the listener feel like they’re sitting on the singer’s back porch. It builds toward triumphant choruses that charge forward: “I know it’s okay to be in my own lane when I’m doing what they said can’t be done/I’m going cross-country/I won’t stop running until I find where I belong.” There’s a richness in his voice, and you can practically hear him smiling through the whole song.

Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.

From Rolling Stone US