Following last week’s GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Album, Ashley McBryde’s Never Will continues to be applauded by critics, earning a title as one of Rolling Stone’s “Best Albums of 2020,” while lead single “One Night Standards” landed in The New York Times’ top three in the “Best Songs of 2020” and album opener “Hang In There Girl” made its way onto NPR’s “100 Best Songs of 2020.”
“When we released Never Will, we kept our original April 2020 release date because people needed music then and we need music now!” reflects McBryde. “However, there was a small part of me that was a little sad that these songs may not get the time or attention they deserve as a body of work because of that timing. So to have the album receive so much recognition, along with nominations among such incredible company by both the CMA Awards and by The Recording Academy, is truly amazing and means the absolute world to me.”
As the only country record in the top 20 of Rolling Stone’s “Best Albums of 2020,” “Never Will was this year’s most adventurous mainstream country album…an extraordinary document that chronicles — with empathy, grace, and humor — what happens when men and women pour gasoline onto their own bad decisions,” while The New York Times named lead single “One Night Standards” in the top three “Best Songs of 2020,” marking the only country song in the top 15, with Jon Pareles sharing, “Ashley McBryde provides pithy, matter-of-fact details of a random hookup — ‘I don’t really care if you’re here when I wake up’ — and while the music swells, her heart stays cold.”
Opening track “Hang In There Girl” landed on NPR’s “100 Best Songs of 2020,” calling McBryde “one of the most empathetic songwriters of her generation,” and she “specializes in songs that feel utterly lived-in — they're keenly understanding about what goes on in dive bars, or what it feels like to defiantly pursue dreams long deferred.”
Last week, the Arkansas-native earned her fourth career nomination from the Recording Academy for Best Country Album for the follow-up to her GRAMMY-nominated debut Girl Going Nowhere in 2019, followed by nods for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance for the title track in 2020.
Never Will received recognition as one of the albums of the year to-date from Rolling Stone, SPIN, Variety, Billboard, Paste, Esquire, Stereogum and American Songwriter, while The Wall Street Journal proclaimed, “she’s moved to the forefront of today’s country, and this consistent, exciting and always smart album shows why,” and Variety shared “her rowdy and emotionally stirring second album represents the pinnacle of what contemporary mainstream country can be.”
Current single “Martha Divine” follows “One Night Standards,” which emerged as McBryde’s first Top 10 hit while going RIAA-Certified Gold in both the United States and Canada after landing on NPR’s “25 Best Songs of 2019,” Rolling Stone’s “25 Best Country and Americana Songs of 2019” and Paste’s “The Best Country Songs of 2020 (So Far).”
Never Will was up for Album of the Year at the 2020 CMA Awards, along with a nomination for Female Vocalist and Music Event of the Year as a guest on Miranda Lambert’s “Fooled Around and Fell In Love.” McBryde “delivered an immaculate version of the no-strings-needed ballad,” Billboard praised of her special performance of “One Night Standards.”
Never Will is available everywhere now.