HARDY’s 2020 debut album A ROCK proved a declarative introduction. American Songwriter applauded its “lyrical genius,” Billboard called it “one of the most self-assured full-length debut albums in years,” joining The New York Times in naming the project to best-of-the-year lists. Earning a billion on-demand album streams, spending over 106 weeks on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart including a top five debut, certified gold by the RIAA, and scoring a chart-winning single or two, fans and critics alike quickly took notice of a wave of momentum as strong and singular as the artist it was lifting.
Now, just over two years later, HARDY is introducing the next chapter of his critically acclaimed catalog. On his second full-length LP, the mockingbird & THE CROW out January 20 via Big Loud Records, he soars into uncharted territory, marrying country and rock in a two-part, 17-track duality showcase. The “promising purveyor of keeping the spirit of classic heavy Southern rock alive” (American Songwriter) masterfully hones the sounds and themes of both the influences he grew up listening to and the life he grew up living on an album unlike anything our format has seen before.
“the mockingbird & THE CROW is, in my opinion, the best thing I’ve made so far,” HARDY shares. “I had a lot of time to get in the weeds making this record with some of my favorite people in Nashville, and it truly captures every part of who I am as an artist. I’m honored that I get to share it with you next year; can’t wait to hear what you think about it.”
The double-edged project was recorded between Ocean Way and Blackbird Studios in Nashville, entirely produced by Joey Moi with co-production by HARDY and Derek Wells, and co-production on select tracks by David Garcia, Jordan Schmidt, Ben Johnson, Andrew Wade, Jeremy McKinnon, and Cody Quistad. Completely co-written by HARDY with a rolodex of Music Row’s finest – Ashley Gorley, Rhett Akins, Hillary Lindsey, Jessie Jo Dillon, David Garcia, Hunter Phelps, Jordan Schmidt, and more – the ACM Songwriter of the Year’s “fearless…distinctive ear” (CMT) is on full display across the 17-song sophomore effort.
Pre-order / pre-save the mockingbird & THE CROW here.
The country rocker took to social media to surprise fans, announcing a miniature album preview available immediately, releasing three brand new songs – “here lies country music,” “the mockingbird & THE CROW,” and “TRUCK BED.”
“here lies country music” name drops genre tropes, staple hit singles, and stereotypical pass times to create a fictional world where country music has played its last gig. The title track transitions the record from the mockingbird to THE CROW, balancing country and rock sensibilities and pinpointing the essence of the project. Jacked up and ready to stay stuck in your head, “TRUCK BED” is an addictive, twisty, rock/pop-infused banger anchored by a chorus as clever as it is catchy: “I woke up on the wrong side of the truck bed this morning.”
The trio of new releases join current Top 35 single “wait in the truck” feat. Lainey Wilson and just-dropped rock single “JACK” across all platforms. Listen here.
HARDY has never been just one thing; not just country, not just rock. Not just a songwriter, not just an artist. He’s a myriad talent with a gift for “synthesizing biography with imagination to create real storytelling” (Rolling Stone). And on the mockingbird & THE CROW, he proves it.
the mockingbird & THE CROW Track List
1. beer (Michael Hardy, Ashley Gorley, Ben Johnson, Hunter Phelps)
2. red feat. Morgan Wallen (Michael Hardy, Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip, Jacob Rice)
3. wait in the truck feat. Lainey Wilson (Michael Hardy, Renee Blair, Hunter Phelps, Jordan Schmidt) ^
4. drink one for me (Michael Hardy, David Garcia, Hunter Phelps)
5. i in country (Michael Hardy, Smith Ahnquist, Nick Donley, Jake Mitchell, Hunter Phelps)
6. screen (Michael Hardy, Jessie Jo Dillon, Matt Dragstrem, Hunter Phelps)
7. happy (Michael Hardy)
8. here lies country music (Michael Hardy, Cole Taylor, Brett Tyler, Will Weatherly)
9. the mockingbird & THE CROW (Michael Hardy, Jordan Schmidt, Brett Tyler) ^
10. SOLD OUT (Michael Hardy, David Garcia, Hunter Phelps) *
11. JACK (Michael Hardy, David Garcia, Hillary Lindsey) *
12. TRUCK BED (Michael Hardy, Ashley Gorley, Ben Johnson, Hunter Phelps) +
13. .30-06 (Michael Hardy, Cameron Montgomery, Hunter Phelps)
14. I AIN’T IN THE COUNTRY NO MORE (Michael Hardy, David Garcia, Hillary Lindsey) *
15. RADIO SONG feat. Jeremy McKinnon (Michael Hardy, Zach Abend, Nick Donley, Jeremy McKinnon, Cody Quistad)~
16. KILL SH!T TILL I DIE (Michael Hardy, David Garcia, Hunter Phelps) *
17. THE REDNECK SONG (Michael Hardy, Andy Albert, Nick Donley)
All songs produced by Joey Moi
All songs co-produced by Derek Wells and HARDY
* co-produced by David Garcia
^ co-produced by Jordan Schmidt
+ co-produced by Ben Johnson
~ co-produced by Andrew Wade, Jeremy McKinnon, and Cody Quistad