Zac Brown Band have released a pair of new singles under their new agreement with Warner Bros. Nashville. “Out in the Middle” and “Old Love Song” follow the country vocal band’s recent radio release “Same Boat,” and both were co-written by country superstar Luke Combs.
Penned by Brown and Combs with Ben Simonetti and Jonathan Singleton, “Out in the Middle” is a song of praise for the country lifestyle. With a swampy, rumbling groove that recalls Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ in the Dark,” the song checks off rural signifiers like rope swings and gravel driveways before celebrating the place “where hard work meets hard living.” It eventually settles into more of a grungy rock groove, bolstered by the group’s layered harmonies and joyous fiddle runs.
The group’s second release, “Old Love Song,” takes on a decidedly country-soul flavor, with a laid-back, swaying groove that brings to mind Lucinda Williams’ “Right in Time.” In this case, Brown makes romantic overtures by namechecking several famous songs, from “Unchained Melody” to “When You Say Nothing at All” to “Let’s Stay Together” (not unlike the way Thomas Rhett’s recent single “What’s Your Country Song” did with classic country tunes).
Zac Brown Band have released a few singles since putting out 2019’s The Owl, but so far no follow-up album has been announced. In August, they’ll embark on their headlining Comeback Tour with guests including Teddy Swims, Ashland Craft, Devin Dawson, Adam Doleac, and Gabby Barrett.