MegaPick: Walker Hayes

Walker Hayes' new album, boom. has been a long time in the making. It's the product of a twelve year journey that began when he first moved to Nashville, Tennessee from his native Mobile, Alabama in 2005. He landed a publishing deal and two different record deals shortly after moving to Music City and went on to have some success with his single “Pants" and a string of songwriting credits. Hayes was dropped from his record label after the release of his debut album in 2011 and while most may have given up, that's arguably when Hayes' story was just beginning.


Walker Hayes' New Album boom.

With a wife and six children to support, he got a job at Costco while continuing to hone his songwriting craft on Nashville's Music Row.

In 2016, Hayes got another chance at his dream when we was signed to a publishing and production deal with famed Nashville songwriter Shane McAnally and released two extended plays of new material. That material created enough buzz and made clear to the Nashville music community they had most definitely missed the boat on Hayes' incredible talent.

The album is chock full of intricately written songs that are smart, witty and serious – sometimes all at the same time. Hayes released 5 of the 10 tracks during the pre-order and shared the personal stories behind each of them.

The tongue-in-cheek “Shut Up Kenny" is a standout track that Hayes has admitted takes aim at megastar Kenny Chesney. Hayes shared on Instagram: “My wife and I associate so many Kenny Chesney songs with moments in our relationship. One night though, Laney and I were in a fight and were past the point of yelling. We were super quiet. I turned on the radio and that song was on. Then I turned on another station and the same song was on. I was like “Shut up, Kenny!" It was just that phrase, “Shut Up Kenny," that just made me feel something. It's about those times when you don't want to think of what a song reminds you of."

His first single from the album, “You Broke Up With Me," is an infectious almost jingle-like track with another round of creatively written lyrics. The song has been certified Gold by the RIAA and is currently climbing the charts.

Hayes' songs don't have a trace of traditional country sound to them, but its almost as if he prefers it that way. He's paving his own way with songs that, while they may not sound like “country" music, are certainly just as vulnerable, real and gritty as some of the genre's biggest hits. The road he's paving is good as gold and we're sure Hayes is here to stay.

boom. tracklisting:

  1. Beautiful (Walker Hayes)
  2. Shut Up Kenny (Hayes, Pete Good, AJ Babcock)
  3. You Broke Up With Me (Hayes, Thomas Archer, Kylie Sackley)
  4. Halloween feat. Nicolle Galyon (Hayes, Nicolle Galyon)
  5. Dollar Store (Hayes, Scott Stepakoff)
  6. Beer In The Fridge (Hayes, Shane McAnally, Matt Jenkins, Scot Sherrod)
  7. Beckett (Hayes, McAnally)
  8. Mind Candy (Hayes, Archer)
  9. Prescriptions (Hayes, Matt McGinn)
  10. Craig (Hayes)