HARDY is officially dropping a new album, which will be a half rock, half country record called the mockingbird & THE CROW.
He’s been teasing it for a little while now, and previously dropped the singles “Jack,” “Wait In The Truck” and the fan-favorite, “SOLD OUT.”
The tracklist for this album will literally be split in half, with all the country songs written in lowercase letters, the title track is also split, and all following rock songs are in uppercase writing.
Hardy is a friend and frequent collaborator of Morgan Wallen, and will feature him on one of the country songs called “red.”
He explained a little more about the idea in a post on Instagram, and it gives some great insight into what it all means for him as an artist:
“Okay for real, so I thought my record was done two weeks ago. I’ve had this idea for a long time, called ‘the mocking and the crow.’
Just about how, the dichotomy between the two, and all my life I’ve always driven down the road and you see like a crow flying through the air and you see a mockingbird, like peckin’ at the crow. And I’ve always wanted to write that idea.
And since this album’s gonna be a half country and half, like rock album, I always wanted it to be a part of this album, and I ended up never writing the song. But I woke up today at like two in the afternoon and Jordan had a rock beat filled out, so I threw this idea out, and I was like, I really think this song could really tie the record together.
So we wrote a song, like a seven minute song today called ‘the mockingbird & THE CROW.’ And the song starts with like ‘mockingbird,’ and how I’m from Mississippi, which the state bird is the mockingbird, and how I’m the crow, and I repeat things that I’ve heard my whole life, and thats part of my songwriter thing and who I am.
And then the song slowly transitions into the crow, which is the rock and roll character that flies his own path, just like as the crow flies and that whole thing, and so we wrote it today. And Joey and Seth freaked out over the idea.
And we are rolling down the road at 10 after 11 tonight and we’re gonna do vocals on ‘the mockingbird & THE CROW.’ And that is the album title for my next album.”
The record will drop on January 20th, 2023:
“the mockingbird & THE CROW album out January 20, 2023.
Listen to the title track and two other new songs everywhere now. Link in bio to pre-save/pre-order and listen to the new songs.”
He released three new singles last night, “here lies country music,” “the mockingbird & THE CROW,” and “TRUCK BED.”
I think my early favorite is “here lies country music,” which is brilliantly written about genre tropes, hit singles, and stereotypical pass times we often here mentioned in so-called country songs, in a fictional world where country music actually died.
Hardy sings about how “the cause of death was a lonely, broken heart,” and it absolutely shows off the best of his writing abilities.
“the mockingbird & THE CROW” is a neat peak into the Jekyl and Hyde persona he’s using as a concept for the whole project, and you get some insight into how he feels an internal pull between making the music he was raised on in Mississippi, and exploring the rock side of his personality and the other kinds of music he really loves.
Hardy is truly one of the best and most creative songwriters in Nashville, and I think he’s more than earned the right to make a record like this. He’s certainly pushing boundaries in an industry where that feels harder and harder to do, and I think it’s so cool that he’s putting it out on a major label like Big Loud.
Hardy also noted that believes his second studio album will be his best yet, and I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment purely based on what I’ve heard so far:
“’the mockingbird & THE CROW’ is, in my opinion, the best thing I’ve made so far.
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.”
It already stands to be one of the best projects released in 2023, and if you’re not already on the Hardy bandwagon… I’d certainly start thinking about it.
He’s a breathe of fresh air from a creative standpoint, and the total package in terms of being a songwriter and an artist.
Most importantly, he does it all his way, which is what I love most about him.
A lot of artists talk about being influenced by different genres and types of music, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one go all the way there like this before, and I can’t wait to hear it.
Circle this one on the calendar, y’all.
“the mockingbird & THE CROW”
“here lies country music”
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)