“shot in the dark” MUSIC VIDEO PREMIERES EXCLUSIVELY ON PARAMOUNT TIMES SQUARE BILLBOARD, CMT, CMT MUSIC, AND CMT.COM
“see you around (feat. Nate Smith)” MUSIC VIDEO ALSO AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE TODAY
shot in the dark Album Art | Courtesy of Big Loud Records / Back Blocks Music | Download here
NASHVILLE, TENN. – Big Loud’s country songstress, Ashley Cooke, reaches a milestone moment as she releases her long-awaited debut album, shot in the dark. The album, available everywhere today, features a carefully crafted 24-song collection – marking the longest debut from a female country artist to date. Credited as a writer on 20 tracks, shot in the dark showcases the pages of her journal laid bare for all to see. With its sun-kissed melodies and genuine lyrics, the collection stands as a testament to the roller coaster of life, inviting listeners to come along for the ride to experience each raw and relatable moment.
Cooke celebrates the album’s release with a world premiere of the album’s title track “shot in the dark” on CMT Hot 20 Countdown and Paramount Times Square billboards everywhere today (7/21). The “shot in the dark” music video directed by Jay Curtis Miller and Caleb Donato is now running on CMT, CMT Music and CMT.com, and brings to life the magical feeling of taking a chance and finding love in your hometown.
“I’ve waited my whole life to release my debut album – growing up with this dream and finally getting to see it come to reality is something I can barely believe,” reflects Cooke. “It’s not lost on me I’m getting to share my diary with fans during a pivotal time in my life when I’m living out so many emotions & firsts every single day, and that’s what’s reflected in these 24 songs. The coolest part is that I’ll have this time capsule for the rest of my life and I hope listeners get transported to those specific moments and feelings in their own lives, too.”
Opening up the album and setting its complex tone is “tastes like,” a flavorful introduction that surprises listeners with an unexpected lyrical flip where the taste of whiskey becomes a stinging reminder of a former flame. Track three finds the long-awaited collaboration between Cooke and Nate Smith with “see you around.” Co-written by Cooke, Brett Tyler and Will Bundy, the emotion-filled track features Cooke’s effortless vocal beauty blending with Smith’s velvety grit, reflecting the haunting presence of a past relationship. The accompanying music video directed by Justin Clough portrays the duo meeting at a crossroads, evoking nostalgia and heartbreak as their powerful vocals intertwine. “moving on with grace,” is the album’s quintessential comeback anthem as Cooke reclaims her independence with witty wordplay. Embracing her rebellious side, she hits the bar and turns to a trusted bottle of Jack Daniels, crafting a liquor-soaked track with an infectious chorus and energetic bridge.
Also featured on the new album is Cooke’s self-written track “next to you,” written the day after her bucket list Grand Ole Opry debut, and finds Cooke reflecting on how true fulfillment is not in achievements, but instead sharing those moments with the people we hold dear. Another collaboration is seen on track 14, with “what are you on fire about (feat. Jackson Dean)” co-written by Lainey Wilson. The track highlights the fiery duo’s vocals through the push and pull of a complicated relationship in turmoil.
“your place” and “enough to leave” have been sitting with fans for the past two weeks as a sneak peek into the raw relatability of the debut album. “your place,” accompanied by a captivating music video, serves as the self-empowerment anthem of setting boundaries through Cooke’s commanding vocals as she reclaims her position of power in the relationship. On the flip side of heartbreak, the poignant track “enough to leave”explores the difficult decision to walk away from a relationship, inspired by sage advice from her mother, and accompanied by a compelling music video. Another immediate favorite by fans was Cooke’s heartfelt duet with Colbie Caillat, “mean girl,” that Country Central notes it’s “the honest songwriting and the pairs’ melodic harmonies that truly make this track stand out.”
As the July 2023 Billboard Rookie of the Month continues another robust year of touring that has included her first overseas performance at C2C, tours with Cole Swindell, Jordan Davis and Brett Young, Cooke’s support slot on country megastar Luke Bryan’s Country On Tour is underway. On Aug. 23, Cooke will launch her first-ever headlining tour, shot in the dark Tour, in her home state of Florida in Panama City with rising acts Matt Schuster and Vincent Mason. Stay up to date with the latest news and more exciting announcements by visiting ashleycooke.com and following along on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok @theashleycooke.
CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR SHOT IN THE DARK:
“Cooke deftly mixes stories of love, heartbreak and lessons learned along the way, and showcases a range of sonic styles — all underpinned by her powerful but accessible vocals.” – Billboard
“shot in the dark showcases Cooke’s musical flexibility and the spread and scope of sounds and styles currently in the genre.” – The Tennessean
“A thoroughly engaging listen…one of the best this year…a finite collection of heartfelt ballads and gratifyingly relatable pay-offs that immediately cements Cooke as a one of the genre’s most engaging new acts” – Holler.
“anchored by Cooke’s smoky timbre and reflective writing approach” – Billboard
“From gut-wrenching heartbreak ballads to empowering spells of freedom to self-reflecting anthems, and everything in between, Ashley Cooke’s songs evoke a sense of relatability for fans.” – Country Now
shot in the dark TRACKLIST
ABOUT ASHLEY COOKE
With Big Loud / Back Blocks Music country artist Ashley Cooke, it’s best to know what you’re getting into – because this emerging star is the definition of more than meets the eye. A graceful exterior matched by a casual-cool nature. Skillfully crafted lyrics and a knack for unforgettable performance. Effortless vocal beauty and a bold sense of internal grit, freely mixing it up with the boys while she rallies the girls. And most important, a passion for capturing the magic between heartbeats, each moment as unique as she is. Still early in her journey, being herself has already served Cooke well. It has led to over 200M global streams with chart climbing hits like “Never Til Now” with Brett Young, Ryman and Grand Ole Opry debuts, national TV appearances on ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” tours with Cole Swindell, Luke Bryan and more.
Hailing from Parkland, Fla. and moved by emotional hit makers like Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Kelly Clarkson and more, Cooke embraces the energy of pop and depth of country, writing her first song by age 11. Cooke moved to Nashville at 18 and attended the prestigious Belmont University – but unlike so many others, she did not study music. After entering the schools revered Country Showcase on a whim and winning, Cooke decided to pursue music for a year. When the pandemic had other plans, Cooke went to TikTok where she built a thriving fanbase, writing and sharing country music on her own terms.
And now, the next chapter begins with her debut album shot in the dark. Unfolding as if they were ripped from pages of her personal journal, Cooke’s sun-kissed blend of two-lane pop country is on full display in the collection’s 24 tracks, inspired by true tales of love, heartbreak and all the moments in between. Fully capturing the essence of a daring twenty-something growing up, chasing her dreams and taking risks, Cooke infuses heartfelt lyrics, captivating melodies and raw relatability as she invites listeners to come along for the ride.
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Ashley Cooke | Image by Robby Klein | Download here