Has Spotify Given Up On Fresh Country?

19 May 2023 | 10:29 pm | Staff Writer

Once a staple of the Australian country music scene's Friday mornings, has Spotify given up?

Fresh Country is one of Spotify's key country music playlists and a lifeline for Australian country music artists to get their brand new tracks heard. For years, the playlist was updated with the key tracks release across the country world ever Friday morning, but over the last few months, artists and punters alike have noticed a change as the playlist prioritises "big" tracks rather than new ones. 

A look at the playlist today sees a top 10 tracks that is great, but is it as 'Fresh' as the masthead suggests? Let's have a look at today's list's top 10 and when they were released:

1. Straight And Narrow - Sam Barber - April 12
2. We Grew Up On - James Johnston - April 28
3. You Don't Want That Smoke - Bailey Zimmerman - May 12
4. Country Proud - Taylor Moss - April 14
5. Fast Car - Luke Combs - March 24
6. Penthouse - Kelsea Bellerini - February 14
7. Hey Little Mama - Morgan Evans - April 21
8. Save Me - Jelly Roll - May 11
9. When Summer Rolls Around - Kaylee Bell - April 28
10. Wildfires - Brad Cox & Ian Moss - May 5

So today, May 19, we had a WHOLE bunch of amazing Australian tracks land. Fresh Country chose to profile Darlinghurst at #25 on the playlist and Travis Collins at #22. Brook Chivell was the top new release at #14. 

Meanwhile, the list is full of tracks, some as old as 2019. There are heaps of country playlists on Spotify, but Fresh Country was always the one you could rely on for NEW songs and to be the starting point for profile on new country artists. 

They'd never say it themselves, so we'll say it for them. 

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What happens to the great songs today released by Josh Setterfield, Gretta Ziller, Christie Lamb, Ashleigh Dallas and more? We get it... there may not be hundreds of Australian country songs every week, but there's more than the three that Spotify chose to platform this week on their flaghship new music playlist. 

It's bloody tough as Australian musicians to break through and if you don't get playlisted in your first week, it can be the difference between a couple of thousand streams and a couple of hundred thousand. That's real money in the pockets of artists that need it. Fresh Country does a great job of platforming Australian artists, with James Johnston on the cover this week and plenty of Australians in the list, but let's consider the 'Fresh' bit. We Grew Up On came out three weeks ago. And there's multiple international hits still in Fresh Country that are months and even years old. We have Country Hits, Country Party, Country Chill, Breakout Country, New Boots. Maybe the songs that are doing well could move into these bigger playlists making room to road test some new ones? 

We've taken the liberty of adding some of the key Aussie tracks to the top of our Hot Country Hits playlist so you can judge for yourself.