This is one of those moments when you love being wrong.
Recently while reviewing Drake Milligan’s excellent debut album Dallas/Fort Worth, Saving Country Music claimed that the country music listening public would be responsible for spreading the word about this young man since radio was sure to ignore him. He was just too good, and too country.
Well here I am eating a big ol’ bowl of crow, because not only is Drake Milligan’s blazing country song “Sounds Like Something I’d Do” being serviced to radio, it’s already doing killer on the format that continues to warm to more vintage-sounding country songs, and true country artists.
During its first week of “adds” as they say in the radio business, Drake Milligan’s “Sounds Like Something I’d Do” came in at an impressive #2 in country this week, with 26 official adds according to Mediabase, and 33 total stations showing commitment to the song. It’s still very early on in the process, but this is an extremely positive sign for the neotraditional performer whose riding a wave of momentum after appearing recently on the finals of America’s Got Talent.
“Sounds Like Something I’d Do” first appeared on Drake Milligan’s EP released in 2021, and was also the song he auditioned with on America’s Got Talent. But Drake is no talent show diva, and “Sounds Like Something I’d Do” is not your average radio single. A perfect vehicle to showcase both Drake Milligan’s cool factor and his country roots, it’s got that very hot 90s country vibe behind it as opposed to more of the classical sounds of other Drake Milligan selections, but it’s still very country and twangy.
Though Milligan has a sound and approach that is more indicative of an independent artist, he’s signed to major label BBR’s Stoney Creek Records imprint. That means that he has the muscle to make a big move on radio if they’re behind him, which they appear to be. After his big appearances on America’s Got Talent, the label was at the ready to release his debut record, which included songs and recordings Milligan has been sitting on for years now, waiting for the right time to pounce.
Drake Milligan starred as none other than a young Elvis Presley in the highly-regarded television series Sun Records that aired on CMT in 2017. Written by Hank Williams biographer Collin Escott, it was the best thing CMT had done in years, though it only lasted one season. Drake Milligan was a big part of the show’s critical acclaim and appeal.
Milligan’s origin story is that he saw an Elvis impersonator in a restaurant when he was young, and then all of a sudden was obsessed, emulating Presley in talent shows and such. But soon he started taking music and entertainment more seriously, writing his own songs and developing his own style. Drake co-wrote every one of the 14 songs on his debut album Dallas/Fort Worth.
I may have been wrong about radio warming to Drake Milligan, but I was right about him finally finding his moment. Country music very well may have its next big star, and lucky for all of us, he’s actually country.