Laine Hardy surprised fans with two new songs on Friday, April 10, releasing "Ground I Grew Up On" and "Let There Be Country," his first new music since his American Idol coronation song, "Flame." Both new songs are traditional country-leaning odes to the South, and Hardy explained that relates to every one of the words he's singing, just like he hopes his listeners will.
"I want my fans to really hear the songs and know that I'm just a down to earth person and I'm just like anybody else," the 19-year-old told PopCulture.com. "These songs have a sound of traditional country with some rock in it. 'Let There Be Country' has some rock, and 'Ground I Grew Up On' is more of a traditional country, and it's a simple, simple song."
Hardy shared that he especially relates to "Ground I Grew Up On," which finds Hardy hoping to share his hometown and the memories he made there with someone new. Hardy himself grew up in Louisiana, spending his childhood outside. "That song, when I listen to it, I think of some memories I have growing up," he said. "Like running across the driveway barefooted on limestone and just getting callouses on the bottom of my feet, climbing trees, playing hide and seek at night, and accidentally setting woods on fire."
"I don't recommend doing that, that was a accident," he clarified with a laugh, adding, "We were mostly outside growing up and that's what I think of, just the dirt and stuff, getting muddy and riding four-wheelers." Hardy also released the music video for "Ground I Grew Up On" on Friday, which was filmed in the Louisiana bayou.
"What I love most about this music video is, it is spot on what I love to do and how I grew up, hanging with all my buddies on the river and just having a good time!" Hardy said in a statement. "I hope that it helps people in Louisiana and the whole country in this crazy time we're all going through together. Hope it reminds people of the fun we will be having again soon."
Hardy, who won Season 17 of American Idol in 2019, is supporting his new releases with a virtual tour stopping at over 15 online destinations in April and May. "I'm really excited about being able to do this virtual tour thing because since we can't go out on the road right now it's what we got to do," he said. "I mean, we got to work with what we got, and if there's any way I could connect with my fans, I'm open to it."