Midland’s debut LP On the Rocks introduced the world to their infinitely fun, boot-stompin’ Eighties-country-in-an-Instagram-filter sound two and a half years ago, and their new single finds the trio not planning to leave the honky-tonk anytime soon. “Mr. Lonely” is a mischievous, Texas dancehall-inspired song written by the band (singer Mark Wystrach, guitarist Jess Carson, and bassist Cameron Duddy) in collaboration with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne.
“Mr. Lonely,” complete with a pedal steel solo from Paul Franklin and some boogie guitar, is a tongue-in-cheek ode to embracing the role of being someone’s late-night phone call when their other date went bad. “I’m the number you know by broken heart,” Wystrach sings. “I’m not Mr. Right, but I am Mr. Right now.”
If “Drinkin’ Problem,” their first single, was a woozy ballad for high ABV heartbreak, “Mr. Lonely,” from their upcoming sophomore LP, is its line-dancing, on-the-rebound cousin. And suppose country radio plays it like they have the group’s previous releases. In that case, it will be one of the heavier doses of traditional instrumentation to hit the airwaves in years, where raging rock-inspired guitar solos and canned drums are far more common than Time Jumper Franklin’s steel stylings.
“Working on new material keeps us sane on the road,” Wystrach told Rolling Stone Country last year. “When you’ve been on the road for two years straight, our soundchecks are a daily therapy-slash-rehearsal.”
Midland, who was nominated for Group of the Year and Video of the Year at the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards, will continue their headlining Electric Rodeo Tour through the spring.