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New ‘Bonfire’ Playlist on Amazon Music Highlights Zach Bryan, Kacey Musgraves, Noah Kahan & More ‘Storytellers’

As introspective, guitar-based songs from artists including Noah Kahan, Zach Bryan and Kacey Musgraves continue proliferating streaming consumption and music charts, Amazon Music aims to capture this cultural surge with its newly launched playlist Bonfire, which started globally on Friday (April 12).

The playlist will launch with more than 50 songs, focusing more on mood than genre and capturing a cross-section of artists such as Mumford & Sons, Bryan, Dylan Gossett, Boygenius, Kahan, Musgraves, Lizzy McAlpine and more.

“This is a huge movement,” Emily Cohen, country programming lead for Amazon Music, tells Billboard. “We’ve seen storytellers bubble up and connect with our listeners, artists like Zach Bryan and Hozier. For us, we see what customers are into and double down on what they love. We felt it needed to be in one place where people could listen to these artists together. It’s creating a true collection of ‘Bonfire’ songs. Artists don’t want to be put in a box or be defined, so it’s an amalgamation of country, alternative and indie-folk that is bubbling up.”

Among the songs initially part of the playlist are Bryan’s “Something in the Orange,” Kahan’s “Stick Season,” Musgraves’ “Deeper Well,” Hozier’s “Too Sweet,” The Red Clay Strays’ “Wondering Why,” Lord Huron’s “The Night We Met,” Black Pumas’ “More Than a Love Song,” and the Joy Oladokun/Chris Stapleton collaboration “Sweet Symphony.”

“Listening to this, it is elemental and outdoorsy in its vibe,” Cohen says. “They are all sonically connected. I think a unique thread through all of these artists is they are authentic. You know who they are through their songwriting and fans react to that.”

The playlist is highlighted by Big Loud Records artist Charles Wesley Godwin’s new Amazon Music Original cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. Godwin released his latest album, Family Ties, last year.

Amazon Music

“I believe Gordon to have been one of the greatest songwriters of our time and felt this opportunity with Amazon Music was perfect to shine a light on one of his most popular songs a little over 50 years after its original release date,” Godwin said via a statement. “Hopefully, through this version that me and the guys recorded, a new generation of music listeners can be introduced to Gordon’s music and become fans of his themselves.”

Godwin is set to debut his rendition of the song when he performs at the annual Stagecoach Festival on Sunday, April 28. Music fans can watch the performance as the festival will be livestreamed on the Amazon Music channel on Twitch and Prime Video. The Morgantown, West Virginia, native will open shows for Luke Combs’ stadium tour in 2024. In addition to Stagecoach, Godwin will perform at festivals including Bourbon and Beyond, as well as Bonnaroo.

“He’s an incredible songwriter,” Cohen says. “He’s such a powerhouse. He’s becoming his own version of Bruce Springsteen onstage, rock and country—he’s an embodiment of what we’re trying to achieve with this playlist.”

“It’s such an honor to be included in a playlist like this with so many amazing artists,” Godwin added in a statement. “Keeping company like this is all I ever could have wished for when I set out on this path of music. ‘bonfire’ is so fitting for those special moments in life when we’re enjoying the company of our friends and family.”

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