Ashley Cooke Surprises Crowd With Colbie Caillat, Marks Debut Album Release


Ashley Cooke’s long-awaited debut album has finally arrived.

The rising country star delivered her 24-track project on Friday (July 21), and revealed snippets of some of the songs during her exclusive iHeartCountry Album Preview Party hosted by iHeartRadio's Brooke Taylor in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Cooke shared stories behind her music and shared sneak peek recordings and live performances hours before shot in the dark’s debut.

Cooke said her first-ever full-length studio album “has been a long time in the making and I cannot believe this day is finally here,” she wrote in an Instagram caption. “Thank you to every person who had a hand in this project and to the incredible artists/friends who agreed to feature on it.. it takes a village. I truly hope you love it anddd if you need me I’ll be blaring all 24 songs from the Jeep with all windows down trying to process what’s happening.”

“I've waited my whole life to release my debut album – growing up with this dream and finally getting to see it come to reality is something I can barely believe,” Cooke reflected. “It's not lost on me I'm getting to share my diary with fans during a pivotal time in my life when I'm living out so many emotions and firsts every single day, and that's what's reflected in these 24 songs. The coolest part is that I'll have this time capsule for the rest of my life and I hope listeners get transported to those specific moments and feelings in their own lives, too.”

The 24-track album includes four star-studded collaborations, including with “Whiskey On You” star Nate Smith, award-winning singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat, “Don’t Come Lookin’” artist Jackson Dean and her recent tour mate Brett Young. Cooke surprised the intimate iHeartCountry Album Preview Party crowd with Caillat, who joined her on stage for a live performance of the pair’s previously-released duet, “mean girl.”


1. “tastes like” (Ashley Cooke, Jordan Minton, Emily Weisband, Corey Crowder)

2. “it's been a year” (Ashley Cooke, Will Weatherly, Brett Tyler)

3. “see you around (feat. Nate Smith)" (Ashley Cooke, Brett Tyler, Will Bundy)

4. “shot in the dark” (Ashley Cooke, Jordan Minton, Emily Weisband, Corey Crowder)

5. “moving on with grace” (Ashley Cooke, Rocky Block, Jake Mitchell)

6. “getting into” (Ashley Cooke, Emily Weisband, Will Weatherly)

7. “enough to leave” (Ashley Cooke, Matt Roy, Lauren Weintraub)

8. “i almost do” (Ashley Cooke, Trevor Rosen, Josh Osborne)

9. “mean girl (feat. Colbie Caillat)" (Ashley Cooke, Colbie Caillat, Nicolle Galyon, Jimmy


10. “running back” (Ashley Cooke, Emily Weisband, Will Weatherly)

11. “good thing going” (Ashley Cooke, Matt Dragstrem, Brett Tyler, Geoff Warburton)

12.” next to you” (Ashley Cooke)

13. “good to be back” (Ashley Cooke, Hunter Phelps, Jameson Rodgers, Alysa Vanderheym)

14. “what are you on fire about (feat. Jackson Dean)" (Lainey Wilson, Jason Nix, Luke Dick)

15. “say no more” (Devin Dawson, Donovan Woods, Travis Wood)

16. “tryin' to love you” (Ashley Cooke, Hillary Lindsey, Chase McGill, Jimmy Robbins)

17. “back in the saddle” (Josh Kerr, Jordan Reynolds, Jordan Minton)

18. “your place” (Ashley Cooke, Jordan Minton, Mark Trussell)

19. “dirt on 'em” (Ashley Cooke, Jessi Alexander, Aysa Vanderheym)

20. “build a bridge” (Sasha Sloan, Ryan Hurd, Geoff Warburton, Henry Agincourt Allen)

21. “get you” (Ashley Cooke, Jacob Durrett, John Byron)

22. “never til now” (Ashley Cooke, Matt Roy)

23. “gonna get” (Ashley Cooke, Sasha Sloan, Blake Pendergrass, David Garcia)

24. “state i'm in” (Ashley Cooke, Emily Weisband, Jordan Reynolds)

Cooke shared at the preview party that she’s been a longtime fan of Caillat’s, so she was “so excited” to get to write a song together, “and hopefully create something really special.” The finished duet turned out to be a “totally different idea” than what Cooke initially had in mind. It turned out to be a “warning” message to an ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend: “This ain't me bein' mean, girl/ I just hate to see a good heart hangin' on a string, girl/ It sure looks a lot like love, but what you don't see, girl/ Is all those cards slid so far up his sleeve, girl/ When he says you're the only one, take it from me/ Yeah, it's just another thing that he doesn't mean, girl/ Oh, that he doesn't mean, girl.”

Cooke was “freaking out in the best way” leading up to her debut album’s release after years in the making. She previewed snippets of “Moving On With Grace,” “Build A Bridge,” “I Almost Do” and other tracks listeners will now hear on the full-length project. Cooke is one of several special guests to join Luke Bryan’s ongoing “Country On Tour,” marking a full-circle moment (and even joining him on his 2015 duet with Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, “Home Alone Tonight,” during shows). Cooke remembered seeing Bryan perform live for the first time at her hometown amphitheater in South Florida, her first country concert around age 14 or 15, she said. Though it began to downpour, she had the “best night ever” on the lawn, and became “obsessed” with Bryan’s skill as a performer. She remembered that “the whole entire amphitheater felt like it was in the palm of his hands.”

“The last year of my life has been crazy and wonderful in so many ways, but I think the next year might be even better…” Cooke said as she announced her album’s release date at the Grand Ole Opry last month. “It's been full of bucket list moments for me… I made my Opry debut, signed my first deals, went on tours with my heroes, and lived a lot of life in the moments in between. This album is about all of that — and it's about the magic that can come if you really take risks in life and love. It's a huge honor to announce my debut album at a place that means so much to me. So, without further ado on July 21st, I'll release my first album shot in the dark, and I can't wait for each of you to hear it. Thank you to everyone who helped get me here, and thank you for making me feel so safe to take a shot in the dark.”

Find Cooke’s full shot in the dark album on iHeartRadio here, and listen to a few of the tracks below.

“See You Around,” feat. Nate Smith