Max McNown Introduces His Upcoming Debut Album ‘Wandering’ with Heartfelt Lead Track “Turned Into Missing You”

Those who are fans of country and Americana have heard plenty of people say that no one is making good music anymore. Max McNown is proof that those people are wrong. His smart songwriting that stems from a young artist’s perspective is both deeply personal and widely relatable. The 22-year-old Oregon native has been making waves on social media for quite some time. Now, he’s introducing himself to a wider audience with “Turned into Missing You” the lead single from his upcoming debut album Wandering.

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McNown has been completely independent throughout his short but illustrious career. He has already seen viral success. His song “A Lot More Free” topped the TikTok Breakthrough USA Chart and garnered more than 6 million streams. “Love I Got Left” peaked at No. 11 on the Instagram Worldwide Sound Chart earlier this year. All of this happened after turning down a singing competition show.

Max McNown Signs with Fugitive Recordings

Now, though, McNown has a team behind him. Today, he announces that he has inked a deal with Fugitive Recordings. Unlike some labels, this one is guaranteed to look out for the young singer/songwriter’s best interests. McNown’s uncle, Brandon Ebel is the head of the label. In an interview with American Songwriter, McNown said, “I love my uncle and there’s no one else I’d rather be doing this with. We’re hoping to change the world in our own unique way.”

Ebel spoke about the partnership with McNown in an exclusive statement to American Songwriter. “Like any family, there’s always someone who wants to be a musician, but Max is the real deal,” Ebel said.  “The resonance of his voice and his incredible work ethic—I was blown away. Max told me he’d been moonlighting as a performer in San Clemente, CA, where he’d bring his guitar to the pier to sing songs for people passing by. I was both laughing and a little in awe that his first ‘gig’ resulted in $100, a few free tacos, and a girl’s phone number,” he added.  

“After that,” Ebel continued, “we began brainstorming the career he had in mind, and I shared my vision for his next steps. Since then, we’ve been working together to launch what I believe will be the career of a very special artist. As an uncle and a fan, I couldn’t be more proud.”

“Turned Into Missing You”

“I wanted to write about that feeling of driving around after a breakup and reliving memories of the person you loved,” McNown shared in a statement. “Blasting music and belting songs with the windows down is a big part of my healing process, but it can definitely hurt sometimes.”

McNown told American Songwriter that the song that triggers that feeling in him is Zac Brown Band’s cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” His ex wasn’t a huge fan of country but that was one song they could agree on. Now, it hurts every time he hears it.

A Look at Max McNown’s Beginnings

McNown told American Songwriter that he never saw himself as a singer. When he tried to sing along with some of his favorite songs, his voice just didn’t sound right to him. Then, a friend of his introduced him to Tyler Childers with “Lady May.” He started singing along to it and everything clicked into place.

Later, after learning to play guitar, he started busking at the pier in San Clemente, California. He worked Childers favorites like “Shake the Frost” and “Lady May” into his sets. Then, a lady named Jamie turned him on to Zach Bryan. He went home and listened to “Get Out Alive” and thought to himself “If he can do it, I can do it.” And so, he did.

He started making waves by getting on Omegle and playing cover songs for the random strangers he came across. He’d post their reactions to his performances to TikTok and watch the clicks roll in. Then, he had an epiphany. He would keep the same formula but play original songs instead.  

Wandering drops on April 12 via Fugitive Recordings. Pre-save the album today.

Featured Image by Benjamin Edwards

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