July 21, 2023



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shot in the dark Album Art | Courtesy of Big Loud Records / Back Blocks Music | Download here 

NASHVILLE, TENN. –  Big Loud’s country songstress, Ashley Cooke, reaches a milestone moment as she releases her long-awaited debut album, shot in the dark. The album, available everywhere today, features a carefully crafted 24-song collection – marking the longest debut from a female country artist to date. Credited as a writer on 20 tracks, shot in the dark showcases the pages of her journal laid bare for all to see. With its sun-kissed melodies and genuine lyrics, the collection stands as a testament to the roller coaster of life, inviting listeners to come along for the ride to experience each raw and relatable moment.


Cooke celebrates the album’s release with a world premiere of the album’s title track “shot in the dark” on CMT Hot 20 Countdown and Paramount Times Square billboards everywhere today (7/21). The “shot in the dark” music video directed by Jay Curtis Miller and Caleb Donato is now running onCMT, CMT Music and CMT.com, and brings to life the magical feeling of taking a chance and finding love in your hometown.

“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,” reflects Cooke. “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 & 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.”

Opening up the album and setting its complex tone is “tastes like,” a flavorful introduction that surprises listeners with an unexpected lyrical flip where the taste of whiskey becomes a stinging reminder of a former flame. Track three finds the long-awaited collaboration between Cooke and Nate Smith with “see you around.” Co-written by Cooke, Brett Tyler and Will Bundy, the emotion-filled track features Cooke’s effortless vocal beauty blending with Smith’s velvety grit, reflecting the haunting presence of a past relationship. The accompanying music video directed by Justin Clough portrays the duo meeting at a crossroads, evoking nostalgia and heartbreak as their powerful vocals intertwine. “moving on with grace,” is the album’s quintessential comeback anthem as Cooke reclaims her independence with witty wordplay. Embracing her rebellious side, she hits the bar and turns to a trusted bottle of Jack Daniels, crafting a liquor-soaked track with an infectious chorus and energetic bridge.

Also featured on the new album is Cooke’s self-written track “next to you,” written the day after her bucket list Grand Ole Opry debut, and finds Cooke reflecting on how true fulfillment is not in achievements, but instead sharing those moments with the people we hold dear. Another collaboration is seen on track 14, with “what are you on fire about (feat. Jackson Dean)” co-written by Lainey Wilson. The track highlights the fiery duo’s vocals through the push and pull of a complicated relationship in turmoil.

“your place” and “enough to leave” have been sitting with fans for the past two weeks as a sneak peek into the raw relatability of the debut album. “your place,” accompanied by a captivating music video, serves as the self-empowerment anthem of setting boundaries through Cooke’s commanding vocals as she reclaims her position of power in the relationship. On the flip side of heartbreak, the poignant track “enough to leave”explores the difficult decision to walk away from a relationship, inspired by sage advice from her mother, and accompanied by a compelling music video. Another immediate favorite by fans was Cooke’s heartfelt duet with Colbie Caillat, “mean girl,” that Country Central notes it’s “the honest songwriting and the pairs’ melodic harmonies that truly make this track stand out.”

As the July 2023 Billboard Rookie of the Month continues another robust year of touring that has included her first overseas performance at C2C, tours with Cole Swindell, Jordan Davis and Brett Young, Cooke’s support slot on country megastar Luke Bryan’s Country OnTour is underway. On Aug. 23, Cooke will launch her first-ever headlining tour, shot in the darkTour, in her home state of Florida in Panama City with rising acts Matt Schuster and Vincent Mason. Stay up to date with the latest news and more exciting announcements by visiting ashleycooke.com and following along on InstagramYouTube and TikTok @theashleycooke.


“Cooke deftly mixes stories of love, heartbreak and lessons learned along the way, and showcases a range of sonic styles — all underpinned by her powerful but accessible vocals.” – Billboard

shot in the dark showcases Cooke’s musical flexibility and the spread and scope of sounds and styles currently in the genre.” – The Tennessean

“A thoroughly engaging listen…one of the best this year…a finite collection of heartfelt ballads and gratifyingly relatable pay-offs that immediately cements Cooke as a one of the genre’s most engaging new acts” – Holler.

“anchored by Cooke’s smoky timbre and reflective writing approach” – Billboard

“From gut-wrenching heartbreak ballads to empowering spells of freedom to self-reflecting anthems, and everything in between, Ashley Cooke’s songs evoke a sense of relatability for fans.” – Country Now

shot in the dark TRACKLIST

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 Robbins)

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” (feat. Brett Young) (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)