Why John King’s “I Still Pick Up” is a Knockout

Writers: John King, Paul DiGiovanni, Jamie Paulin

John King, one of the most underrated new artists, has finally dropped new music– and we’re really digging it. After parting from Black River Entertainment (home to flagship artist Kelsea Ballerini, Craig Morgan, and Jacob Davis), King is back with a new single and boy has he kept us waiting for it! (His last tune dropped in 2015)

This song, while not straying from what you hear on country radio today, is a standout. Infectious melodies, a great story, and strong vocals are what sets “I Still Pick Up” as a great contemporary-leaning/pop-country song. 

The idea of how we succumb to the vices we know do more ill than good to us (in the long run, at least) is what resonated with King right from the get-go at their writing session. 

“Paul DiGiovanni and I actually got the idea when Jamie Paulin, our other co-writer, came in with a past personal story. It got us all thinking that so many people have those magnetic relationships, where even if they are bad for one another they keep coming back. It’s such a simple idea- you still call and I still pick up.”

The narrative of this story is what most of us can relate to. No doubt about that. We all have that one vice/person/thing we turn to for that temporary comfort, high and euphoria. And in this case, it’s a relationship the persona knows he shouldn’t be turning to over and over again because it does no good to both him and the lady in question.

“It’s over until night comes knocking, there’s not stopping the fact that you want me and I want you”

King sings passionately as trouble ensues and the broken-up couple fall back into each other’s arms, perhaps just for a night, or two (or three). 

“The line that makes the song for me is ‘lonely feels a lot like love’. It’s so true for me and everyone, I think…Sometimes, we reach out for any vice we can place when we’re lonely to replace that void we feel. I think that’s what makes this song so identifiable.”

Not only is it identifiable but with a catchy pop-leaning production that augments tangibility of this undeniably strong desire, this song sounds like a sure hit to us! 

There is no reason why “I Still Pick Up” doesn’t help King garner more attention and spotlight as a new country act. While he’s currently without a label backing (which can hurt chances at terrestrial radio airplay), King signed with Narvel Blackstock’s Starstruck Management. So, the sky’s the limit to where his team can take both King and this single. 

3 Chords & The Truth: 4/5

Author: Jeremy Chua

Jesus. Country Music Listener & Music Biz Aficionado. Romans 12:12. ‬I'm currently contributing my pieces from Singapore- which is 9,495 miles away! Talk to me about country music, radio, charts; all the politics behind getting a song played!

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