Kris Allen – “Love in a Small Town” – Listen to a Preview (AUDIO)

Kris Allen has just begun recording his 3rd studio album in Nashville this week. But the American Idol season 8 winner has also been working on some side projects, including co-writting “Love in a Small Town” with fellow Arkansas native, and actress, Mary Steenburgen

The tune, and a few others he wrote, are for the indie movie, Valley Inn, coming out in the spring.

The song won’t be available until closer to the release date, but you can listen to a 60 second of the romantic tune right here.

What do you think of “Love in a Small Town”?

Read More:

Kris Allen Teams Up With Award Winning Producer for Next Album

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted.I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!
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  • Incipit

    mj, that imbedded snippet doesn’t have an “On” button – but I picked up the one from tripp_ncwy’s post – and I really like the lyrics, from what I heard of them. Hard to say much more, Snippets being Evil and all – but Kris sounds good here, IMO.

  • tripp_ncwy

    It played for me. You just can’t see the button but it is there.

  • Patrick Tang

    It’s a very mellow, but pretty song. But I prefer the more upbeat, funky Kris (BWY, MW, LLWD).

  • nncw

    I really like it – has a classic love song vibe to it – and I want to hear more!

  • iani

    I like the song from the pretty long snippet, it fits perfectly Kris’ voice I think.

    Reading more comments here, I can’t hear the country in, more like a bluesy-folk song to my ear, but I might be wrong.

  • justmefornow

    Sounds a little country to me. Is the movie country themed? His voice sounds very nice.

  • Miz

    Kris Allen has a knack for writing lyrics and melodies that you pick up immediately and start singing along with. I’d like to hear the full song but from what I hear so far this sounds like it could be a hit on country as well as pop radio.

  • Miz

    The movie centers around a diner and the people in a small Arkansas town. So yeah, it’s a little bit country :) This song was written for a scene at a swimming hole according to the movie’s website.

  • Miz

    I couldn’t get it to play for me either. I listened at the movie’s site.

  • tripp_ncwy

    Here is a little information about how the song came to be from the producer/director.

    Hello again to our wonderful supporters, we hope you’re enjoying the beautiful autumn weather. Remember that update last month from Jody, our production supervisor, promising some exciting music news about Valley Inn? Well…I am so happy to announce to you, our supporters, first that I’ve had the wonderful pleasure of working with Oscar winning actress, songwriter and Arkansas native, Mary Steenburgen, on music ideas for Valley Inn. That’s right! Not only is Mary an amazingly talented actress, she’s also been an accomplished song-writer for the past 7 years; co-writing monthly in Nashville with the music industry’s top award-winning songwriters.

    After brainstorming Valley Inn scenes that most beg for the right original song to help tell the story and sharing, as inspiration, existing songs I felt best fit those scenes; Mary teamed up with another amazing Arkansas music talent, Kris Allen (winner of American Idol in 2009) to co-write “Love in a Small Town.”

    I couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect song for our “swimming hole” scene, when our two young leads spend a day at the river getting to know each other. Kris sings and plays “Small Town” beautifully and we feel like, not only do we have an amazing original song for Valley Inn, but they have a future pop hit on their hands. I’ve attached an audio excerpt of this little musical gem that has only been heard by about six people until now so you can hear a sneak-peek (sneak-listen, rather) before it’s made public. I hope you enjoy the song YOU made happen! Let us know what you think….

    Love in a Small Town

    If the file doesn’t open for some reason (such as the fact that I’m not good with computers) please let us know and I will email it to everyone. And you can expect more sneak-previews to come. We already have 2 additional gorgeous original songs by Arkansas musicians and are talking with more Arkansas talent about remaining music.

    I can’t thank you enough for believing in us!

    Kim Swink

  • esther macha

    That is so good.

  • mjsbigblog

    Click the bar on the left.

  • washpd

    I love the snippet! I really can’t wait to hear the full song!

  • Incipit

    I clicked all over the bar, but I must have been just missing the magic spot – after I went back and clicked more closely, I was able to make it work.

  • bscfan

    It’s not my style of music, but Kris sounds great, very expressive.

  • jan

    Very nice – Kris continues to impress.

  • bridgette12

    I think Kris need better material, the song just goes nowhere

  • Mel432

    Kris usually sounds “country” to me, but I do like this. What a great opportunity for him.

  • CanadianLady

    Sounds good to me. Having said that, a random thought – my favourite Kris song is Red Guitar. I love it!

  • dy

    I already posted in the other thread but I love it. Can’t wait to get the whole thing!

  • mtlfan2

    it’s cute! I think it fits perfectly the romantic scene it was intended for

  • Porfivor Nixon

    Some tough love here: Kris has potential but is never going to make it spending his time writing cliched generic love songs that a thousand other people are doing as well- I mean, you have a platform here, write about something substantial, something different that others aren’t doing, otherwise you’re just a face in a huge crowd and you can’t really expect to get ahead. I mean, really, c’,mon! You’re wasting your talent with these formula songs.

  • Incipit

    Heh. OK. The part where Kris was commissioned to write for the soundtrack of a movie, instead of those “thousand other people”, and you know, ‘paid’ and gets ‘royalties’ because his song is what they wanted for those particular scenes – and now he has another Revenue Stream – where does that come in?

  • nyc57

    Since we only heard a snippet,we can’t know where the song will go.

  • nyc57

    This song was written for a specific scene for a specific movie.Wait to his album comes out before you judge what he is doing musically.

  • Valarie

    I really like it. Kris is so good at conveying emotions with his voice.

  • nyc57

    I love it.I think it will fit perfectly with the vibe of the movie.Very sweet and catchy.

  • MissMyEm

    The snippet was the first thing I saw and heard when I signed on this morning. I have to say I think it sounds great. I love those falsetto “oohs”. I am beyond thrilled and happy for Kris.

  • Sicola789

    Will it be a hallmark movie? It almost sounds like it could be a plot for a hallmark channel movie.

  • MissMyEm

    Commissioned by Mary Steenburgin to co write with her for this particular movie. Not sure a thousand others were asked.

  • MissMyEm

    It played for me but I had to click it a few times.

  • Incipit

    No, Sicola789, as far as I can discover, “Valley Inn” is not a Made for TV Movie – it’s an Independant Feature Film that used Crowdsourcing to fund the production, and had original plans “…of showcasing Valley Inn at film festivals around the country (e.g., Sundance in Park City, Utah, SXSW in Austin, Texas and The Little Rock Film Festival in Arkansas), which is crucial for the success of an independent film with our budget.”

    From their website HERE, which contains a ton of details about the funding, plans and production.

    They raised $26,500, surpassing their $25,000 goal.

  • bridgette12

    I agree, it’s not a good song, even if it was written for a movie. Hopefully his album will be better than this song.

  • bridgette12

    If the snippet is any clue, it won’t go far.

  • Eileen99

    I like it. From the description of the movie, it seems like it will fit right in with the sweet, innocent tone of the plot.

  • Miz

    From the ‘what the donors get’ on their site, it appears the movie will premier in Arkansas and NY. I can’t quite figure out if that will be in March or September though since both months are mentioned.

  • tripp_ncwy

    IMDb has the released date as 5/9/2014

  • Miz

    What part of this being for a specific scene in a movie and the vibe and direction the director wanted don’t you get?

    Just curious.

  • Miz

    Thanks tripp. Last time I had been to IMDB I don’t think there was a solid date for release.

  • Miz

    I had to try a couple other browsers and finally got it to play after much hovering.

  • HopeForMusic

    You sound so decisive on that! lol The guys at the Record Labels need your kind of prophetic ability. lol just kidding!

  • HopeForMusic

    This is very much Kris IMO. Kris has shown what he can do as a singer, and as an impressive young songwriter. I think this song sounds perfect for it’s intended purpose, and I can almost feel myself there, although I’m too old for swimming holes. lol But isn’t that one of the purposes of a good song…it’s ability to take you somewhere else, and Summer and swimming holes sound pretty darned amazing to me right now after the weather we’ve been having. Anyway, I know what Kris can do, and I think that he has done an excellent job here.
    Okay, am I an overinvested fan if I say I just love how his voice drops into such softness on the word “cake”? lol

  • bridgette12

    It’s just bland and if Kris wants to be signed to a record label, he hopefully won’t offer up this as proof of his talent.

  • MissMyEm

    I remember seeing the date on IMDB.

  • MissMyEm

    How do you know he’s not signed? Just curious.

  • Pippygirl

    I’m not a songwriter, but I would think they would have to write the song so that it would fit the scene in the movie in which the song is being used.
    I don’t think this song necessarily gives us any idea of the kind of songs that will be on Kris’ album.

  • thirdtime

    Kris’ voice always sounds great to me. The song is a little sleepy, but perfect for a movie though. I like it.

  • elliegrll

    I’m not crazy about the clip, but this the tough love might fall a little flat, since the producers decided to use the song in the movie. No one is forcing them to do that, so they must think that it fits the movie and scene.

  • bridgette12

    Because neither he or any label has made an announcement that he has been signed.

  • tripp_ncwy

    This was a side project. Since Kris was able to secure Charlie Peacock to produce his 3rd album, he must have seen something in the songs Kris submitted to him to be impressed enough to sign on to the project.

  • bridgette12

    I don’t know this Charlie Peacock and I don’t know what he has seen of Kris work. All I know is that this is not much of a song. I’m not saying Kris can’t sing or can’t write, because he can do both. But this song is bland.

  • tripp_ncwy

    Thanks for your opinion. Since the writer/producer/director of the movie feels otherwise, I can only say they got what they wanted bland or not does not matter. It fit what they needed to move the story along in the film so kudos to them for getting exactly what they contracted for.

  • bridgette12

    If this is an example of what this movie want, I’m sure that the movie will be as successful as this song.

  • nyc57

    None of us have any idea what the sound of his new album will be.As i said before,you can’t tell by a song written for a movie.

  • elliegrll

    Nope, we can’t judge by this snippet. We can’t even tell what the whole song will sound like, since what we just have a small sample, but this sample isn’t far from some of the new songs that Kris has performed, the arrangements that Kris has given some of the songs that he’s covered over the last year, or the songs that he seems to favour from TYC.

  • Pippygirl

    The songs Kris has consistently played from TYC are BWY, Monster, Out Alive and I think My Weakness. None of these are anything like this snippet. The only one that does remind me of it is TMHLG which is on the sleepy side imo.

    I think we will have a much better idea of the new album’s direction in February, when Kris has said he will be playing some of the new songs that haven’t yet been heard.

  • krismicklin

    I am so excited for Kris! I love this snippet and of course his voice. Can’t wait for this movie to come out and for his new album!

  • DragonFly

    So far so good—-need more of it first to tell.,

  • MargieIdol

    Very happy with what I’ve heard so far. Would love to hear the whole thing. Kris is especially good with the bridges in his songs so I’m looking forward to hearing the full song.

  • MargieIdol

    deleted duplicate post

  • vtu

    Meh. It’s all a matter of personal preference. One person’s “bland” is another person’s “mellow.” I have playlists for mellow music and I have playlists for peppy music, and it wouldn’t bother me one bit if most of my Kris songs were on one list or the other. All I care about is that I enjoy the music, and with the stuff Kris writes, that’s almost always the case.

  • Lyn01

    Love the snippet! As much as I can tell from a brief scene description and a bit of a song, seems like just the right fit. Sweet and lighthearted. Eager to hear the rest :)

  • sue

    Love it, Kris is such a great writer.

  • S.G.

    This s fabulous..I was so excited hearing this amazing snippet of what I think is. Hit love song, and Kris’s voice is just pure love and warmth, so excited for the future! <3

  • snappp

    I get excited when I hear new music, even if it’s a song catering to a scene for an indie film. He sounds great :) What I’m most excited about is the album. This will be interesting, because without the use of his wrist for most of 2013 – he was forced to write some of the songs in another way. It also pushed him to be even better frontman in live shows. So I’m just excited how it all will come out.

  • Miz

    Don’t forget ‘Paul Simon’ which is the only song we have heard that hopefully will be on the new album. Far from sleepy and one of my favorite Kris songs.

  • Indigobunting

    This song sounds exactly like what it is made for-a quirky indie movie love scene.
    Kris sounds good and the song is simple and sweet- will be perfect for a movie scene. Nothing amazing, but just right for its purpose.

    I thought Kris was boring and didn’t enjoy him on Idol or album #1, but after buying his second album for $1 last Christmas on Amazon I have gained a lot of respect for him as a songwriter/singer. Thank You Camelia is a great album-I was shocked how much I instantly liked it and his and P2’s are now the albums I listen to the most out of my Idol alum music.

  • girlygirl

    To me, the snippet appears to be the chorus and possibly the prechorus. It’s generally the verses that determne if a song is going to go anywhere, so IMO, it’s too soon to say that about this song.

    This song isn’t meant to showcase’s Kris’ direction as an artist, it’s simply meant to fit the scene of the movie. From the description on the bl, it appears it will do that. Although we won’t really know until the movie comes out.

  • girlygirl

    That doesn’t necessarily mean he isn’t signed. It can be months after the fact that labels announce these things. I don’t know whether he has signed with a label — if I had to guess, I’d say probably not. But the lack of an announcement doesn’t mean that an artist can’t have signed with someone.

  • MissMyEm

    That doesn’t mean a thing. Kris would probably not announce it until either the CD or a single comes out.

  • rayni

    Love it – can’t wait to hear the whole thing. But I love Kris’ voice so i love almost everything he sings. I don’t hear country with this – I get a little Beatles vibe at the beginning of the snippet, then an Eagles sounding production toward the end – maybe that’s what some hear as country. In all fairness, I could hear this done as a country song though – just not by Kris. So looking forward to new music!

  • nyc57

    I’m ao glad you gave him another shot.I do remember you not being a fan.While i do think there are some gems in KATA,(I especially love I Need To Know} the production was not great on several of them.So many of the songs were much better live.Kris was very involved with the production of TYC

  • linsmile

    Looking forward to hearing this whole song! Looking forward to seeing the movie and how this song is included. I’m not surprised at all that Kris is being asked to write for movies – and I love hearing his voice on new music.

  • Goodvibes27

    Love the sound of this. Reminds me of a little 70s country rock.

  • nyc57

    I have been to or listened to the videos of almost every concert he has done and I can’t figure out which songs that he favors from TYC sounds like the movie song,Which songs are are you referring to?

  • nyc57

    Those are the ones that he always plays plus Rooftops to introduce band.I love TMHLG but he rarely plays it and it doesn’t sound like the movie song either.
    Unique is the only song i can think of that maybe can be compared to it.Kris likes to do a lot of upbeat songs in concert,so i doubt the album will be full of sweet,sleepy songs.

  • Happyhexer

    I’m not ready to write Kris off. I think he is growing as an artist and finding his musical identity. The lack of a label (assuming Kris is still in that position) is an impediment, for sure, but not an insurmountable one. These side projects can only help, because they connote acceptance and respect within the music biz itself. IMHO, a possible problem is not Kris’ music but his image. He is too nice. (Not that I want him to change!) But it seems as if unless you are moody and mysterious, you don’t get far in the music industry today. (Or unless you are female and take your clothes off . . . )

    As for this song, which is the subject of the thread, I like it well enough but it doesn’t blow me away. I would not see it being a hit unless the movie itself is a hit. But then again, who would’ve expected “Home” to be the monster hit that it has been for Phillip? (Successful, yes, monster hit, no.) It is hard to speculate what might resonate with music buyers, and that is especially true of a song snippet divorced from the movie scene to which it relates.

  • Happyhexer

    I guess I’m going to have to start thinking of myself as a Kris fan. :-) :-P I adore “Thank You Camellia” and I’m looking forward to album #3, which in all likelihood I will buy. But only one artist is my special snowflake, and I doubt he’s going anywhere. :-(

    Anyway, I hope the Kris fans who post here at MJs will continue to keep the rest of us up to date on what is happening with Kris’ music career

  • snappp

    Thank You Camellia is so good. Really great album. Going to his live shows will just make you love it more, and then some! If you haven’t yet, you should check him out when he’s in town. He’ll be touring this year, but so far only February dates in the East Coast have been revealed so far. From the Idol Q&A chat, he says he’ll perform some new songs too. I can’t wait for West Coast dates!

  • elliegrll

    IMHO, a possible problem is not Kris’ music but his image. He is too nice. (Not that I want him to change!) But it seems as if unless you are moody and mysterious, you don’t get far in the music industry today. (Or unless you are female and take your clothes off . . . )

    I don’t think that this is true, and there are too many examples of artists who are successful without being tabloid fodder. There are even some success stories among idol alums.

    There is a happy medium that Kris and his management seem to be overlooking. Kris doesn’t have to live in the press, but he does have to find a balance between promoting himself, so that people know that he exists, that he has music, and what that music is about, and maintaining the privacy that he obviously wants. It is something that is doable.

  • Happyhexer

    I hope you are right. I just get cynical and frustrated at times.

    Any yes, promotion is important. It didn’t seem like there was much when TYC was released (and at a time when Kris was still signed with his then-label). I know I (a casual fan) got all my information about CD #2 from MJs. But what about other casual fans (or more importantly, potential fans) who are not sufficiently interested in American Idol to come to a blog spot like MJs for info?

  • elliegrll

    I don’t think that promo during the TYC era mattered. Like most idol alums, too much damage was done during the release of the first album, and too many opportunities were missed. Because of that, it really doesn’t matter if more outlets covered the release of TYC, or if Kris had more promo appearances, he still wasn’t going to get any airplay, and he was still going to just sell less under 20,000 albums during the debut week.

    It would have made more sense to build up his reputation by having him appear on the songs of other people, who stood a better chance of getting airplay. And build up his reputation as a writer, as well as try to get him in front of the public more, but for this to have helped TYC, all of this would have had to have happened months before that album was released.

  • Happyhexer

    But doesn’t this cowrite with Steenburgen fall into the “build up his reputation as a writer” category and help?

  • Happyhexer

    If Kris comes to the PNW on tour, I’d definitely consider attending. I met Kris (which is why I think he’s nice) and attended his concert on the Danny Gokey cruise last year. It was better than I expected, especially given that it was an acoustic concert, with just Kris and Cale (?) Did a good job of reeling in the concert attendees. (And not just existing Kris fans.)

    I do follow Kris on twitter. But maybe I should follow Little Pawns as well.

  • Happyhexer

    Me, too, Indigobunting! I, too, thought Kris was boring and didn’t care for album #1. I, too, instantly liked album #2 and have never regretted purchasing it. Don’t laugh, but I particularly like listening to it when I wash dishes. When “Monster” comes on, my arms are in the air and I’m dancing around my kitchen floor!

    I actually have a lot of Idol music than I really, really like. But yes, Kris and P2 rank up there for me, along with (depending on mood) James Durbin, Michael Lynche, and Megan Joy. I kinda have two “tiers” of Idol music, and they all are in my top tier.

  • Incipit

    I think so, Happyhexer. That would seem to fit – and so would the four other songs that Kris has a co-write on that have been used by other artists. Even if people seem unaware, the guy has writer’s royalties on them – and that revenue stream can’t hurt his financial position or his Industry rep, since the people behind the scenes in the music industry who need to know are aware of what he has in the pipeline, even if the general public is not. The one song from the movie that we heard is not the only track that was written for it.

    1. “Before We Come Undone” – from Kris’s first album, covered by season six South African Idol runner-up Lloyd Cele for his debut album “One” released April 24, 2011.

    2. “Still Got Tonight”, with Andrew Frampton and Steve Kipner that appeared as the second single on Glee’s Matthew Morrison’s self-titled debut album released May 10, 2011. “Still Got Tonight” was also featured in the season 2 finale of Glee sung by Matthew Morrison himself. (That means Kris and his co-writers also received sync rights for TV)

    3. “Blindfolded” with Lindy Robbins and Toby Gad – appeared on the Season One South African Idol winner, Heinz Winckler’s album “24/7/365″ – released July 8, 2011 – released as Winckler’s English debut single & performed at the finale of the 2011 edition of South African Idol. The song was later recorded by Allen himself, who included it on his second album.

    4. “Raise Your Hand”, with Andrew Frampton and Kevin Hughes appears on The Voice season one winner Javier Colon’s debut album “Come Through For You” – released November 21, 2011. Javier sang the song as part of his Walmart Soundcheck performance series.

  • elliegrll

    I think that anything that shows people (which would include potential fans, those in the industry, and those that cover the industry) that others are interested in the music is beneficial. But, my post wasn’t about now. I thought that your previous post was about the TYC era.

  • elliegrll

    Do we really have a lot of evidence that Kris has leveraged any of these things? I’ve always said that he is the common denominator in each of these songs, as well as Alright With Me, even if he didn’t have a huge hand in writing that song, but I don’t know if he’s used any of this to build up his reputation, or if it’s resulted in him getting other writing opportunities.

    It did result in him getting a publishing deal with UMG. And he’s written songs with a few other people, for example, Jon McLaughlin, Jason Castro, and Kate Voegele. And he wrote a song for this film, but over the past four years have there really been a lot of indications that Kris has received recognition for his writing, or that he has built up a reputation as a songwriter.