Looking at the album cover art for Hardy's new Hixtape Vol. 1 (which dropped Sept. 13) is a bit like playing Where's Waldo: The Country Royalty Edition. At first glance, the image looks like a sketched depiction of the country up-and-comer, donning his usual "Run the Damn Ball" cap and surrounded by a group of friends.

On closer inspection, though, that group of friends start looking awfully familiar. Hang on -- is that guitar-toting, tattooed guy sitting in the corner Keith Urban?!

The closer you look, the more you realize that all the faces surrounding the singer are familiar ones, and in fact, they represent the massive list of country stars that make guest appearances on the 10-track project. Jake Owen, Thomas Rhett and Tracy Lawrence are just a few of the A-list names that adorn Hardy's star-studded new project, which is a playful testament to his love of collaboration and country music community.

Somehoodlum, Courtesy of Sweet Talk PR
Somehoodlum, Courtesy of Sweet Talk PR

The project's swagger-heavy second track, "He Went to Jared" tells the story of a blue-collar man licking his wounds after losing a relationship to a "paper pusher." Hardy gets an assist from former tour-mate and longtime pal Morgan Wallen on the track, as the singers trade verses about all the drinking they plan to do as a lost love celebrates her nuptials.

"He Went to Jared" is no tear-in-your-beer ballad, though: By the end of the song, Wallen and Hardy have both realized that they're probably better off. "Maybe I'm drunk and it ain't that bad / Because I ain't into girls into guys like that," the bridge asserts.

Hixtape Vol. 1 also features a team-up with another pal in "One Beer." Devin Dawson (with whom Hardy co-wrote Blake Shelton's "God's Country") appears on the track, along with Lauren Alaina.

This mid-tempo ballad shows a more introspective side to Hardy, whose music more often falls into more fun-loving territory. The song, featuring parallel vocals from Alaina, follows the story of how just one beer brings two people together, leading to an unplanned pregnancy and ultimately turning them into a family.

Of Hixtape Vol. 1's stacked guest list, Hardy says that he counts most of his collaborators as friends. "The more we kept asking people and taking chances...people just kept saying 'yes' and it became this really cool thing," the singer explains in a press release. "80 percent of them are my friends. The spectrum is really broad. We have everyone from Devin Dawson to Joe Diffie, and everything in between. I think there's something for every type of country fan on this record."

Hardy, Hixtape Vol. 1 Track List: 

1. "Boy From the South" feat. Cole Swindell and Dustin Lynch
(Matt Dragstrem, Michael Hardy and Brett Tyler)

2. "He Went to Jared" featuring Morgan Wallen
(Michael Hardy, Chase McGill and Morgan Wallen)

3. "Redneck Tendencies" featuring Trace Adkins and Joe Diffie
(Michael Hardy, Brian Kelley, Ernest K. Smith and Ben Stennis)

4. "Nothin’ Out Here" featuring Thomas Rhett
(Michael Hardy, Ben Hayslip and Jimmy Yeary)

5. "My Kinda Livin'" featuring Hunter Phelps and Jameson Rodgers
(Michael Hardy, Cameron Montgomery and Hunter Phelps)

6. "No Place Like Hometown" featuring Keith Urban and Hillary Lindsey
(Michael Hardy, Mark Holman and Hillary Lindsey)

7. "Something a 'Lil Stronger" featuring Mitchell Tenpenny and Jon Langston
(Bart Butler, Michael Hardy, Jake Mitchell and Brett Tyler)

8. "What They Make Backroads For" featuring Tracy Lawrence and Jake Owen
(Michael Hardy, Jordan Schmidt and Josh Thompson)

9. "Turn You Down" featuring Morgan Wallen and Zakk Wylde
(Ben Burgess, Jacob Durrett, Michael Hardy and Morgan Wallen)

10. "One Beer" featuring Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson
(Michael Hardy, Hillary Lindsey and Jake Mitchell)

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