Genre-bender Sam Hunt took our time with his 2014 debut album, Montevallo, and we have not looked back. "Not country" labels aside, there's a reason Hunt has connected to so well to his fans-- he is as real as you might imagine and is unashamed of that fact. As he readies his long-awaited follow-up, sampled by the "Drinkin' Too Much" teaser track and the official "Body Like a Backroad" single release, One Country revisits his debut LP and his acoustic Between the Pines mixtape, which also includes songs he has written for other country superstars.
6 Best Songs From Sam Hunt (So Far):
"Take Your Time"
The single we couldn't get out of our heads just had to make this list. It's a perfect mix of the country boy swagger and the R&B-bent that peppers much of Hunt's work. Here, the song works to cement him as a bit progressive and daring in his field.
Recorded by Keith Urban, the song became a moderate hit for the Aussie, but it is Hunt's original version that is far more convincing. A romantic rendezvous on a backroad and getting arrested by the police? Doesn't seem like something Urban would ever done in his life--but Hunt? Totally believable.
There is something just plain cool and mysterious about this deep cut found on his acoustic mixtape. The melody is rugged, as if lifted from the wild, wild west. Undeniable.
From the wailing production in the intro to the acoustic-tilt to the verses, this stands as one of Hunt's best moments. The breakdown in the chorus is fast 'n furious and irresistibly provocative.
"Ex to See"
Gotta admit: the play on words--comparing a lover, who is more concerned with being seen by her ex than living in the moment, to the high of a psychoactive drug--is clever. And the way Hunt delivers the playful but brash lyric is charming and unapologetic.
A song Hunt co-wrote with two of Nashville's mightiest songwriters, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, sees one of Hunt's most compelling vocals. Kenny Chesney earned a hit single with it, but there's something more interesting when Hunt sings it. Underneath his typically-thick and poppy production on his debut album, there is a voice that is not heard or appreciated. But on his acoustic mixtape, he allows himself to prove his chops. Sure, he's not an Andrea Bocelli, but he can hold his own.