Today we continue our song of the year countdown with song 20-11. A reminder that in order to qualify for this list songs must have either been released during this year or a part of a project that was released this year
Let’s get to it!
20) Redhead- Caylee Hammack ft Reba (Caylee Hammack, Natalie Hemby, Trent Dabs) One of the most fun listens of the year, Redhead, showcases the fun nature of Caylee Hammack and this ode to read heads is sure to make you dance whether you are one or not. Plus it has Reba, what’s not to love?
19) Little Less Broken- Luke Bryan (Lindsay Rimes, Matt Rogers, Michael Carter) One of my favorite Luke Bryan songs ever, Little Less Broken tell the story of a guy who is losing post breakup war. Bryan lists all the ways that she is a “little less broken” than he is throughout this sad track. The vibe of this song is also more traditional country than most of what Bryan releases and it suits this song tremendously well.
18) Starting Over- Chris Stapleton (Chris Stapleton, Mike Henderson) The lead single and title track off Stapleton’s new album, Starting Over is a song about forgetting the past and moving forward. Lyrically this song magnificent and Stapleton’s signature sound tells the story in a way that not many can.
17) One Beer- Hardy ft Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson (Hillary Lindsey, Jake Mitchell, Michael Hardy) The year of Hardy continued! One Beer speaks about an unplanned pregnancy that comes out of over drinking at a party. The song focuses on the shift in mindset of the drinkers that at first it may have looked like the consequences of their drinking was too much to handle but “now the world don’t spin without ‘em”One Beer is able to tackle a serious issue in a extraordinary fun way, which led to it deservedly becoming Hardy’s first #1 as an artist.
16) Detours- Jordan Davis (Dave Turnbull, Jacob Davis, Jordan Davis) Detours is one of the most powerful songs of the year. Davis uses spoken word verses to convey the message finding yourself after being lost for many years. Davis credits his wife for helping him find himself with her. Davis is thankful for the ‘detours’ both in finding himself and finding his wife and he delivers a stellar vocal on this song.
15) Martha Divine- Ashley McBryde (Ashley McBryde, Jeremy Spillman) One of my absolute favorite Ashley McBryde songs! Martha Divine tells the story of a daughter and her father’s mistress. The daughter in the story is looking for revenge against the mistress and McBryde tells the story with her signature fiery passion and gravely voice. The highlight of the song is when McBryde slyly explains to the mistress that “it ain’t murder if I bury you alive”
14) 2016- Sam Hunt (Josh Thompson, Sam Hunt, Zach Crowell) This is absolutely my favorite Sam Hunt song ever. 2016 tells the story of a a boy looking to right his wrongs with his ex. The apologetic, mature nature of the song is a nice change of pace from the uptempo songs that define most of what Hunt sings. The writing and Hunt’s vocal are sure to make many emotional while listening to this very relatable song.
13) More Than My Hometown- Morgan Wallen (Ernest Keith Smith, Michael Hardy, Morgan Wallen, Ryan Vojtesak) Morgan Wallen’s latest #1, More Than My Hometown tells the story of a guy having to decide whether to leave home to follow his girlfriend or stay put and watch her go. In the end Wallen decides that despite of how much he loves the girl he “can’t love (her) more than (his) hometown”. Wallen uses his trademark sound to drive this heartbreaking story.
12) Without You- Luke Combs ft Amanda Shires (Dan Isbell, Luke Combs, Wyatt Durrette) On Without You Combs gives thanks to everyone that got him to where he is today. This thankful nature is a large part of aura around Combs who presents as the Everyman that just happens to have an outrageous voice. Combs thanks everyone from his parents to his wife and finally his fans in this beautiful song while Amanda Shires plays a gorgeous fiddle throughout.
11) The Stranger- Ingrid Andress (Ingrid Andress, Ryan Lafferty) Ingrid Andress had quite a year! The Stranger tells the story of a woman attempting to rekindle the spark in a relationship that has gone stale over time. Andress wants to go back to the bar where they met and he’ll “play the stranger” and she’ll “play the girl at the bar”. The Stranger, like most of Andress’ songs, does an incredible job of staying in a moment and providing a clear picture and visceral account through the writing and imagery on this incredible song.