We’ve finally reached the end of our song of the year countdown. Today we are counting down our top 10 songs of the year. Ordering these 10 songs was no easy feat as all 10 of these song are simply outstanding.
Let’s Get To It!
10) A Rock- Hardy (Jake Mitchell, Michael Hardy, Smith Ahnquist)- Did I mention that Hardy had himself a year? cause he sure did. A Rock, the title track off Hardy’s album is a song with uses an evolving image of a rock to tell a beautiful cycle of life story. We go from a kid skipping a rock, to a teenager stuck between ‘a hard place and a rock’, to a guy saving for a rock to give his girlfriend, to the name written on ‘a rock’ (tombstone) until Hardy in a way that few can reminds that ‘we’re all just living life on a rock’
9) Janice At The Hotel Bar- Hailey Whitters (Hailey Whitters, Lori McKenna)- Hailey Whitters has emerged has one of country music’s great storytellers. Janice At The Hotel Bar tells the story of a conversation with an older woman named Janice at a hotel bar. Throughout the song Janice is giving advice of how to make a good living and how to make a good life to her younger counterpart. The songwriting from Whitters and McKenna is top notch making this song such a fascinating listen.
8) Small Town Hypocrite- Caylee Hammack (Caylee Hammack, Jared Scott)- Another one of my absolute favorite storytelling songs of the year. On this self reflective track Hammack is looking back at a past hometown relationship and how after 7 years of waiting around she never got the hint that they’re relationship wasn’t going to progress. Hammack then turns around at her ex who wasn’t ready to be forward with her but decided he was ready to do so with another woman. Hammack’s stellar, big voice shines throughout this emotional, heartbreaking track and tells the story of Small Town Hypocrite incredibly well.
7) You Don’t Get To- Kenny Chesney (Barry Dean, Dustin Christensen, Josh Kerr)- You Don’t Get To tells the story of a man attempting to keep his ex from crawling back into his life. The chorus is of this song is one of my favorite of the year. The man explains to her that while he doesn’t have to understand why they broke up she doesn’t get to care about how he’s doing after what she put him through. The incredible songwriting and Chesney’s ability to matter of factly tell this tale of a bitter ex make this song a true standout.
6) We Were Rich (New Version)- Runaway June (Ashley Gorley, Nicole Galyon, Ross Cooperman)- We Were Rich tells the relatable story of growing without as much as the other kids around, but with the feeling that you had all you needed all along. The story is told incredibly well and conveys the emotion that goes along with the lyrics. The imagery throughout the song and the emotional storytelling along with the addition of Natalie Stovall’s fiddle make this song a stunner in all aspects.
5) More Hearts Than Mine- Ingrid Andress (Derrick Southerland, Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis)- Ingrid Andress and her piano: A love story. More Hearts Than Mine tells the emotional tell of a girl taking her boyfriend home to meet her family for the first time. The girl warns the boy that if they “break up” she’ll “be fine” but he’ll be breaking more than just her heart. Andress’ clear tone and that famous piano tell the story in such a beautiful fashion. More Hearts Than Mine netted Andress her first #1 at country radio, and it shouldn’t be her last.
4) Sunday Drive- Brett Eldredge (Barry Dean, Don Mescall, Steve Robinson)- How about another piano song! Sunday Drive the title track off Eldredge’s latest album tells the story of a kid going on slow Sunday afternoon drives with his parents and never quite understanding why they did it. The incredible imagery of the “trees lined up like dominoes” paint a tremendous picture of the drives and makes listeners feel as if they were in the car. The most touching moment, however, comes at the end of the song when the kid is now all grown up and decides to take his parents on the same drive they used to take him on. The focus on the simple things in life present throughout this song make it one of the most wholesome songs of the year.
3) I Hope You’re Happy Now- Carly Pearce, Lee Brice (Randy Montana, Carly Pearce, Jonathan Singleton, Luke Combs, Ryan Ennis Schlappi)- Without a doubt the duet of the year, I Hope You’re Happy Now tells the story of two exes, one who genuinely hopes the other is happy now, and one who snidely remarks that he hopes she’s happy now after the way she treated him. The dueling voices of Pearce and Brice tell the story in such a convincing way and the final chorus of this song is simply phenomenal.
2) Sugar Coat- Little Big Town (Lori McKenna, Jordyn Shellhart, Josh Kerr)- Sugar Coat tells the story of a wife and mother who knows that her husband has been cheating on her, and how she hopes that she can muster up the strength to tell him off. The wife explains that she wishes she had a way to cope such as drinking or pills or even sleeping with a stranger herself, but that’s not the kind of person she is. She is the kind that wears a “sugar coat” and puts on a brave face even when she is being mistreated. The heartbreaking and powerful nature of this song make it a true star on a Grammy Nominated album.
And finally our #1 song of the year!
1- Die From A Broken Heart- Maddie & Tae (Derric Rutan, Jonathan David Singleton, Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye)- Die From A Broken Heart features a heart broken girl asking her mother a litany of questions about her past relationship, whether it was even real “if he don’t feel how I feel” and wondering if the feeling can kill her. In the bridge of the song you can even hear Maddie’s voice break ever so slightly driving home the genuine emotion behind this outstanding song. The genuine and emotional nature of this song along with Maddie & Tae’s signature harmonies make this our #1 song of the year.