The last 3 months have been the best months of country music in 2020.
There were so many great new albums, let alone individual singles. Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, and Brett Eldredge dropped great albums and I had multiple songs from each that I considered for my Top 10 and yet I somehow don’t have a song from either of them in my list below. I’m not sure that’s right, but this exercise has given me a brief insight into the difficult job of being on The Bachelor/The Bachelorette narrowing down the contestants.
These are my Top 10 songs that were released from July-September of this year.
10. Classic by Cam
I’m such a fan of Cam’s voice and was so glad that she released new music this year. “Classic” fits her so well. It’s fun and peppy, while allowing her to hold some of the more drawn out lyrics that that lets her voice shine.
9. Bar Back by Lauren Alaina
Lauren has released two separate EPs this year and they’ve both been fantastic. Her most recent one has so many gems to choose for, but this one stands out because of the strong songwriting that went into the making of this song. And it helps that she references a local bar in Nashville I’ve actually been to so I can better picture the story.
8. Need a Bar Sometimes by Clay Walker
If you would’ve told me that one of my favorite songs of the year would come from Clay Walker I would’ve thought you were nuts. But this is such a great sounding song. Clay is sending this to radio and I don’t see any reason why this wouldn’t reach Top 10 on radio, if not higher.
7. Happy Anywhere by Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani
Nothing against both Blake and Gwen’s solo careers, but can we make a petition to make them a permanent duo going forward? I’d love to hear more of Gwen but their harmonies together are such a match. This song has barely been out for 2 months and is already in the Top 10. Another hit for Blake.
6. Broken Up by Mitchell Tenpenny
This dude is going to be a fricken star. With his unique voice that can absolutely own a venue, Mitchell is making the best music of his career. Broken Up is one of those songs that you can crank all the way up and jam out while driving around town.
5. Things I Can’t Say by Spencer Crandall and Julia Cole
You may not be familiar with these two but they’re two of my favorite rising country artists. This song is my earworm of 2020. It’s so catchy that you can listen to it on repeat, day after day. The playful feelings of falling hard and falling fast are brought to life by Spencer and Julia’s youthful energy. While it may not make it to radio, it’s on its way to becoming a streaming hit – already showing up on Spotify’s Viral Chart.
4. gO to by Lindsay Ell
Lindsay’s album is one of my favorite projects of 2020. She carefully crafted an entire album around the concept of dealing with a breakup. I had so many choices on that album up for consideration on this list, but “gO to” has been on repeat ever since she released it as she sings about wanting something more out of a relationship.
3. Next Girl by Carly Pearce
With musicians and athletes, anybody can have a hit song or one great season, but separates the good from the great is continued success and elevating their game. I am buying all of the Carly Pearce stock because she is about to take her career to new heights and it’s songs like “Next Girl” that will get her there. I’m going to throw a tantrum if this doesn’t reach #1.
2. Country Things by Granger Smith
I’m a huge Granger fan so I’m not surprised that things worked out to include one of his songs from his EP on this list. He’s one of the most authentic artists in the industry and I think this song epitomizes who he is as a human being. I think many country fans, myself included, absolutely relate to the song’s message of the simple things we enjoy about being country.
- Without You by Luke Combs with Amanda Shires on strings
Luke is on the most incredible ride any artist has ever had starting out. He’s at the top of country music right now with no signs of slowing down. This song in particular stood out for two reasons. One, the message of the lyrics has him thanking family and friends who have made sacrifices so he can chase this crazy dream of his. Two, the raw emotion he sings this with, especially at the start of the chorus when he sings “When I’m up here on this stage” with such force. It’s sneaky emotional and I tip my hat to Luke for another gem.