Sam Hunt would like to introduce you to his “Kinfolks.” The new song marks the first time Hunt has resurfaced with new music since releasing “Downtown’s Dead” in May 2018 and finds him staying in the lane he’s carved for himself with his distinct R&B-meets-country sound.
The song follows a year where the country superstar was mostly quiet musically and on social media, something he attributes to the fact that he has been actively working on new material. “Because I haven’t had any new music out, I just felt a little funny about being active on Instagram or just really putting myself out there maybe like I had before,” he explains to Sounds Like Nashville and other media. “So I guess it felt like from the outside looking in that I just had disappeared. But to me, I’ve been doing the same old thing that I’ve been doing, I just haven’t been putting stuff on the internet as much.”
Hunt released his wildly successful debut album Montevallo in 2014 that produced four chart-topping singles including “Take Your Time” and “House Party.” Three years later, “Body Like a Back Road” solidified him as a crossover star. But Hunt admits it was “difficult” to get back into songwriting after the success of Montevallo, as there was a mix of factors that caused him to hit pause, including focusing his attention on his marriage to wife Hannah Fowler. “A lot of stuff in my personal life just needed to be stabilized on a lot of different fronts, and that took being intentional about taking the time and effort to take care of that,” he shares. “A lot of it was just my inability to organize my life and I had to kind of take a step back to get everything organized because I felt like I was just flying by the seat of my pants, and that wasn’t a healthy way to start a marriage. I wanted to make sure that I built that foundation with my wife if we were going to step back into this whirlwind of a lifestyle.”
Hunt was ready to return to the music process in summer of 2018, setting his sights on writing and recording a new album – until he got a call from Luke Bryan inviting him to join the What Makes You Country XL Tour. But when the trek was done, Hunt committed to writing for one-year straight – September 2018 to 2019 – and would release the songs he accumulated during that time as a record.
“Kinfolks” is one of those songs. After spending time writing solo, Hunt began to crave the inspiration he got from writing with other people, organizing a writers retreat with frequent collaborators Zach Crowell, Josh Osborne and Jerry Flowers. Hunt had the title for “Kinfolks,” but wasn’t sure how to write it. That’s when Flowers stepped in with the line “I wanna introduce you to my kinfolks” and the lyrics began to evolve, with Hunt taking lead on the verses. “It’s talking about wanting to take it to that level of intimacy with this girl, and obviously he’s being a little bit silly because he just met the girl,” he describes. “For the most part, it came together pretty easily because it was pretty straightforward. It’s kind of flirtatious with this girl who you meet and you’re impressed with and you’re trying to be clever with. It kind of turned into a silly pick up line at the end of the day.”
Hunt has already performed another new track titled “Sinning With You” in his live set and feels he’s gathered the right songs to make an album. “I’m excited about the songs that have come together over the last 12 months and it finally feels like ‘ok this feels like a record, this feels like something I should put out,'” he says.
“Kinfolks” is available now.