When Sam Hunt debuted in Nashville in the early 2010s, he brought with him a fresh sound and style that would go on to impact the country music genre for years to come. With his now-signature singing style, R&B-flavored beats and catchy rhymes, Hunt both raised the eyebrows of country traditionalists and opened creative doors to young artists. Throughout his career, Hunt’s music has matured and evolved, and he has perfected his unique blend of modern and traditional-leaning sounds. Although Hunt’s chart-topping career is far from over, here are 10+ of his best songs so far.
- “Leave The Night On” — from Montevallo
Hunt’s official debut single “Leave The Night On” was released in 2014 and gave the artist a solid kickoff to his career. The song features radio friendly, modern country instrumentation, complete with piano and beats. While this song did not debut Hunt’s “talking” singing style, it does feature the singer/songwriter’s lyrical wit. Some of the song’s most clever lines are found in the chorus and the hook, as Hunt sings, “The sky is dropping Jupiter around us like some old train / We’ll be rolling down the windows, I bet you we’re catchin’ our second wind / We don’t have to go home, we can leave the night on.” Ultimately, this summer-ready song about having fun gave Hunt his first-ever No. 1 single.
2. “Take Your Time” — from Montevallo
Hunt flexed his songwriting muscles yet again with his second official single, “Take Your Time.” In this mid-tempo song, Hunt sings of meeting a girl at a bar and wanting to “take” her time, or spend time with her. This song saw the introduction of Hunt’s talk-singing style, in which he rhythmically talks — and almost raps — during the song’s verses. The chorus then finds him going back into his singing voice as he pleads for more time with his love interest. “Take Your Time” was released in 2014 and became Hunt’s second No. 1 single.
3. “House Party” — from Montevallo
Many of Hunt’s songs are vulnerable observations about love set to modern country production, but the singer is also known for a party song or two. One of those tunes is “House Party,” which he released in June 2015. True to its name, this song finds Hunt singing about a wild house party while guitar, banjo and percussion back him up. The song not only continued to establish Hunt as one of fastest-rising new stars in Nashville, but it also brought him his third No. 1.
4. “Break Up In a Small Town” — from Montevallo
For his next single, Hunt again ventured into heartbreak territory with “Break Up In a Small Town.” In this song, which features techno-flavored, modern production, Hunt laments the end of a relationship. Similar to “Take Your Time,” Hunt employs his spoken word style in the verses of the song, as he describes the feeling of seeing his ex at a stoplight and other places in their small town. Then, in the electric chorus, he reveals that his ex-love is now dating someone he knows. “Break Up In a Small” town was Hunt’s first song to fall short of the No. 1 spot, landing instead at No. 2. It has since earned 5x Platinum status.
5. “Make You Miss Me” — from Montevallo
Sam Hunt wrapped up his Montevallo album with the wistful “Make You Miss Me,” released in 2016. In this song, Hunt sings to a love interest who is constantly changing her mind about everything — including him. Although it’s clear in the song that the woman has ended things with the man, the character portrayed by Hunt is set on making his ex miss him, which is something she doesn’t often do. “Make You Miss Me” was co-written by Hunt, Josh Osborne and Matthew Ramsey, and it ended his Montevallo album era with one more No. 1 song, setting him up for more success to come.
6. “Body Like a Back Road” — from Southside
In February 2017, Sam Hunt kicked off his new Southside album with lead single, “Body Like a Back Road.” In this song, Hunt compares his love interest to a “back road” in which he knows “every curve like the back of my hand.” The flirtatious song is filled with clever lyrics and anecdotes to prove Hunt’s point, and the lively, pop-inspired production adds to the lightheartedness of the song. “Body Like a Back Road” became an undeniable hit for Hunt, as well as the biggest of his career, spending a total of 37 weeks atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The song also crossed over to pop radio and brought Hunt’s career to a new level.
7. “Kinfolks” — from Southside
Two years after the release of his record-breaking hit, “Body Like a Back Road,” Hunt released his third single from Southside, “Kinfolks.” This song continued the upbeat style of “Body Like a Back Road,” as Hunt sings about wanting to take a love interest home to meet his family. The song again features the unique country-soul instrumentation for which Hunt is known and it brought him his first No. 1 in two years.
8. “Hard to Forget” — from Southside
In 2020, Hunt released “Hard to Forget,” another song that exemplifies his ability to meld traditional country music with modern sounds. The tune begins with a sample of Webb Pierce’s “There Stands The Glass” before segueing into a pop-influenced beat with country elements. The song also features Hunt’s clever lyrics, as he sings about an ex who is making herself hard to forget on purpose. “Hard to Forget” became Hunt’s seventh No. 1 single.
9. “Breaking Up Was Easy In The 90s” — from Southside
Hunt ended his successful Southside album era with one last song, “Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90s,” which was released in October 2020. In this tune, Hunt sings of all the downfalls of breaking up with someone in the modern age, due to social media. These downfalls cause Hunt to wish he lived in the 90s when breaking up a relationship was easier. “Breaking Up in the 90s” became another hit for Hunt, landing at No. 1.
10. “23″ — Non-album release
For Hunt’s latest single, he released “23,” a nostalgic ode to a past lover. In this tune, Hunt sings to an ex love, not to rekindle their relationship, but rather to simply remember that special time in both their lives. As the song goes on, Hunt wonders what his old love is doing now and who she’s with. No matter what they go on to do in their lives, however, they’ll always be 23 years old together. “23” is still climbing the country music charts as of early 2022, and it signals the coming of more new music from Hunt.