My obsession with country music is easily one of my best personality traits.
I've grown up on country music, and it's always been a huge part of my life. I remember the day that my mom bought me my first country CD. Since that day, I've been hooked. I still watch the Country Music Awards faithfully each year. My fun fact for syllabus week is almost always related to my love of country music.
To this day, if I'm listening to music, it has to be country.
When I tell people that I love country music, I get all types of responses. I get people who have the same passion as I do (Y'all are the best kind of people.) I get people who think I'm from Texas. I get people who think country music is all about going to the Honkytonk and riding on a tractor.
The good news is that country music has songs for everything that life throws our way, even in a year as crazy as 2020.
There are songs for heartbreak and songs for finding your soulmate. There are songs for the best day ever, and there are songs that are meant for crying. There's a country song for every occasion, person, and style.
Here are 11 songs that are a must for the ultimate country playlist because 2020 needs all the country it can get.
1. "Starting Over" by Chris Stapleton
"Starting Over" has quickly become one of my favorite songs on my country playlist. Stapleton perfectly captures what it means to continually recreate yourself. The song centers around the pain of saying goodbye and the joy of embracing the future. If you're looking for hope in a year of unrelenting change, this song is for you.
2. "Next Girl" by Carly Pearce
"Next Girl" is a song that never fails to get me up and dancing. There's something about Pearce's energy that brings me so much joy, and I can't help but smile when listening to the lyrics. "Next Girl" is witty and sarcastic, and listening to it makes me want to be the best version of myself.
3. "Famous" by Adam Dolaec
"Famous" is the most wholesome love song that I've heard in a long time. This song is heartwarming without being cliché, and the lyrics fill my heart with so much joy. If you want a song to lift your spirits or to remind you that there's still good in the world, this is the one.
4. "We Were Rich" by Runaway June
"We Were Rich" is an ode to Small Town America in the best possible way. Whenever I listen to this song, I feel like I'm five years old again catching fireflies. Regardless of who you are, this song reminds us all to celebrate the little things in life because they end up being the big things. We waste some of the best times of our lives wishing for something more, and this song reminds us what's truly important.
5. "One Too Many" by Keith Urban and P!nk
To be honest, I didn't know what to expect when I first heard that Urban was releasing a song with P!nk. I'm happy to saw that I'm absolutely obsessed with this song because of how unexpected it is. It's certainly not typical country, but it works in all the best ways because it doesn't try to be like other songs. It's unique and completely different than what I usually listen to, but I keep coming back to it.
6. "The Letter" by Chevel Shepherd
I started following Shepherd's journey on Season 15 of "The Voice" a few years ago, and she's grown so much as an artist since then. "The Letter" chronicles the story of a mother's love and the reality of growing up. Shepherd's voice is soulful, and her reminder to "keep looking up" is the inspiration we need in 2020. The song has the sweetest advice, and the music video is striking.
7. "Arizona" by Josh Kerr
"Arizona" is not your typical country song, so it's perfect for those who aren't quite sure about country music or want a song with a more acoustic flair. It's the sweetest song about looking through a shoebox of old memories and wondering if others feel the same way. I'm a huge fan of looking through old photos, and this song has the ability to bring me right back to the memories I'll cherish forever.
8. "Cuss A Little" (feat. Walker Hayes) by Kylie Morgan
"Cuss A Little" is one of the most down-to-earth songs that I've ever heard, and it perfectly captures what it means to be human. Morgan explains how we're all so many different things to so many different people. We fail and make mistakes, but we're still worthy of love. Rather than being perfect, she urges us to be good. This song is upbeat, clever, and absolutely adorable.
9. "More Hearts Than Mine" by Ingrid Andress
"More Hearts Than Mine" makes me tear up every single time, and the music video only adds to the emotional impact. While Andress is a singer, she is primarily a storyteller. Her ability to tell a story that is so relatable without being cliché is incredible. This is the kind of song that makes me want to go hug my mom and eat ice cream, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
10. half of my hometown (feat. Kenny Chesney) by Kelsea ballerini
I'm a huge Kelsea Ballerini fan, and "half of my hometown" is easily one of her best songs. This song is all about the struggle to grow up while maintaining one's roots. It's vulnerable, heartbreaking, and nostalgic at the same time, and it will take you right back to your childhood. Not to mention, the harmonies are heavenly.
11. "Some Girls" by Jameson Rodgers
"Some Girls" is the perfect song for a long car ride with friends. I know that whenever it comes on the radio, I sing it as loud as I can. While the song is about the different ways that girls cope with a break up, the lyrics are catchy and the beat is energizing. This song was actually conceived as a demo, and Rodgers took it upon himself to record it when no one else would. Country music fans everywhere are so glad that he did.
As you add these songs to your playlist, remember that there is some good in 2020. We will make it through this year, with the help of hope and country music.