Country music fans have shown up once again. From mainstream country to red dirt to bluegrass-tinged, we have compiled a list of the top songs of February 2022 based on review readership.
How we spend time is a story we all can write, at least that’s what Jake Hoot professes in a new song. In collaboration with Brittney Hoot, “Wherever Time Goes” is a love song by nature but speaks to a greater threadline connecting every human to one another. “It just keeps rolling on like a Nascar wheel / You ain’t going to stop it / It ain’t a horse you can tame,” sings Jake. If there’s one experience in life that feels like a pressurized rat trap, it’s the slow, calculated march of time to our collective inevitable end. It carries an icing of sorrow but just as much hope.
Listen to “Wherever Time Goes” below.
Hayden Haddock feels heartache swelling in his chest, so naturally he downs a couple beers to drown his sorrows. “Better Than Your Memory” is something straight out of the ‘90s, a boot-scufflin’ tune you’d probably play on repeat on the jukebox. It’s a little Brooks & Dunn with a dash of Mark Chestnutt. “There ain’t been a day since I let you go / Your memory ain’t been letting me know I made a big mistake,” he sings over saloon-style piano and plenty of fiddle.
Listen to “Better Than Your Memory” below.
The void of depression can be massive. It’s a suffocating darkness that stretches into eternity (or so it seems when you’re in the thick of it). With a new song, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers assess their own struggles with depression, as well as substance abuse, on “It Doesn’t Change Anything.” Through a fanatical religious lens, drawing upon their upbringing, the jangly, dusty country tune is as honest as it gets. “You been left to your own devices / And oh yes, they’re all vices,” admits Shook.
Listen to “It Doesn’t Change Anything” below.
Country hitmaker Dustin Lynch is out to change the negative connotation of a cowboy on new song, “Not Every Cowboy.” A deep cut on his new record Blue In The Sky, “Not Every Cowboy” kicks off with just Lynch’s textured southern twang and an acoustic guitar. While the track steadily builds, Lynch delivers the thoughtful lyrics with ease.
“Girl, I bet your momma warned you ’bout guys like me / And this outlaw in my blood ain’t a wildcard up my sleeve,” Lynch croons over an acoustic and steel guitar. “Cause I ain’t a silhouette Stetson, heading out west / In a red sunset, and taking your heart with me / So let me show you that not every cowboy leaves.” A timeless love song to round out Lynch’s 12-track record.
Listen to “Not Every Cowboy” below.
Paula Boggs Band links up with Dom Flemons to recount a harrowing tale of Boggs’ enslaved ancestor. A musical darkness accompanies the lyrical gavel, hammered down like a death sentence. The song swells as the duo lament in great sorrow “and the beat goes on” to reflect how racial brutality continues centuries later. But there’s hope for a brighter future. “We can’t repair the past / May the future be recast,” they sing.
Listen to “King Brewster” below.