The Top Country Songs You Need to Hear Right Now
What are the top country songs right now?
If you’re a fan of country music, you might be wondering who is topping the charts right now. Luckily, we’re going to tell you what’s trending right now as well as some of the best country songs you may not have heard yet. But this post isn’t just for country music lovers. We’re going to highlight country songs that even the most diehard haters will still like.
If you’re not a fan of country music, you probably think it all sounds the same, but just like there are different kinds of rock and jazz, there are also different types of country music. Our goal at Turntable is to help you explore all of the different sub-genres so you can have a better understanding of the music out today.
Because the music industry has become so big and diverse, great music often gets overlooked simply because it’s just so hard to keep track of all the new music coming out every month.
What is the number one country song right now?
Morgan Wallen has been a bit of a lightning rod for controversy lately with the revelation of his use of some racist language, and this has started a broader conversation about racism in country music, but Wallen has not lost much support as a result of this controversy. So, what is the number one country song right now?
Currently, the number one country song in America is Morgan Wallen’s “Wasted on You.” The track falls into the category of a heartbreak song and showcases Wallen laying out an apology of sorts for dropping the ball. But the chorus of the song reveals something quite different. While the verse speaks of letting someone down, the chorus seems to hint that Wallen has wasted his time on the subject of the song.
While the song appears to be about Wallen’s failing in this relationship, the takeaway seems to be that Wallen is more disappointed about the fact that he’s, once again, fallen for the wrong person.
What are the top country songs 2022?
So, let’s step back a bit and take a look at what are the top country songs 2022 so far? We might only be halfway through 2022 at this point, but it’s worth taking a look back at the year so far because 2022 has seen the release of a lot of music already.
So far, the country charts have been dominated by established country superstars, but we’ve also seen the rise of a lot of newcomers who are making an impression on audiences. This is a natural process with country music where the older generation serves as an inspiration to the next generation of hitmakers. And right now, there is a lot going on in the world of country music. So, what are the top country songs 2022 so far?
Cody Johnson has been at the top of his game for a while now, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Perpetually at the top of the charts, Johnson knows how to write a ballad that truly makes the listener feel something genuine and relatable.
In a lot of ways, that’s what country music is all about. While other genres tend to chart the trajectories of fantastical people, country is grounded in a real, American experience. And this is just one of the reasons why country resonates so strongly with American audiences. The real trick of country music is knowing how to reach your audience, and Cody Johnson is a master of this.
At 35 years old, Cody Johnson is considered part of the old guard of country musicians, and he’s had to fight his way to the top. Initially shut out of the major labels, Johnson chose to self-release his first six records in a bid to prove that he could build a following on his music alone. And it worked. Johnson was able to build a following so large that the majors had to take notice. Now that he’s signed to Warner Nashville records, Johnson has no trouble selling out shows and making hit singles, but it’s always been a matter of his songwriting and showmanship.
Luke Combs is also no newcomer to country music, and his new track “Let’s Do This” sees Combs return to his roots as gritty songwriter who knows how to blend classic outlaw country with soaring rock ballad.
The subject of “Let’s Do This” falls along familiar country lines, finding Combs musing on what his life would be like if he weren’t a famous country music star. The first verse finds Combs in a wistful contemplation on how his life would be mundane and difficult, but when the chorus kicks in, it becomes clear that what Combs is really trying to say is that as long as he can still make music, he’d be just fine, regardless of the fact that he’s still driving a “beat up Dodge” to a “dead end job.”
Combs’ songwriting is notable among his fellow country crooners in that he tends to be more introspective and sensitive about the demons he’s struggling with as well as the challenges of our changing world. His recent single, “Six Feet Apart” comments on how difficult being a musician is when the world is turned upside down. So, what are some of the other top country songs of 2022?
Best country duet of 2022
Country music has always been known for powerful duets. Going back to Dolly Parton collaborating with Kenny Rogers, there has been a long and distinguished history of country stars teaming up to create a track that drives audiences wild.
The track “Never Say Never” by Cole Swindell and Lainey Wilson is a bit of a departure from traditional country production aesthetics as it incorporates some electronic parts and a dry electronic drum beat. Swindell and Wilson’s voices fit together like puzzle pieces, and it’s often hard to hear where one voice starts and the other ends.
Once the chorus kicks in, the song takes a more rock and roll direction and finds the singers almost competing with each other to be the dominant vocal. But at the heart of it, the song is a heartfelt, upbeat ballad that touches on themes of devotion as well as recklessness. It’s a combination that is obviously appealing to a wide range of country fans. Since it was released, “Never Say Never” has been one of the top country songs of 2022 so far.
An honorable mention for best country duet of 2022 needs to go to Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde for their heartbreaking track “Never Wanted to be That Girl” in which each woman takes on the role of a woman being cheated on. McBryde starts the song by lamenting that the man with whom she has been in a six-month relationship is actually married. On the other side of things, Carly Pearce plays the role a married woman who figures out that her husband is cheating.
Interestingly, the focus of their ire isn’t the man they share but rather themselves. Each woman, regardless of their part in the story, laments the fact that they never wanted to be the other woman, and this fact is heartbreaking for them. It’s as though the song details two separate betrayals, and it does so in true country ballad fashion.
Before we get back to the top country songs of 2022, let’s answer a question that is on a lot of country fans minds:
How many number one hits has Keith Urban had?
We all know that Aussie Keith Urban has been a staple of the country scene for many years now, but after all this time, it can be hard to remember how many number one hits Keith Urban has had. Well, it may not surprise you to find out that Keith Urban has had twenty number one singles in his career. And if you look at his overall output, it gets even more impressive. His first number one came in the year 2000 with his track “But for the Grace of God”, and the hits just kept coming from there.
In fact, of the forty-one singles that Urban has released in the US and Canada, nearly half of them went on to be number ones. It’s also impressive that many of his albums have debuted at number one on the country charts in the US and Canada. Keith also had a number one hit with his appearance on Brad Paisley’s single “Start a Band.”
While he hasn’t had a number one since 2016’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” Urban has had numerous songs track in the top ten of the US country charts in recent years.
Top country songs 2022
Ok, now that we’re done with that quick detour, let’s get back to the top country songs 2022. While much of country music is still based on many decades of tradition, a number of artists are changing things up, and that is good news for the genre.
“Beers on Me” by Dierks Bentley, Breland, and HARDY is a bit of a departure from the sad ballads we’ve been talking about. Rather than lamenting lost love, this track does a great job of celebrating having a good time. While so much of country music is about loss and loneliness, this track is about forgetting your problems for a minute and having a cold one. The last verse is rapped by HARDY and it’s an interesting fusing of genres, which is happening more and more these days.
Given some of the racial tensions that have been a part of country music for too long, it’s refreshing to see artists embarking on diverse collaborations like this. Hopefully, we’ll see more of this in the future.
“Slow Down Summer” from Thomas Rhett is certainly one of the top country songs of 2022, and it tells the simple yet universal story of a summer romance that comes to an end too soon. Rooted in his youth, Rhett sings about knowing that this fling will pass once Autumn rolls around, and all he wants to do is slow time down a little. It’s a feeling we’ve all had at different points in our lives. We know that nothing lasts forever, and that is part of why we appreciate what we have in the moment. The finite nature of reality is what gives all of our experiences value, and this is something that we only understand as we get a little older.
That’s why this track from Thomas Rhett feels so significant. It shows a songwriter who is at the age where they can actually look back at their life and gain some perspective. It may seem like a simple theme, but when art can remind us of the fragile nature of reality, it’s doing something really significant.
Miranda Lambert has been a country mainstay for many years, but somehow, she always manages to keep things fresh and fun. “If I Was a Cowboy” doesn’t really break a lot of new ground in terms of songwriting, but it does showcase Lambert’s signature twangy voice on top of a backdrop of lush acoustic guitar that feels as much western as it does country.
The root of this track is fantasy, which sets it apart from a lot of the country tracks we see coming out these days. Currently, it feels as though country has eschewed some of its fantasy songwriting for hyper-realistic writing that feels almost like a journal entry rather than song lyrics. So, it’s refreshing to see Lambert lean into the idea of what life would be like as a cowboy riding the range. It’s as though she’s tapped into that desire to escape reality which many of us have been feeling. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Straddling the line between folk and country, Luke Bryant’s breakout track “Something in the Orange” starts out more like an old Bob Dylan song than most modern country tunes. Just an acoustic guitar and a harmonica is all Bryan needs to get this track going before it is reinforced by piano.
There’s a sense of longing in Bryan’s raspy voice, and it’s almost hard to believe that he’s an up and comer rather than a seasoned pro. There’s even a good chance that many readers may not be familiar with Bryan’s name or songs yet, but that is likely to change in the near future.
Instead of following in the footsteps of new-country icons, Bryan appears to be charting his own course, and that path seems to be rooted in an older, folkier style of country that is due for a comeback.
Going in a completely different direction, we have “Trouble with a Heartbreak” by country staple, Jason Aldean. Instead of earthy acoustic guitar, this track starts with slick electronic drums before it crescendos into a full-on rock chorus.
The subject matter here isn’t really the point. You don’t have to look very hard to find a country song that deals with breakups and heartbreak. What’s significant about this track is how it straddles the line between country and mainstream pop-rock.
This transition has been difficult for country stars even as the genre becomes increasingly popular. It’s still hard for country artists to break through into a more mainstream market with the exception of performers like Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney. With tracks like this, Aldean may find that non-country audiences start to take notice.
Proving that country music is all over the map, “AA” finds singer/songwriter Walker Hayes playing around with a number of different genres at the same time. The track starts off with the crackle and hiss of an old-time country tune that sounds like it was put down on a dusty old tape machine. But then something interesting happens.
The track pops back into the present with a pop-style beat that gives the song a feel somewhere between old country and hip hop. Again, the subject matter doesn’t set this track apart from a lot of other top country songs of 2022. Hayes is concerned with keeping his wife, keeping his daughters off the pole, and his sons out of jail. The subject matter is fairly boilerplate for country music, but the production and Hayes charismatic approach to it is what makes the song stand out.
While Hayes may not be a household name yet, if he keeps turning out tracks that push the limits of the genre, he will most likely find a lot of success. As country collides with other genres of music, there will be a great acceptance of a genre that always seemed distinctly apart from so much of the music industry. Folks like Hayes are proving that doesn’t have to be the case.
Here at Turntable, our goal is to help people discover new and exciting music. And once they’ve done that, we want to help you share that music with your friends. Create new playlists and dancefloors. Invite your friends to share what they’re listening to, and most of all, have a great time.