Sam Hunt’s ‘Hard to Forget’ Is a Nod to (Really) Old School Country [Listen]
Hunt teased the song on social media prior to the release, sharing the artwork and audio of Webb Pierce singing his multi-week No. 1 hit from 1953, "There Stands the Glass." Fans were left wondering if this would be the song he'd sample in his latest, given that he'd been talking about bringing a more traditional country vibe to his new work.
While the song does incorporate Pierce's ode to drinking one's heartache away ("There stands the glass/ that will ease all my pain/That will settle my brain"), lacing bits and pieces the tune throughout Hunt's vocals, the overall result isn't 100% a traditional country song. Rather, it's a brilliant meld of old-school country with a distinctly modern, multi-groove tone.
The Pierce verse melts into a rollicking pop, almost reggae, vibe from the very start, with Hunt noting wryly a bunch of commentary about a woman who won't leave his thoughts.
After explaining that he's tabulated where her mother and sister are hanging out, and that he is itching to call her (but isn't), he begins to get even more irritated. "You showed up in that dress/ Just to mess with my head," he notes of the girl in question, who is cold-hearted and asks him to leave her things out on the porch so she can fetch them when she has a moment. "It's just jeans and a shirt/ But it's a whole lot of hurt," gripes Hunt.
"Ain't it funny how I can't seem to get away from you?" he muses. "It's almost like you don't want me to." Despite the song's darkly pessimistic lyrics, the melody and arrangement are buoyed by a contrasting and ironically bright tone throughout.
The song will be an instant grat track off Hunt's upcoming Southside album, from which he's already shared the song "Sinning With You." Southside is his first album since Montevallo in 2014. In between albums he released two singles, "Body Like a Back Road" and "Downtown's Dead," but neither of these will be on the new project.
Southside is set for release on April 3, and Hunt will hit the road to support the new project with the Southside Summer Tour 2020, which kicks off on May 28 in Charlotte, N.C.
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