Sam Hunt Says New Song ‘Sinning With You’ ‘Speaks to the Broader Pursuit of Truth and Understanding’
Sam Hunt released a brand-new song, "Sinning With You," on Friday (Jan. 3). The track, which readers can hear above, takes a look at changing religious beliefs through the lens of love.
"It’s a metaphor for a small-town guy who was raised with traditional values, a lot of those rooted in church and faith,” Hunt tells Rolling Stone. "Most of the value systems that I grew up around are rooted in religion and church.
"You start to read books and talk to people who grew up in different backgrounds, and you try to collect that knowledge and find some meaning, some truth," the singer continues. "It speaks to the broader pursuit of truth and understanding, in terms of how you are supposed to live your life."
The lyrics of "Sinning With You" talk about a woman "raised in the first pew" with a "spotless record [that] was probably in jeopardy" when she started seeing a man with a "checkered" past. Hunt's wife, Hannah Lee Fowler, is the daughter of a pastor.
"His grace and your grace / Felt like the same thing to me," Hunt sings. "I never felt like I was sinning with you / Always felt like I could talk to God in the morning / I knew that I would end up with you / Always felt like I could talk to God in the morning / If it's so wrong, why did it feel so right? / If it's so wrong, why'd it never feel like / Sinning with you?"
Hunt explains to Rolling Stone that he "100 percent" hopes "Sinning With You" resonates with LGBTQ+ fans, too. "You hope that we can evolve out of some of the naiveté that may or may not have been necessarily rooted in right or wrong, but more tradition that’s been passed down," he reflects.
"I think it’s important we think about these things and don’t accept rules because they are rules. We should try to understand the ‘whys’ behind the things we do, and the moral structure we apply to our lives," Hunt adds. "It takes some living and learning, but I’m always in pursuit of that.”
"Sinning With You," which Hunt has been playing live for a few months, is the second new song from a forthcoming sophomore album from the artist; it's also his first track since being arrested for DUI in November, an event that caused the song's release to be pushed back. The song and its predecessor, the single "Kinfolks," follow 2017's "Body Like a Back Road" and 2018's "Downtown's Dead." Hunt has not released a full studio record since dropping his acclaimed debut disc, Montevallo, in 2014.
“It was a crazy time, in the political world -- all the bumps in the road as we progress as a society. I needed to figure out what part I was going to play in all that, and how I wanted to go about it," Hunt says of processing his new role as a country music star post-Montevallo, and of figuring out how to progress. "Is music the right direction? I had to sit and think about those things, because the world tells you that if you have this opportunity to make music and be on the radio and be rich and famous, you should do that. Because people would kill to. But that’s not enough of a reason. I wanted a deeper understanding of what I was doing, and why.”
In late 2019, Hunt said his long-awaited sophomore album was due to his label on Jan. 1; album details are still sparse, but he's shared that "Nothing Lasts Forever," along with "Kinfolks" and "Sinning With You," are part of the project.
“There is more of that lighthearted sentiment on some songs," Hunt says, "and then there are some reflective songs that balance those songs out."
Producers Zach Crowell, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne are back for Hunt's sophomore album. He notes that the break he's taken from the studio -- and, in 2019, from the road -- has put him back in touch with not only family members and dear friends but with his musical roots.
"I definitely, if anything, will slide back into even a more traditional sound," Hunt says. "I like the idea of being adventurous and finding new ways to combine styles and to try to come up with something new and fresh."
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