As 2019 comes to a close, country music fans have a whole lot to be grateful for as they look back on the past year. Even though it was a tumultuous year, both inside the world of country music and outside of it, there’s no denying that the genre's artists released plenty of great songs to soundtrack the chaos.
Building your end-of-year playlist? Make sure these 10 country and Americana songs are on it.
Pretty much every track on Morris’ 2019 album Girl is a keeper, but “The Bones” is especially indicative of her power. A truly modern love song with a message that will stand the test of time, it’s about Morris’ own love story with her husband, fellow musician Ryan Hurd.
Country trio Runaway June stormed into the mainstream in 2019 with “Buy My Own Drinks,” a powerful tribute to strong, independent women everywhere. It’s, perhaps not surprisingly, a huge hit with live audiences according to the band, especially the “I can be my own boyfriend” lyric.
“I just feel like the crowd goes crazy every time we sing that line,” the trio’s Hannah Mulholland told The Boot earlier this year. “That's a fun little moment.”
One of the surprise successes of 2019, Andress’ folksy “More Hearts Than Mine” is the definition of a sleeper hit. It might be a little more pop-influenced than some country fans might like, but there’s no denying her vocal and songwriting talents.
Country traditionalists will probably debate until the end of time whether or not “Old Town Road” is actually a country song, but the hundreds of millions of fans who have fallen in love with this virally popular song just don’t care. Whle teaming up with Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Nas X has shown that he’s a master of blending country twang with trap music, and we can’t wait to hear what he’s working on next.
Re-imagining the Highwaymen for 2019, the power quartet of Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Brandi Carlile celebrate hard-working women across the world with “Redesigning Women.” Women of all kinds get their much-deserved props in this anthemic hit — saints, sinners, surgeons and everyone in between.
The second single from Childers’ acclaimed 2019 album Country Squire, “All Your’n” is the Kentucky-born artist at his best. Like his producer Sturgill Simpson, Childers effortlessly blends psychedelic sonic elements with a classic country love song, and the results are seriously stunning. The song’s decidedly trippy music video is, bizarrely, as charming as the song itself.
Like a fine wine, Lambert’s music just keeps getting better with time. Her 2019 album Wildcard is decidedly more upbeat than 2016’s The Weight of These Wings, a reflection of the fact that she’s now happily married. Still, “Bluebird” is proof that Lambert refuses to rest on her laurels and quit growing; she’s still willing to look introspectively and turn her personal struggles and triumphs into killer lyrics.
Country fans pining for the ‘90s were sure glad to hear Pardi’s “Heartache Medication,” which boasts a serious George Strait vibe. It’s the lead single from and title track of Pardi’s most recent album, which debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart back in September.
Whether it’s because of Shelton’s role as a judge on The Voice or just because “God’s Country” is so darn relatable, this song is a crossover hit while still remaining thoroughly country. Co-written by Devin Dawson, Hardy and Jordan Schmidt, Shelton infuses his love for his home state of Oklahoma into every single word.
A true juggernaut, Combs’ “Beer Never Broke My Heart” is arguably country music’s biggest anthem of 2019. Both endlessly relatable and totally catchy, it’s an song that will eventually stand on its own among the genre’s finest beer-drinking tunes, such as “Pop a Top” and “Drink in My Hand.”