Holler Country Music

Holler Songs of the Year 2022

December 14, 2022 2:40 pm GMT
Last Edited June 21, 2023 11:58 am GMT

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If there's one thing that deserves to be celebrated in the country music world, it's the song.

It's safe to say there have been plenty of good ones this year - whether smash hit singles or deep-cut album favourites, the 20 songs here have given us great joy throughout 2022.

This is Holler's Songs of the Year List for 2022:

Monument Records | 2022

Pillbox Patti - Eat Pray Drugs

No record in 2022 had better lyrics than those of Florida; the debut album from Nicolette Hayford's potty-mouthed gangsta country alter ego, Pillbox Patti.

“Jesus, Reese’s Pieces and a brown bag of none of your business / Flea market boiled peanuts / Styrofoam cup for the shells between us”, she drawls in the opening lines to ‘Eat, Pray, Drugs’; a warts-and-all account of what really goes down in a small town after Sunday service that felt as bold and zeitgeisty as Prince’s ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’ did when it came out.

- Jof Owen

Grey Area / Dreamtown, USA | 2022

David Morris - Dutton Ranch Freestyle

Newcomer David Morris dropped 'Dutton Ranch Freestyle' earlier this year, and it quickly became one of the most-played country songs on TikTok. Blending hip hop, trap and country, it's an unavoidably catchy tune based on references to the hit TV series Yellowstone.

Jof's been obsessing about it ever since he first heard it (it makes sense that it landed the no.1 song spot on his Spotify Wrapped)...

- Ciara Bains

La Honda Records | 2022

Colter Wall - Cypress Hills and the Big Country

"Under Charley Russel skies like a blue and purple sea", Colter Wall notions, painting a stunning image of escape and quiet on the big ranch in the mountains.

Wall has always had a way of evoking the scent, the view and the touch of his narratives through his music, and 'Cypress Hills...' beautifully continues that tradition.

- Ross Jones

Warner Nashville | 2022

Ashley McBryde, Caylee Hammack, Brandy Clark, Pillbox Patti - Bonfire at Tina's

An incendiary feminist anthem for small town women everywhere, taken from Ashley McBryde’s weird and wonderful Lindeville album.

As strange and brilliant as Terry Allen or Kinky Friedman, for years to come people will look back on this record as being as important for country music as albums like Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger was.

‘Bonfire At Tina’s’, meanwhile, will be ringing out from every hen do or divorce party all across Nashville. Light it up!

- JO

Warner Music Nashville | 2022

Cole Swindell - She Had Me at Heads Carolina

Here at Holler, we're all suckers for a night at the Karaoke bar. Turns out, Cole Swindell isn't much different.

Modern country isn’t afraid to make reference to the classics of the genre, and ‘She Had Me At Heads Carolina’ pays homage to Jo Dee Messina’s 90s smash while sinking every shot of patron in sight.

- RJ

Birds of Chicago / Fantasy Records | 2022

Allison Russell & Brandi Carlile - You're Not Alone

Originally featured on Our Native Daughters’ 2019 debut album, Allison Russell recruited Americana powerhouse Brandi Carlile to re-release 'You're Not Alone', a powerful meditation on chosen families, human rights and the shared heart of community.

- CB

UMG Recordings | 2022

Jordan Davis - Next Thing You Know

Country music’s a funny thing. One minute you’re making fun of it for its silly outfits and outdated production, the next thing you know you’re wearing a cowboy hat at work and booking flights to Tortuga.

Jordan Davis followed up ‘Buy Dirt’ and ‘What My World Spins Around’ with this cheek-squishingly sweet song about the way life never stops surprising you. There could be another CMA award for Song of the Year on his mantelpiece next year.

- JO

Four Quarters Records | 2022

Adeem the Artist - Going to Hell

Adeem the Artist tells of an encounter with the devil, at the very same crossroads where Robert Johnson made his mythical deal.

The deal between the devil and Johnson turns out to be apocryphal; “white men would rather give the devil praise than acknowledge a black man’s worth”, jokes the devil pointedly, but everything else about hell is true.

The single featured on Adeem's dazzling sophomore album White Trash Revelry.

- JO

Jagjaguwar | 2022

Angel Olsen & Sturgill Simpson - Big Time

Ah, country sure does love a good duet.

For this heart-warming waltz, cross-genre favourite Angel Olsen pulled on her cowgirl boots and teamed up with Sturg to muse on the heady rush of falling in love - and their voices work simply perfect together.

“I loved the song already", she said, "but hearing Sturgill’s take on ‘Big Time’ made me smile ear to ear, he made it come alive on a different level.”

- CB

Sony / 2022

Luke Combs & Miranda Lambert - Outrunnin' Your Memory

It’s a little surprising that it’s taken Luke this long to release a duet with a female country singer - but it sure was worth the wait. His vocals provide a warm, rugged outline to Miranda’s comparatively polished croons.

It’s the perfect pairing, the duo trading doses of nostalgia and heartbreak between them to produce an irresistible tear-in-my-beer, honky tonk-friendly infusion.

- Maxim Mower

Redtone Records | 2022

Miko Marks & the Resurrectors - Feel Like Going Home

"Now the time is coming to reap what I have sown / Lord I feel like going home", sings Miko Marks, bringing together southern rock and gospel on a soulful track that shows that, wherever Marks finds home, country music is all the better for being invited on the journey.

- Holly Smith

Warner Music Nashville | 2022

Bailey Zimmerman - Fall in Love

Zimmerman has enjoyed a breakout year, with ‘Fall in Love’ recently skyrocketing to the top of the Mediabase Country charts. His gruff, raspy vocals are underpinned by a slight quiver, betraying a fragility that has helped to fuel the Louisville native’s ascent.

His sound is best described as ‘Morgan Wallen meets Post Malone’, so perhaps it’s no wonder he’s already accumulated such a massive fanbase.

- MM

Black River | 2022

Kelsea Ballerini, Kelly Clarkson, Carly Pearce - YOU'RE DRUNK, GO HOME

Apparently, no one gets hit on in bars anymore, but Kelsea, Carly and Kelly have got you covered anyway. Sounding like the most seasoned of honky tonk trios, they bring down the house and a few egos with an instruction we’ve all had to hear or holler once or twice.

- HS

Big Loud | 2022

HARDY & Lainey Wilson - wait in the truck

If we had to name some of country music’s favourite topics, we might start off with the triumvirate of alcohol, trucks and murder - often in that order. On ‘wait in the truck’, HARDY & Lainey Wilson offer us all three.

The Mississippi songwriter flexes his storytelling muscles to produce an enthralling, nightmarish track that’s best enjoyed alongside its eerie, cinematic music video.

- MM

Belting Bronco / Warner Records | 2022

Zach Bryan - Something in the Orange

At dusk and at dawn, the world is drenched in light; it’s both stunning and blinding, exposing and all-encompassing. We search far and wide for the ultimate view, hoping to bask in its warmth and beauty.

We also look to find answers in its unwavering silence, just as Zach Bryan does on the heartbreaking ‘Something In The Orange’. In the light of day, Bryan realises his love’s not returning; allowing his despair to flood the purity of his safe place.

- RJ

UMG / Mercury Nashville | 2022

The War and Treaty - That's How Love Is Made

The War and Treaty are a unanimous Holler team favourite - and we're certainly not the only ones. The husband-and-wife duo were awarded the Duo/Group of the Year award at the 2022 Americana Honors and Awards, receiving rich applause throughout the Ryman Auditorium.

'That's How Love is Made' taps into the sheer musical passion the couple share; a delightful mix of gospel, R&B and Americana that perfectly declares them as one of modern Americana's finest new acts.

- CB

Big Machine | 2022

Midland & Jon Pardi - Longneck Way to Go

These two acts have made a habit of transforming the cold ashes of heartache into kindling for a blazing dancefloor fire.

‘Longneck Way to Go’ deservedly received two CMA nominations for Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year, but (not-so-deservedly) lost out on both counts.

Not to worry - as the song highlights, it’ll take a heck of a lot more than that to dampen Pardi and the Texan trio’s top-shelf spirits.

- MM

Snakefarm / UMG | 2022

Priscilla Block - My Bar

Proof that time is the best healer, this crowdpleaser fast forwards from Block’s breakout single ‘Just About Over You’. This time round there’s no ‘just about’ in the mix and the message is clear: whether it’s a bar or a stage, it really does belong to Priscilla Block.

- HS

Pigasus / Songs & Daughters / Big Loud | 2022

Hailey Whitters - Everything She Ain't

If biding your time and the ability to choose the right lead single could be bottled, Holler's Albums of the Year winner Hailey Whitters would be rich.

On this singalong, feel-good track, Hailey finally got let loose on country radio, with those itchingly catchy claps leaving even the most stony-faced curmudgeon unable to resist.

- HS


Dustin Lynch - Party Mode

We challenge you to find another song that sticks in your head quite like ‘Party Mode’.

In the Holler office, we’ve not been able to stop playing the dang thing. With each new event or annual tradition that’s arrived, Baylen and Jof have created a new version of it, emerging with adapted lyrics to fit the required theme.

Sometimes, in amongst all the depression of the world falling apart, we just need a hit. It’s quite simply the country earworm of 2022 - a year where we could all do with dreaming of being totally shitfaced on a beach in Cancun, having an absolute wild one. Ciara and I won’t have it any other way.

- RJ


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Written by Ciara Bains
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Holler Country Music

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