HARDY has built a name for himself in country music by painting pictures of a simple life, from his Mississippi raisin’ to his affinity for all things country.
When he released his debut song ‘Rednecker’ in 2019, it was unmistakable how his way with words would become the stamp on his music, nuanced by the unapologetic way he sees the world.
And yes, there’s some rock in his writing. He grew up on it, he maintains - but the country comes through loud and clear and with good reason. He’s penned songs for everyone from Morgan Wallen (‘Up Down’) to Blake Shelton (‘God’s Country’), but lately he’s been saving the good stuff for himself.
An artist who can tell a gripping tale, pour his heartbreak into a song and tip his ball cap to a bona fide country life, here is Holler’s list of the Best HARDY Songs.
He’s got buck blood on his Sunday clothes, lets moonshine get the best of him, has directions to a honey hole, spoon scales his perch, dips in church and has a freezer full of good aim.
That should be enough to help you get to know how Hardy does life. The a cappella first verse highlights the purity of the lyrics before the instrumentation comes in and backs the rest of the song with swagger and conviction.
This is HARDY’s wish: that we could all go back in time, to whatever year you consider old school. For him, it’s when the moonwalk, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer and bucket seats in a Skylark were commonplace.
He’s even thrown some 90s country references in this nostalgic romp, citing both ‘Don't Rock the Jukebox’ (Alan Jackson) and ‘Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)’ (John Michael Montgomery) as the throwback tunes that take him back in time.
As far as we know, this might be the first country song to ever personify emotions. So it hits different than other songs about hate, bitterness, cruelty, jealousy, love, anger and all the others.
In HARDY’s opinion, Happy is the friend you have to let in. And just so you know, if you abuse him for the night, he don’t show for a while. The bottom line is, “Hey, Happy, why can’t everybody just be you?”
Good question, right?
This honest, modern ballad is all about the hardships of falling out of love; all those incessant temptations to call her, scroll through her Instagram and fantasize about kissing her.
But in this letter to Drunk You from Sober You, you’re reminded that there’s healing in the lonely. That’s sage advice to any man (or woman) who has been the one to carry a torch long after you should have.
Turn this one up loud to hear to the unofficial autobiography of HARDY. As in, he don't come from the city, he got some rock 'n' roll roots, he still speaks Mississippi and he’s got some miles on his boots.
Since this song pre-dates his record deal, it wasn’t a big radio hit, but it still does a very thorough job of explaining what will and won’t change now that he’s fallen in love.
This was the world’s first introduction to HARDY when it was released in 2018. It’s about how he’s got a little more kick in his drawl, a little more spit in his chaw and a floorboard full of Slim Jims.
It was the perfect debut song, because it immediately showed off what HARDY is so good at. Checking all the boxes of his country lifestyle and using a comparative adjective to describe it perfectly.
(You can’t help but wonder how the song would’ve sounded had HARDY used the superlative, making him the redneckist.)
The break-up song by which all the other break-up songs should be measured.
She’s left him to go back to her hometown that she loves, and he hopes it turns out to be her worst nightmare - that the streets have been renamed, the bars have shut down and memory lane has disappeared.
The song showcases a pissed-off HARDY, telling her exactly how he feels about her decision even though he doesn’t mean to be mean. But ultimately, it’s all because he wants her to turn around and come back to him.
Prepare to get choked up for a good three minutes within the first few seconds.
A tragic death of a young man brings his friends to church to say their goodbyes, and to tell him exactly what to do when he gets to the other side. Make some thunder, make 'em wonder how you got in, hide your beer and your clear from the man upstairs, crank it loud and hold it down 'til they get there.
Just picturing a group of young men in suits and ties at a funeral is enough to move even the hardest of hearts, especially with the admonishment that “Man it ain't right / But if you gotta be there, give heaven some hell.”
This song could easily be the sequel to ‘GIVE HEAVEN SOME HELL’. Because again, HARDY has made the star of the song a man who’s passed tragically young. And his message to the folks he left behind? Drink one for him.
“Drink one for me / Just know I’d be there holding one in the air / If I didn’t have somewhere to be” and “I begged Jesus when I got here to send me back for just one night / ‘cause I didn’t know that last beer was the last beer of my life.”
An upbeat, catchy love song about a truck? HARDY’s the man for the job. But even beyond that, the song is about the way a pick-up truck symbolizes everything about a man’s truck.
From the songs on his radio to the 12-pack in the passenger seat, the truck becomes more than a mode of transportation. To HARDY, it’s how you can tell that even though you can't judge a book by its cover, you can judge a country boy by his truck.
This song was HARDY’s first No. 1 song, about an unintentional pregnancy.
In the same way that Eric Church painted a picture of a teen-dad scare in his ‘Two Pink Lines’, HARDY creates a similar vignette about being 17 in a small town with weak knees in a CVS, questioning what's gonna be waitin' on that test?
The moral of the story is that the whole thing started with some alcohol and a love-drunk kiss, but now when he looks at his son and daughter, he knows that the world don’t spin without ‘em.
Alaina’s voice lends the song the woman’s perspective of that unexpected life change after a one-night stand.
There’s an immediate halo effect of having Morgan Wallen’s name on a song, and it’s taking the color red to new heights.
It’s not just the red from the American flag, it’s the color of her lips, courthouse bricks, barn doors, bloodhounds and a country boy’s neck. At the end of the day, we all bleed red.
The collaboration is so seamless that it’s hard to determine where HARDY’s voice ends and Wallen’s begins.
Collaborative in the most genuine way, because this one invites a like-minded artist to share how their rural life is the only way of life.
They can turn that dirt into what’s on the table, they wake up with the sun and they keep their dust-covered, rusted trucks running. So no matter who sees “nothin’ out there,” they’ll know that there are a lot of people proud to be middle-of-nowhere folks makin' somethin' outta nothin'.
All of us are surrounded with too many screens - TVs, laptops, smart phones, even wristwatches - but when you hear this song, one rises quickly to the top: the treasured back porch screen.
That’s your view of the things you can see with your own eyes, like a sunset, a sunrise or a storm. Because, as HARDY illuminates, those batteries might run out but your memory will never die.
You can take this song one of two ways: a noble knight in shining armor rescues a damsel in distress. Or a complete stranger goes to jail for killing a woman’s abuser.
Either way, it is a powerful story delivered in just four minutes: he sees a battered woman, he goes to her ex’s double wide, shoots him with a Judge - a Taurus .45 Colt revolver - he has in his truck, and then willingly goes to jaiI.
It is a classic example of true story songs that have a beginning, a middle and an end. And even better, this song isn’t just about that one time he did that thing, it’s about the measure of a man.
Listen and subscribe to Holler's The Best HARDY Songs playlist above. For more on HARDY, see below: