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25 Best Country and Americana Songs of 2018

Tracks by Kenny Chesney, John Prine and Courtney Marie Andrews highlight the year in country songs

best country songs of 2018

Songs by Kenny Chesney, John Prine and Courtney Marie Andrews make up our best country songs of the year.

Rick Scuteri/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; Mark Zaleski/AP/Shutterstock; Andrew Benge/Redferns

Country music addressed a number of tough topics this year: addiction, failed marriages, the passage of time and disillusionment in our leaders, among them. And while those songs excelled because of their sharp lyricism, thoughtful arrangements and stellar production, or a combination of all three, at their core they reminded us that we’re all in this together. Here’s 25 tracks that gave us reason to reflect, reconsider and celebrate existence in 2018.

Courtney Marie Andrews

Laura E. Partain

1

Courtney Marie Andrews, “May Your Kindness Remain”

The best country and Americana song of 2018 is the one that left its mark through an indelible, essential message: how important it is to be a good, kind person, through and through. “May Your Kindness Remain,” the first track on Andrews’ album of the same name, starts subdued, with a delicate procession of organ and her pristine vocals presented as if she’s in an intimate conversation with only those close enough to feel her breath. But it soon takes a steady build from that contemplative folk to triumphant gospel, exploding with emotion as it progresses. “When your money runs out, and your good looks fade, may your kindness remain,” Andrews sings — flinging those words with all her might, like if she belted them loud enough, everyone on earth could hear. And they should. “May Your Kindness Remain” is a sentiment far more worthy of being printed on a red ball cap than anything else. M.M.