Sam Hunt has spent a lot of time since the release of 2014’s Montevallo reading and watching documentaries, most recently Ken Burns’ Country Music, which left him fascinated with and inspired by the deepest roots of the genre. As he wraps up work on his second album, the singer-songwriter says he’s trying to figure out a way to incorporate an old country song into something new as a “nod to tradition,” but in a modern, Sam Hunt-esque way.
“I feel like it’s important that we break down some walls and barriers when it comes to social groups we align ourselves with, and also the music we listen to,” Hunt told Rolling Stone. “I’ve never wanted to not include a reference [to classic country] because the group that I belong to thinks it doesn’t fit. The less we genre the music, the less we genre ourselves as people.”
Though he’s often most lauded — or chided, depending on where you land — for his sonic style, most of Hunt’s songs actually originate with their lyrics. He got his start as a writer (Kenny Chesney’s “Come Over,” Keith Urban’s “Cop Car,” Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight,” Reba’s “Love Somebody”) and he’s often specific and vulnerable, loading his songs with self-doubt, guilt, anxieties, and loneliness. “I like playing with the English language,” he says. “A lot of my cowriters, they start with a feel. But I approach it from an idea perspective. What do we want to say?”
Hunt released his new song “Sinning With You” early Friday morning. A rumination on faith and spirituality, it’s his first fresh release since 2019’s “Kinfolks.”