Sam Hunt has returned with the new song “23,” the “Hard to Forget” singer’s first release since the 2020 album Southside.
Penned by Hunt with collaborators Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, and Chris LaCorte — who also served as the track’s producer — “23” takes a look back at the immutable properties of a youthful relationship. People may break up and move on, but the events remain fixed in their original sequence: “No matter where I go, no matter what I do/I’ll never be 23 with anyone but you,” Hunt sings.
The stylistically fluid Hunt makes a gesture toward Eighties pop and country with “23,” incorporating sounds that feel softer and gauzier than the overdriven guitars of many country hits. There’s also a banjo and steel melody that repeats throughout the song, complementing Hunt’s delicate vocal and acoustic guitar.
In an accompanying video, Hunt and his band perform the song at Oceanway Studio in Nashville, rendering it as a gentle country ballad.
Hunt is currently on tour, playing both headlining shows and summer festivals. On Thursday, he’s set to play Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, followed by Daily’s Place Amphitheater in Jacksonville on Friday. He’s also on the bill at South Carolina’s Greenville Country Music Fest for September 11th and the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 17th.