Sam Hunt plays a man smitten in his new song “Kinfolks,” released on Thursday afternoon. It’s the Georgia native’s first release since “Downtown’s Dead” came out in May 2018.
Hunt wrote the song with his frequent collaborators Zach Crowell, Jerry Flowers, and Josh Osborne, imagining a man who falls hard for someone and wants to give them a tour of his past. “I ain’t never had a type, having a type takes two/but I know what I like, and you’re the only one of you,” he sings, simultaneously sly and vulnerable. Built off acoustic guitar arpeggios that lead into big, bright choruses of banjo, vocal snippets, and wah-wah guitar, it’s not too far afield from the all-embracing sound that made his debut Montevallo such a compelling listen, but this time the brooding is replaced by a cautious sense of optimism and a breezy acoustic guitar solo that takes the song home.
“When I think of ‘kinfolks,’ when I think of that phrase,” says Hunt in a release, “I think of my family, but also I think of my people back home – beyond family. It’s my buddies who’ve been a part of my story from the beginning.”
Hunt has only released music sporadically since his 2014 album Montevallo turned him into a major star. In early 2017, he shared the confessional single “Drinkin’ too Much,” which he followed with the record-breaking “Body Like a Back Road.” In 2018, he took a turn back toward brooding with “Downtown’s Dead,” though it wasn’t a massive radio hit. In the meantime, he’s stayed busy playing festivals, including a headlining gig at Stagecoach 2019.