Autumn Hill, "Can't Keep Waiting"
This is my absolute favorite Canadian country artist. One of the best written songs in either nation this year. Autumn Hill is such a talented vocal duo. This song leans contemporary for sure, but it might have been the best song on their album. Which is saying a ton. -S14
Kellie Pickler, "Little Bit Gypsy"
A toe-tapping beat propels this fun, melodic number, which boasts an infectious
chorus: both lyrically and musically. Kellie Pickler's personality shines
through thanks to her perky vocals that fit the song like a glove. -IC
Joe Nichols, "Sunny and 75"
Perhaps his most modern, but also arguably his best. Nichols puts in a Grade-A vocal performance, backed up by a cool as heck arrangement. -MM
Blake Shelton, "Mine Would Be You"
That last line... wow. I mean, nothing against the killer vocals or production but seriously. -MM
George Strait, "I Got A Car"
When "I Got A Car" starts, you automatically think to yourself if your a true country fan, "Yeah, I'm gonna love this". The melody is classic George. If this was released in 1992 you would never know the difference. And of course the clever hook. "I guess I hadn't thought it through that far... But I got a car". -S14
Little Big Town, "Your Side Of The Bed"
The chemistry between real-life couple Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook
during the vocal duet is unmatched. But its the soaring four-part harmonies,
which are put front-and-center on this quietly-produced ballad, that seal the
deal for this powerful song. -IC
Sara Evans, "Slow Me Down"
Starting with a hook that packs a punch, Sara Evans elevates the song even
further with her effective vocal performance on the big chorus. The use of
plucked strings puts a unique stamp on its sleek, modern feel. -IC
Easton Corbin, "All Over The Road"
Breezy, fun and 100% country. Reminiscent of King Georges best work. -MM
David Nail, "Whatever She's Got"
One of the most infectious melodies of the year makes great use of
the bouncing banjo. Coupled with equally catchy lyrics and sung by one of
today's most gifted male country vocalists, it is a bright spot among other
lightweight tunes. -IC
Dan + Shay, "19 You+Me"
Two words, "The Chorus". Shay Mooney's vocals are picture perfect, and the imagery is amazing as well. -S14
Little Big Town, "Sober"
Kimberly finally gets a lead vocal, and damn did they pick a good one to give her. Beautiful song and Jay Joyce's less-is-more approach paired with Kimberly's killer vocal makes this by far LBT's best single to date. -MM
Ashley Monroe, "Like A Rose"
Ashley Monroe's autobiographical tune hits hard on all fronts. Sharp,
detailed lyrics combined with twangy vocals over a simple, neo-traditional
production treatment makes for an enjoyable listen. -IC
Tebey, "Til It's Gone"
I believe that Tebey wrote one of the best chorus' I've ever heard. The sad truth of life is until something is finally taken away from you.. Then you would appreciate it, and you would just want another chance at it. Unfortunately life doesn't work that way.
Maggie Rose, "Better"
Maggie Rose turns in a beautiful and passionate vocal on a song that
thrives on her emotional delivery. The lyrical subject matter is refreshing and
the production is well done, making for a very tight piece of contemporary
country. I can't get enough of "Better" and it is easily my favorite country
single of 2013. -IC
Chris Cagle, "Dance Baby Dance"
Can you believe this is Chris Cagle singing this tear jerking father-daughter ballad? The same guy that sang hillbilly rock anthems like "Got My Country On"? I'm not sure I believe it, but Cagle has given us my favorite single of 2013. -MM
LoCash Cowboys, "Best Seat In The House"
If you didn't know who the artist was, I can guarantee you would say "Wow.. That's a great song". Forget what LoCash has done before in the past. This touching father son ballad was my favorite single of 2013, and a song that every person that has lost their dad should hear. -S14
The Band Perry, "Don't Let Me Be Lonely"
Crafty songwriting and a charismatic performance make this a standout
among the group's strong catalog. The fluctuating energy level of the song plays out well with the lyrics, with the slow roll of the verses becoming an event at the chorus, only to draw back for an effective bridge. -IC
Miranda Lambert, "All Kinds Of Kinds"
Lambert's joyful performance backed up by a unique arrangement and a killer lyric about being yourself makes this Lambert's finest single since "The House That Built Me". -MM
Gary Allan, "It Ain't The Whiskey"
Country music was built on this kind of music. Gary's vocal delivery along with the haunting feel to it, makes this one of the best songs he has ever recorded. -S14
Kacey Musgraves, "Follow Your Arrow"
TICM's best single of 2013 is Musgraves' lighthearted anthem to being yourself, despite what others think. Wether that be same sex marriage, smoking pot or just not giving a damn. It's a remarkable song, executed perfectly by one of the top young talents in music. Bravo Kacey, bravo. -MM