Sam Hunt engages in some light genre-bending with “Water Under the Bridge,” his new single for country radio to consider. A soulful piano quickly mixes with a drum loop to create a new version of a sound that’s uniquely Hunt and decidedly pop-country.
The best Hunt songs to date paint a picture of his Southern raising. He built a fully functioning community across the Montevallo album, but spread his wings on select tracks from Southside. “Body Like a Back Road” and “Kinfolks” are two songs that come home, and the singer, his fans and the radio were better for it. There’s a certain energy to Hunt’s storytelling when it seems like he’s sharing old memories, and that — combined with an infectious melody and beat — is what drives this new song.
Lyrically, “Water Under the Bridge” couldn’t be more simple. Hunt and co-writers Chris LaCorte, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne arranged fewer than 200 unique words for the song, but the group is able to parse through several emotions. There’s the joy of nostalgia and sadness that it’s all behind them. There’s some regret and youthful defiance, but at the chorus, one finds fitting humility when he sings “we were young, dumb and so full of it.“ It’s a lesson in word economy.
Some occasional self-loathing is required for an artist interested in a 10-year career. Hunt has done that well by recalling heartbreak as often as more joyful memories from his past. “23” stung, but “Water Under the Bridge” finds him smiling again. It’s a song about being content, which is about as close to happy as many people will get in 2022.
Did You Know?: All of Sam Hunt’s 11 radio singles have been certified Gold or Platinum.
Listen to Sam Hunt, “Water Under the Bridge”:
Sam Hunt’s “Water Under the Bridge” Lyrics:
I can’t believe this ol’ road ain’t washed out / That no trespassing sign is still hanging around / And it’s doing about as much good now as it did back then / Yeah, you know we used to load up on Natty, unleaded and smokes / Hide from the sheriff and let down our folks / Park some old Chevy jukebox up here on the bank / Crank it ‘til the thing won’t crank.
That muddy river, it was rollin’ / We didn’t care where it was goin’ / We had it made, we didn’t know it / We were young, dumb, and so full of it / Broken bottles and graffiti / Beer and girls and poppin’ wheelies / Love was fun and life was easy / Now it’s just water under the bridge.
I kissed a girl my buddy used to like / He showed up out here and he wanted to fight / Now I still talk to him, but I don’t know where she is / Guess it’s just water under the bridge.