Top Songs of 2013 (So Far)
The battle for the top country songs of 2013 has begun early, with superstars like Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton and Eric Church releasing new singles that will battle for the best song of the year. Don’t count out newcomers like Kacey Musgraves or Kip Moore, though. Their new songs are every bit as satisfying, even if they aren’t pulling in the sales numbers of country music’s top names … yet.
This Top Songs of 2013 list is a living, breathing and ever-changing list, meaning it will be updated monthly to reflect new songs released to radio. In 2012, two of the original top 10 remained on the list all year — something that is certainly possible in 2013. For this, we consider chart and sales figures, Taste of Country staff opinion and reader feedback. Any song that spent the majority of its chart life on the charts in 2013 is eligible.
'Like Jesus Does'
The new single from Church's 'Chief' album hopes to end where 'Springsteen' did on last year's list of the top country singles: on top. 'Like Jesus Does' is a dedicated love song that holds nothing back in showing appreciation for this bad boy's true love.
The follow-up to 'Merry Go 'Round' is every bit as real, and just as unconventional. Musgraves is a fresh breathe of air for fans tired of hearing the same types of music on the radio. 'Blowin' Smoke' is a cool three minutes of radio that will no-doubt rub fans of traditional country the wrong way. The single earns a place on the Top 10 Songs of 2013 list for it's strong songwriting and for being an original.
'Mama's Broken Heart'
Miranda Lambert called 'Mama's Broken Heart' her favorite song from 'Four the Record,' and it's made an impression with fans and radio as well. The ToC staff agreed it should rank high amongst the top songs of 2013.
'I Drive Your Truck'
Country fans love a song that brings them to tears, and Lee Brice delivers with 'I Drive Your Truck.' It's a song about losing a brother, but really anyone who's missing someone taken from them too soon will appreciate his story. Few are able to live a tale with each performance quite like Brice.
'Sure Be Cool if You Did'
Blake Shelton's new single from a yet-to-be-announced new project made an instant impact on airplay and sales charts. 'The Voice' coach and reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year will keep a heavy presence in Nashville between his many celebrity responsibilities. He's looking forward to his 2013 tour almost as much as his fans are.
Never before have the Band Perry let their long hair down and rocked out like they do on 'Done,' the second single from their 'Pioneer' album. The song is an all-out rock-country jam like fans have never seen from the family trio. It's a song that's guaranteed to blow the roof off of whatever building they play in 2013 and beyond.
'Hey Pretty Girl'
Kip Moore is one of the unsung heroes from last year. He quietly had a huge year, with a No. 1 single and an album that was ranked as one of the best of 2012. 'Hey Pretty Girl' is his most expressive effort from 'Up All Night.' It's a beautiful story that showcases Moore's unconventional songwriting style and grave -- yet warm -- voice.
'Downtown' debuted higher on the charts than any Lady Antebellum song ever has. The funky, sassy hit-in-the-making has country fans excited for the group's shortened summer tour, which includes a stop at the Taste of Country Music Festival in June. 'Downtown' has all the elements to be the top country song of 2013, but there's still too much year remaining to crown them too early.
Will this be the cover song of the year? Darius Rucker got help from Lady Antebellum to recreate 'Wagon Wheel.' His version loses none of the sincerity of the original Old Crow Medicine Show song, and it definitely leaves fans pining for the release of his new 'True Believers' album later this year.
'Highway Don't Care'
It's not just because Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw go together like butter on a biscuit. And it's not just because Keith Urban's guitar drives home an emotional catharsis late in this masterful single. It's all these things, combined with McGraw's great vocals and a well-written lyric. Everyone who touched this single was at his or her best, and the result is a top song on this list of the Top Songs of 2013.