Finally, back after “Hard To Forget” and “Breaking Up Was Easy In The 90” — two of 2020’s most beloved country anthems — is vocalist Sam Hunt. Via Instagram, he previewed a track tentatively titled “Came The Closest,” a self-described “rough acoustic demo” of an emotional ballad.
’Cause I always gotta know what’s behind the other door / I’m never gonna be that straight-laced Sunday-morning man you were lookin’ for / Nobody’s ever tied me down in a clapboard house, some kids and a bed of roses / But you came the closest …” he sings, finding yet another pathway into an intriguing story-as-song. Hunt’s April 2020-released album, Southside, was a pandemic-era favorite. Yet, he still, throughout the year, continued working in the studio after having to cancel his tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this year, he’s been slowly teasing new music, and now this snippet has arrived.
As he noted to PEOPLE in a September 2020 interview, he tired of “flipping the phone up on a bookcase and playing a song over the internet” during the pandemic. As far as shaking off the road rust, he added, “I haven’t really played very much, I haven’t really done much of the online thing. Some of our fans who we haven’t been able to connect with for quite a while,” the singer noted. “I’m excited to have a chance to play with all of our equipment set up and all the guys in the band and crew. I’m really looking forward to having the chance to spread our wings [again].”