Country Perspective’s 2014 Song of The Year Nominees

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As 2014 comes to a close, Country Perspective will be handing out a number of awards to the artists, songs, and albums we covered over the year. We’ll be crowning the best of the best and the worst of the worst.  Despite the piles of garbage thrown out to radio this year, there were many great, downright spectacular country songs released for music fans.  More times than not, one had to dig deep into the realms of independent country, or even search international lands for great country song. And surprisingly, a few mainstream artists popped out few tunes this year worthy to be nominated by Country Perspective for Song of Year.

Awards will be handed out in mid-late December. Josh and I will deliberate and reach the final decisions together, but we will also take reader input into consideration. So if you have a strong opinion about a song listed here, or about a song we may have forgotten, feel free to comment below and let us know. Who knows, you may sway the vote! Best Song of the Year may be one of the toughest categories to choose. There are several songs we have listed that could all reasonably be crowned this award. Due to the extensive nature of our list, I’ll give a short-short blurb about each song to keep this post reasonable.

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Without further ado, and in no particular order, your 2014 Country Song of the Year Nominees:

  • Cry Over You” by Tami Neilson – A timeless, 1950s style country song with a spine-tingling vocal delivery from Tami. Great production behind the vocals, and lyrics about heartbreak. This song is everything that makes country music great. Full review of Dynamite! here.
  • Liberty Bell” by Matt Woods – Great acoustic instrumentation that builds to a roaring middle. Woods’ voice carries this song about getting through life’s hardships with hope and perseverance. Full review of With Love From Brushy Mountain here.
  • Find Me” by Sunny Sweeney – On an album with 3 or 4 worthy nominees, “Find Me” stands out for one main reason: Sunny’s emotional delivery of a song about a soul longing for the one. The instrumentation is perfect and builds appropriately behind brilliant lyrics. Full review of Provoked here.
  • What We Ain’t Got” by Jake Owen – This just might be Jake Owen’s best song ever recorded. His voice sells this heartbreaking piano ballad. Owen straight knocks this one out of the park. This song is about as real as life gets. Full song review here.
  • Turtles All the Way Down” by Sturgill Simpson – A song that brilliantly combines the pure, classic sounds of country with modern influences. A song that challenges faith, drugs, and love. This song is Metamodern in the truest sense, and best encapsulates what Metamodern Sounds in Country Music is all about. Full review here.
  • Oklahoma Lottery” by Karen Jonas – A dark, heartbreaking song about struggling through a hard spell of life: Droughts on the farm, faith challenged, and heading West for a better life. Karen Jonas’s voice fluctuates perfectly with the story, and the simple instrumentation is perfect behind the lyrics. Full review of Oklahoma Lottery here.
  • Dearly Departed Friend” by Old Crow Medicine Show – A song discussing the hardships of war: lamenting the loss of a soldier, and touching on topics of PTSD. The folk instrumentation fits with the topic, and shows OCMS’s strength. Full review of Remedy here.
  • Cedar Lane” by First Aid Kit – Beautiful melodies, subdued instrumentation, and deep, thoughtful lyrics about a long-lost of love. This Swedish duo delivers on this impressive song. Full review of Stay Gold here.
  • Baby, The Rain Must Fall” by BlackHawk – Love ends bitterly in this heartbreak song. A simple, acoustic instrumentation with wonderful vocal deliveries and harmonies. Full review of Brothers of the Southland here.
  • I Thank God” by Rich O’Toole – Born out of a surprise pregnancy in an affair, Rich reflects on how he might not have been here if his Mom had gotten an abortion. The lyrics show depth and understanding on the situation. It’s just a beautiful song.  Full review of Jaded here.
  • Liars & Fools” by Jason Eady – Eady sings about trying it out, and giving it your all here. Simple, pure country instrumentation and a heartfelt vocal delivery. Full review of Daylight & Dark here.
  • When I Come Around” by Lee Ann Womack – A great song from the long-awaited release from Lee Ann Womack. Beautiful vocals from Lee Ann about searching for a man she once knew. “When I Come Around” has wonderful country instrumentation to top it off. Full review of The Way I’m Livin here.
  • She Don’t Love You” by Eric Paslay – A heartbroken girl is in a new relationship. Paslay comments to the new man about her brokenness, only for us to learn that Paslay may be one who broke this woman. Simple, honest lyrics that tell a heartbreaking story, and Eric Paslay sings the song with a voice that perfectly compliments the material. A great modern representation of country music. Full review of Eric Paslay here.
  • Walk Alone” by Moot Davis – An uptempo song about getting over a relationship. A fun, upbeat country melody, and Davis’ voice is nothing short of fantastic. We have no official review for the song or album, but both have been featured on Country Perspective’s midyear “Best Of” lists.
  • River Rising” by Lucette – A more subdued track, and one of the best from the brilliant Black is the Color. Lucette’s lyrics are full of mystery and require careful listen to grasp the story. I think this is a song about dying due to this line, “so let the river carry me home.” Lucette’s vocals are beautiful here. Full review of Black is the Color here.
  • Coping Mechanism” by Shovels & Rope – This song is about finding a better way to cope with a broken heart. Cary Ann’s vocal delivery is powerful here, with Michael harmonizing perfectly behind her. The instrumentation is upbeat, intense, and fits like a glove behind the vocals. As Josh wrote, “this song has the total package.” Full review of Swimmin’ Time here.
  • West Texas Rain” by Wade Bowen – Wade Bowen might just have the best modern country sound. This song about recognizing one’s imperfections is well written with a roaring vocal delivery from Bowen to cap it off. Full review of Wade Bowen here.
  • There’s No Country Here” by Melody Williamson – In the year of anti bro-country, YouTube sensation Melody Williamson has the best of them all. Written as heartbreaking disappointment over the direction of modern country, Melody’s voice captures the emotions with every note. A song of the year dark horse if there ever was one.
  • This Side of Heaven” by The Swon Brothers – I think we were all shocked that this duo from The Voice has a song like this. A great offering off an otherwise rocky, back and forth album. Life can be tough, but we have heaven to look forward to. A wonderful, heartbreaking song of faith. And let’s not forget Carrie Underwood’s harmonies that only help this song soar. Full review of The Swon Brothers here.
  • Here On Earth” by Dierks Bentley – Cowritten by Bentley, and we have to imagine this song is an expression of his confusion and hurt in response to his father’s passing. This song captures the thoughts most have after a loss like that, and still keeps hope alive within life’s darkest moments.

That’s far from the end of possibilities, but we had to cap our selections at some point. Please share your thoughts and help us decide what to crown as the best country song of 2014. This is one of the hardest categories to choose as many of them have a legitimate argument to be chosen, so your comments and votes will definitely help. If you haven’t already, check out the rest of our nominations for our awards: best male and female singers, best duo or group, best and worst albums, and worst song of 2014.

 

9 thoughts on “Country Perspective’s 2014 Song of The Year Nominees

  1. Cobra December 11, 2014 / 11:53 am

    My vote goes to either “West Texas Rain” or “Liars and Fools”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. NoahHibiscusEaton December 11, 2014 / 5:13 pm

    All of these choices are more than deserving of acclaim! =D

    However, I’m going to go with “Oklahoma Lottery”, and here’s why. Many of the songs listed tend to gravitate around the common theme of love, loss and moving on…………and while all of these songs deliver in spades in different ways, “Oklahoma Lottery” just stands out from most the rest on the basis of addressing another subject that isn’t broached as much these days in the familiar sense: the toils of agrarian life and livelihood.

    In a time where California (where the vast majority of fruits and vegetables are grown) is suffering from its worst drought in centuries and plenty other parts of the heartland are experiencing drought as well, this makes for an especially timely and urgent listen. And the earthy production and Jonas’ intimate delivery just all-around makes for a gut-puncher that nonetheless doesn’t get syrupy or hits you over the head. Just a brilliant record all around.

    That said, I won’t flinch if any of the other selections win. “She Don’t Love You” is by far the best mainstream country song I’ve heard since at least “Merry Go ‘Round”, and “What We Ain’t Got” isn’t far behind. “There’s No Country Here” deserves an honorable mention due to the wisdom beyond her years Melody signals.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Derek Hudgin December 11, 2014 / 5:39 pm

      I have this narrowed down in my mind to about four songs that I feel stand out on a greater level compared to the rest in ways of production quality, content/writing, and vocals. And I agree with a lot of what you say in your last paragraph. Jake Owen and Eric Paslay have the best mainstream songs in the past few years, which is refreshing and needed today!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Will December 11, 2014 / 6:54 pm

    As someone who listens to mainstream country music and follows this blog, I’m glad that you included some mainstream songs on this list (even if they are only a few). That being said I would vote for ‘Here On Earth.’ I feel as if very few people have heard it but its one of my favorites of all time. I’m not really a fan of ‘What We Ain’t Got.’ While it does have some sentiment, its not particularly groundbreaking or interesting to listen to. Nice list!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Zack December 11, 2014 / 9:37 pm

    Wow, what a list of songs! My personal favorite is Gary Allan- “It Ain’t The Whiskey” with “Turtles All The Way Down” as a runner-up. Glen Campbell’s- “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” was also just perfect as well. What a great year for country!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh Schott December 11, 2014 / 10:10 pm

      “It Ain’t The Whiskey” was released in 2013, but yes it’s a great song. It was one of my favorites of 2013.

      Like

      • Zack December 12, 2014 / 7:08 am

        Oh sorry, i only included because it peaked in March or so

        Like

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