2021 wasn’t just the start of a new calendar year for Hunter Thomas Mounce. With his single “Alone in the Lone Star,” released in early January, Mounce also introduced a new era for himself as an artist, and his listeners showed that they were ready to hop on board with him.
The song has already become one of Mounce’s most-streamed songs on Spotify, something he says has validated him and the work he put in to honing in on his sound.
“It’s super validating. Every time I record a song or put a song out into the world, I am doing it because something instinctually tells me to do so, but I still want a song to do well with my audience,” says Mounce. “When the two of those things align, like they have with ‘Alone in the Lone Star,’ it’s an amazing experience.”
As February came to a close, Mounce introduced the second installment to his new artistic chapter. Mounce’s new single, “What She Forgot,” follows the instinctual nature of his music and its sequencing.
“I have a bunch of songs recorded. Of all the songs, this just felt like the right move,” says Mounce. “Not sure the specific reason, but again, it just felt like the right thing to do instinctually.”
When the idea for his new single came forward in the writing room, Mounce says he instantly knew it was a song he wanted to cut.
“I wrote this song with Nick DeLeo and Reece Phillips. This was a day where we had all passed around ideas that were in our phones. I wrote with Nick the other day and he verified that it was his idea. (Honestly, it had been a while so I forgot). Something about his idea ‘The only thing she forgot’ struck a chord with all three of us in the room. We agreed it would be cool to list material items that a girl had taken from you all while leaving your house vacant, and leaving you like a lost puppy,” says Mounce. “Once the song was done, I immediately said, ‘I’m cutting that if it’s okay with you guys.’ Again, that instinctual thing. Not sure if it’s right or wrong.”
While both of his 2021 singles tap into a more 90s country sound to our ear than anything he’s previously released, Mounce says he is focused less on filling a certain lane and more on serving the songs.
“Honestly, I’m not doing that intentionally. I feel like my producer, Kenny Royster, has worked with me enough to know how I am evolving. I feel like he is evolving with me. He knows what sound I’m looking for even when I don’t directly come out and say it,” says Mounce. “On this song, I told him ‘I know I want that lead lick to be a mandolin, other than that, have at it!’ And the song came out the way it did. It’s truly a special thing we are developing down at Direct Image Studio.”
Though 2020 took a toll on Mounce mentally, he says he is enjoying being creative and is maintaining gratitude for his current situation in 2021.
“Creativity seems to happen when I’m just being myself. I’ve really had to readjust my perspective. To be quite honest, I’ve had a ton of self-doubt. It can be a constant battle. I’m trying to get back to doing music simply because I love it,” says Mounce. “I’ve also been trying to be more grateful of the situation I find myself in. I live in Nashville. I have a steady income from the Fire Department that’s been seemingly unaffected by the pandemic. I know I’m extremely fortunate. If I can keep that mindset, I believe good things will follow.”
*”What She Forgot” is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*