When an artist releases a new single in January, it can go a long way towards dictating how the rest of their year is going to go. That said, Hunter Thomas Mounce is pulling out all the stops to make sure he gets his year started right with his new single, “Angel’s Share.”
Written by powerhouse duo Erin Enderlin and Levi Lowrey (the former of which wrote his biggest single to date, “Feelin’ the Fire Burn Out), Mounce’s new single also features reigning CMA Musician of the Year Jeneé Fleenor, with her top-tier fiddle work recently featured on albums by Cody Johnson and Jon Pardi, as well as on stage on The Voice and a member of Blake Shelton’s band.
We caught up with Mounce to talk all about “Angel’s Share,” as well as his album release strategy, his podcast, growth and more!
Pro Country: Over the last year, you’ve been steadily releasing an album’s worth of songs as singles. With several of those releases now under your belt since the last time we talked, what have you enjoyed about that process?
Hunter Thomas Mounce: The thing I’ve enjoyed most about the process is the knowledge I’ve gained. This has been a new strategy for me, and I have come to appreciate each song having its own moment. That sounds trivial perhaps, but sometimes releasing an album full of new songs can spread the attention thin. With some luck, hopefully you grab the attention of folks for an entire year, as opposed to just a few short weeks, after the “new album smell” has worn off.
PC: Your newest single, “Angel’s Share,” is your first true ballad that you’ve released in over a year. Why did you feel that it was the right time to slow things down and kick off 2023 with a ballad release to follow you last single, “Sideburns”?
HTM: Slow and sad traditional ballads are actually my favorite kind of country song. This felt like a good time to release the song because it is bitter cold outside, and this just feels like the kind of song you can listen to by a fire place. Plus, the whole “new year, new me” thing can be kind of overplayed this time of year. There are still plenty of us who are caught up in the past, though no one posts about it. This feels like a song for those people.
PC: “Angel’s Share” was written by Erin Enderlin and Levi Lowrey. How did you come across the song and what was it that drew you to record it?
HTM: Years ago when I was trying to finish my first album Folks Like Me and You, I ran into Erin Enderlin after her show at Knuckleheads in Kansas City. She had just played the venue with Kayla Ray. They asked me how my musical journey was going. I explained “I just needed another song or two to finish my first album.” Erin and Kayla both looked at one another, chuckled, and said “Well, we have a plethora of songs we’d love for you to consider.” I received a folder with about 30-40 songs and had my pick. The first song I knew I needed from this collection was “Feeling the Fire Burn Out.” It was the last song on my first album, and it is still the biggest release of my career so far. I heard “Angel’s Share” as well, but thought the song was so good that I wasn’t worthy of cutting it. A couple years later, I asked Erin “Has anyone cut that thing yet?” When she said no, I knew I had to record it.
PC: “Angel’s Share” features a duet vocal with Jeneé Fleenor. How did Jeneé become involved in the song and how much fun is it to have such a well-respected artist on the song?
HTM: Jeneé Fleenor has been CMA Musician of the Year four times. She is one of the best fiddle players in country music history as far as I can tell. When my producer, Kenny Royster, told me I could have her on my sessions, I couldn’t book her fast enough. When we went in to cut “Angel’s Share,” we had the idea to have her not only play three part harmonies on violin and viola, but also wanted her to sing this as a duet with me. When the song was done, I was over the moon. I still am!
PC: You’ve shared with us that there is more new music recorded and set for release. What information, if any, can you share about your forthcoming releases? What can listeners expect to hear?
HTM: People can expect a full album very, very soon. People can also expect music to be coming down the pipe directly after that.
PC: You started a podcast, “Folks Like Us,” in 2022, where you’ve had conversations with several musicians/friends. What was it that drew you to create the podcast and how much have you enjoyed the conversations you’d had so far?
HTM: ‘Folks Like Us’ was an experiment in 2022. I knew I could talk to people for long periods of time unscripted, and I truly wanted to hear everyone’s story. Well it’s no longer an experiment. It’s part of the work I will be doing from here on out. It has been so rewarding getting to hear about each individual’s journey. And I love giving them a (small) platform to talk about it.
PC: Along with additional single releases, what do you have planned for 2023?
HTM: Last year was a learning year. I’m making sure that this is a growth year. I’m going to be busier than ever playing shows and releasing songs all while trying to balance the other aspects of my life. I hope you’ll follow along as I attempt to navigate it all!
PC: Is there anything you’d like to add?
HTM: I just want to say thanks to Pro Country for giving folks like me a platform. I’ve learned that good write-ups and press are extremely hard to come by. Pro Country is so special to me, and the hard work you put in does not go unnoticed. I love seeing your growth as well.
*Images by Dylan Rucker*