Hunter Thomas Mounce’s Hard Work Pays Off with Sophomore Album, ‘Right Where We Left Off’

When an artist finishes recording an album, it’s almost second nature to feel the urge to release it out into the world right away. That’s what makes the strategy Hunter Thomas Mounce took for the release of his sophomore album, Right Where We Left Off, so impressive.

Instead of throwing all 12 of the album’s tracks at his fans at once, Mounce played the long game, releasing most of the album’s songs as singles over the past three years, allowing each to have their moment and to receive the love they deserve. That’s not to say the album’s release is solely rehashed material, as the album’s lead track, “Bronco,” serves as a new offering that strikes country-rocking gold with its thumping backbeat and rocking guitars as fiddle and steel guitar weave their way through the song.

We caught up with Mounce to talk all about Right Where We Left Off, his release strategy, growth, more new music and more!

Pro Country: You’ve been steadily releasing singles from your new album, Right Where We Left Off, for nearly three years now. As release day for the album was approaching, how much were you looking forward to offering the songs as a collection and having another album release?

Hunter Thomas Mounce: I’ve been really looking forward to it! I’ve learned so much through this process of releasing singles. Biggest thing: the dates will sneak up on you, so you had better be prepared if you want the song to succeed. I think people will still find a lot of value in this album even though most of the songs have been heard individually. These songs, as a collection, seem to take on a more bold identity when listened to as a cohesive project.

PC: Prior to the album’s release, Right Where We Left Off landed in the top 25 of the iTunes pre-order chart. What was it like for you to see the pre-order/pre-save support you received upon the album’s announcement and to see your name amongst some of the brightest artists in the genre?

HTM: I’m just grateful for all the people who consistently show up for me. Being on that chart for a short time is a huge honor.

PC: “Bronco” serves as the album opener, is the new song released with the album and is a song you co-wrote with Nick DeLeo. Can you take us in the room and talk about how the song came together?

HTM: I remember sitting in my living room with Nick one night. We were talking about how we spend every dollar we have making the music we love. We moved away and we miss out on stuff. All of our friends back home are buying houses, getting married and having kids. It’s frustrating and you question whether you made the right decision or not. “Bronco” was the response to all of those feelings. A “remember who the hell you are” kind of song. I hope people relate to it no matter what kind of difficult dream they’re chasing.

PC: Can you tell us the significance of the album title Right Where We Left Off?

HTM: Dylan Rucker came up with it. He’s one of my best buddies and he took all the album photos. My first album and this album have a lot in common. One of those things is this: Dylan will send me a bunch of potential album covers and he will attach random titles to these hypothetical album covers. He came up with the title Folks Like Me and You. And he paired it with the actual album cover photo we ended up using. When it was time to start putting the art together for this new record, he sent me a few album covers again. Right Where We Left Off was a random title. I thought it was silly. Then it grew on me. I realized that Dylan and I are both in very different places now. He’s super successful in the music video industry and works with all of the top artists. But, he still carved out time for me because he truly cares. It’s like we picked up right where we left off! It feels like a natural progression when you pair this new album with my debut project. A lot of new writers were on this record. There are some new things I tried with the way these songs sound. That familiar feeling is still there though. Kenny Royster is still the producer. Dylan made me look like a million bucks again. The title just seemed fitting!

PC: What do you hope listeners take away from Right Where We Left Off after listening all the way through?

HTM: I hope they realize that the little people can compete with the quality of the big guys. Sure, we don’t have a massive marketing budget or a giant team around us, but these songs are proof that if you chip away and work at something every day, a great product is waiting on the other side. I love these songs and I stand behind them 100%.

PC: The last time we talked, you mentioned that you have even more new music coming down the pipeline after the release of Right Where We Left Off. How important is it for you to keep a steady string of releases flowing at this point in your career?

HTM: It’s super important for me to keep busy and to keep releasing music. It forces me to keep working. If I stop writing or being creative, I won’t have anything new to deliver. Sometimes putting a little pressure on yourself can lead to a productive work flow. That’s just the way I see it.

PC: You released your debut EP, Can’t Get Enough, seven years ago. Over the last seven years, what is the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself as an artist?

HTM: This stuff is difficult and it takes way longer than I could’ve ever imagined. I was pretty clueless about the whole thing coming in. I know now that no one is going to hand anything to me. Things happen when the timing is right. If they haven’t happened, it’s because I’m not ready. So I’ve had to figure out a way to keep moving forward while making sure I still love it.

PC: The last time we talked, you also mentioned that 2023 was going to be a year of growth for you. Where do you see room for growth and where do you want to grow this year?

HTM: I do believe this is a year of growth. I spent 2022 trying to figure out just how many different hats an independent artist has to wear. Now that I have a better grasp of that, content is flowing more easily. Booking has become less of a headache. Contracts are easier to draw up, etc. The tasks are more clear now. I just have to get to work. That’s how the growth will happen.

PC: is there anything you’d like to add?

HTM: If you’re a fan of small business and willing to support alternative media outlets, please subscribe to Pro Country. Talented, passionate and hard-working are all things that describe Justin. Thank you Justin and Pro Country for giving me the spotlight for a day. I look forward to all the exciting things coming our way in the future! Hopefully sometime we can pick up “Right Where We Left Off.”

*All images by Dylan Rucker*


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