By Jack Robert, Contributing Writer
These country summer songs will be just what you need to finish off the summer strong! Featuring songs from openly gay artists of Americana, pop country, and traditional country! All of the songs on this list combine fun summertime sounds with the unique experience of being openly queer in country music.
“Got No Choice” – Brooke Eden
Brooke Eden has been around for a while but a recent Opry performance with Trisha Yearwood has brought her into the mainstream country spotlight. This song embraces queerness while still being an incredibly fun song! With a great hook to sing along to and a fun country pop beat, this is perfect for the mainstream country listener.
“21 Summer” – Brothers Osborne
When I think gay country summer songs this is the first to come to mind. With T.J Osborne being the most famous openly gay country star and literally having the word “summer” in the title, this song is perfect! It has the classic Brothers Osborne sound with a special nostalgia that can only be found when speaking about a true experience. For anyone who enjoys any type of country music this is the perfect song to help end your summer.
“Raise Hell” – Brandi Carlile
Brandi Carlile is an Americana icon and this song proves it. It starts out with a picked banjo intro and the song builds into a folk rock masterpiece. With belting vocals from Carlile and the Hanseroth brothers(frequent collaborators of Brandi), this song is a great, good time, end of summer jam. The lyrics encourage a little hard living and doing anything to have a good time. A perfect end of summer song for the Americana/folk rock listener.
“Backwoods Bougie” – Hayden Joseph
This song might not be for everyone because of it’s similarities to the much hated “bro country” genre that started back in 2014. That being said, it has everything a mainstream country summer song should have with a little bit of sass that any gay artist would add to keep it real. With fun lyrics that send the message to have a good time country style, this song is Florida Georgia Line if their peaches were a little too fruity.
“Mr. Atlanta” – Fancy Hagood
Did someone say pop-country heartbreak anthem? Fancy Hagood has been praised by the likes of Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne, and Leslie Jordan to name a few. While leaning on the pop side more than country, Hagood has become a queer icon for country music fans, and this song shows he deserves that title. While it might be a song about rejection, the fun beat and bouncy melodies make this song a fun summertime sing-a-long that any pop country fan will enjoy.
“Summertime” – Orville Peck
Orville Peck is one of the true artists of this generation. People see him as the masked cowboy but hear him as the next Johnny Cash… if Cash was openly gay, had a clothing line with Beyoncé, and no one knew his real identity. “Summertime” shows off his rich voice and the traditional country instrumentation which makes this a wonderful country summer song. Anyone who loves a rich bass voice with real instrumentals backing it up, will love this.
“Bigger Boat”(feat. Randy Newman) – Brandy Clark
Any Jimmy Buffet fans here? Maybe Zac Brown Band? Well you’re in luck because this beach country anthem is very similar to the likes of these artists. With a theme of love and summertime, the simple lyrics make you want to dip your toes in the water, take a sip from your rainbow mug, and relax. Brandy Clark is an 8-time GRAMMY nominated singer-songwriter so you can trust her to provide you with your beach country anthem for the rest of your summer.
“Know My Way Around” – Lily Rose
Her single “Villain” went viral in 2020 and now she is on track to be the first lesbian mainstream country star. This song is similar to artists like Chris Lane, Jimmie Allen, and Lindsay Ell with a pop country beat and catchy melodies. It’s sure to make you want to learn all the words so you can sing along at the top of your lungs. She’s opening for Chris Lane on his 2021 tour so make sure to get there early if you have tickets to see him!
“Stuck Behind A Tractor” – Tommy Atkins
If you’ve missed the 2000s country sound of artists like Brad Paisley or Darius Rucker, then this is the song for you. The melody resembles a Josh Turner or Scotty McCreery song. With mandolin and classic country style acoustic guitar, it sounds like it was pulled off an early Tim McGraw or Kenny Chesney record. Simple lyrics and catchy melodies make this a great song to end your summer on a high note.
“look up” – Joy Oladokun
All country fans love a stripped down song with just guitar and vocals. “look up” is just that. With optimistic lyrics and simple instrumentation, this song is great for a simple end of summer folk song. Joy is a wonderful songwriter who’s been praised by Jason Isbell and Maren Morris. This song has been on repeat since I discovered her and if you need an end of summer folk song to put you in a good mood then this is the song for you.