A lot has happened in 2022 for Sam Hunt, but don't expect to hear about any of it in his music — at least, not for a few years. Speaking with Taste of Country ahead of the 56th Annual CMA Awards, the singer says there is some time between when these moments occur and when they show up in his songs.

"It'd take me two years to think about the idea, and then I gotta write it, and then I gotta record it and sing it, so it's a process," he jokes to Taste of Country Nights host Evan Paul.

"Typically, when I write a song, I'm writing about an era three or four years gone. And then it takes two years to get those songs out, so these songs are about five years in the making," Hunt adds.

As for the music that has arrived in 2022, he's taking fans back a little further than just a few years. Instead, he's inviting us back to his formative years growing up in Cedartown, Ga.

"My single 'Water Under the Bridge' is about the little place we used to hang out growing up, and then I got a song coming out on Thanksgiving called 'Start Nowhere,' which is kind of the thesis, I guess you could say, or the main theme for this next batch of songs that I'm gonna put out."

If there were a musical umbrella over the songs Hunt will release in the not-too-distant future, it would be nostalgia. He's telling a story that is recognizable for so many, and it's his story, as well.

"They're really all about going home," he explains about his new songs. "They're kind of the story, the age-old story of small-town kid leaves home to go see the big wide world and gets a little caught up, and comes back home to appreciate everything about where he's from more than he did when he left."

Eventually, Hunt may take us back to 2022 and his biggest life change — the arrival of his daughter, Lucy. He could also pull back the curtain on his relationship with his wife, Hannah, who filed for divorce in February of 2022 before the two reconciled.

Top 22 Country Songs of 2022, Ranked

There are plenty of feel-good country jams on this list of the top country songs of 2022, but the No. 1 song is one of the best love songs of the decade. These 22 songs are ranked by critical acclaim, radio and sales success, and importance to the genre.

Seven of the 22 artists made our Top Country Songs list from 2021, as well, but there are no song repeats. If a song made a previous list (or didn't spend most of its time on the charts in 2022), it's not eligible. So, before you ask where your favorite song is (i.e. Cody Johnson, "'Til You Can't"), be sure the miss isn't just a technicality.

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