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Released: 2014

“Ex To See” by Sam Hunt is a catchy pop piece with a dollop of country twang that tells the tale of a man used as an unsuspecting pawn in a woman’s scheme to incite jealousy in her ex. It’s all about the games people play post-breakup, the rebounds, the show-offs, and the facade of moving on – truth is, it’s a vintage game of ‘cat and mouse’, and our guy Sam ain’t buying any of it.

The track kicks off with Hunt exposing his date’s intentions, “Well, there ain’t enough smoke in my eyes To hide the kinda games you’re trying to play.” Ain’t no smoke and mirrors can hide the game she’s playing – Sam’s well aware that he’s been roped into a love charade. He continues to highlight her pretentious actions, like fixing her makeup and scanning the room, which are all part of a performance intended to grab her ex’s attention.

When Sam sings, “everywhere we go you keep looking around fixing your makeup like it’s about to go down,” he’s pointing out his girl’s nervous anticipation of her ex’s arrival. She’s just waiting for the ex to walk in, the whole reason she’s there is to show off her “new” man to her former flame.

Picture the scene when “he walks in, it all makes sense suddenly, you’re climbing all up next to me,” Sam’s suddenly swamped with faux affection, her tool to trigger jealousy. Her ulterior motives are clear: “You don’t want me, you just want your ex to see.” She’s playing the field, not in it to commit but to showcase. For her, it’s less about moving on, and more about making the ex yearn.

Switching gears, Sam croons, “Girl you look kinda cute, called out. You’re making it hard to have hard feelings for you now.” Despite being a pawn, Sam admits to an attraction that complicates his feelings. In the line, “I guess I can play along,” he chooses to continue the charade, turning the tables on her strategy by joining the game.

The song ends on a note of cheeky defiance, with Sam stating, “I just want your ex to see.” He’s into the game now, flipping the script on her, and making it more about his display than hers. The ex-factor gets a heavy flash of the unwanted glare – a show of how the one strung along can snatch the strings.

Sam Hunt’s “Ex To See” peels off the veneer of post-breakup power dynamics, unveiling the complexities through a pop lens. It’s a masterstroke of melodic storytelling that hits just the right notes of intrigue, angst and realism, all while maintaining a catchy, foot-tapping country-pop blend.

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