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Released: 2023

“Outskirts” by Sam Hunt is a brilliant embodiment of nostalgic yearning, as it delves into the struggles of someone living a fast-paced urban lifestyle, while juggling the ache of a lost rural love alongside. Through a lyrical trip down memory lane, our protagonist voices his regret over losing a love that could’ve meant a simpler, more fulfilling life on the outskirts.

The song kicks off with him describing the hustle and bustle of city life and how it keeps him too busy to reminisce. He seems cool with this fast-paced life, until he finds himself on the ‘outskirts,’ a symbolic geographic boundary that launches him into memories of a southern summer love. “I wish I was runnin’ by your house first / Somethin’ ’bout a summer in the South, sure / Shines like gold down these old / Round bale, river valley backroads,” depicts an exquisite picture of a past rural life imbued with love and simplicity, far removed from his current urban life.

Subsequently, regret seeps in as he reflects on his previous choices, lamenting on how he could have had “a lick of damn sense” and chosen the greener side; a rural life with the love of his life. The lyrics, “Little starter house we’ve finally outgrown / Twelve-hundred feet we’re ’bout to add on,” refer to missed opportunities and shattered dreams of a shared home. His longing is palpable as he sings about their plan to start a family and raise them in the countryside, and how tantalizingly close they were to achieving it.

The climactic confession, “I miss the stars in your eyes / We were gonna give up on the fast life,” signifies a yearning for the serenity and fulfillment envisioned in her eyes, a dream lost in the pursuit of the city’s glamour and pace. Our protagonist is now stuck “livin’ in this condo / Hangin’ out with Hailey from Toronto,” which stands as a stark contrast to the envisioned ‘outskirts’ life.

In essence, “Outskirts” plays out as a haunting ballad, teetering between the protagonist’s current urban life and the rural love left behind. It bears testament to Sam Hunt’s poignant storytelling, making the listener feel the protagonist’s deep longing for a love rooted in the ‘outskirts,’ far from the fast-paced city life.

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