Downtown's Dead

Album: Southside (2018)
Charted: 94

Songfacts®:

  • Sam Hunt's first single since the February 2017 release of "Body Like a Back Road," this was dropped on May 16, 2018. Hunt penned the track with Shane McAnally, Zach Crowell and Josh Osborne - the same co-writers who were behind "Body Like a Back Road." A hip-hop writer named Charlie Handsome also contributed towards the song.
  • The song finds Sam Hunt lamenting about the party being all over now that his girl has left him.

    Just another Tuesday night without you
    As long as you're still in my head
    There ain't no way I can paint a ghost town red
    Downtown's dead


    Hunt contrasts the busyness of Friday night in a city with the empty feeling he has in his heart.
  • Many of the songs on Sam Hunt's Montevallo album, such as, "Break Up In A Small Town", were inspired by his temporary split with girlfriend Hannah Lee Fowler. Though the pair are now married, Hunt is sticking to the same lyrical theme. Zach Crowell explained to Taste of Country how the song correlates the way Hunt was feeling during the breakup with his increasingly successful music career.

    "There was a time where they broke up when his career was taking off. There were things going on around him that he didn't want to experience without her - him realizing that what he wanted in his life was to be back with Hannah," he said.

    Crowell added that he and the other writers tried to find the balance between penning a commercial song and one that remained true to Hunt's personal experience. "So it's a little autobiographical and where he was once the success had come, saying that, 'It's going good all around me, but I'm not satisfied.' That's where the truth of the song comes out and the phrase 'Downtown's dead without you.' It's a little bit of a metaphor of his career."
  • Hunt explained why he released "Downtown's Dead" as the follow-up to "Body Like a Back Road."

    "That song checked all the boxes that I needed to check in a song, and I felt like it was lyrics that are lyrics I felt comfortable saying," he said. "The idea I thought was relatable to people, and it just sounded like a song that people would come out to shows to sing and would inspire people to come out to shows."

    "But 'Downtown's Dead,' it's hard for me to really say for sure what made that song stand out," Hunt continued. "I could break it down, I guess theoretically, but I just have those moments where there's just a gut feeling that says, 'Okay, this is the song you should put out. This is how you need to say it. This is what you need to say. This is how it should sound,' and when I get to that point, then I put it out. That song was the one that sort of rose up from the batch that I've been working over the past year or two."
  • Shot in Mexico's colonial village San Sebastián Bernal, the video shows Sam Hunt wandering through the town's ancient cobbled streets after his motorbike breaks down.

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