Country singer-songwriter Sunny Sweeney first cut her teeth as an artist on the Red Dirt circuit in Texas. The Austin native self-released her debut album, Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame, in 2007. A few years later, after catching the eye of Republic Nashville, she released her breakthrough album, 2011's Concrete. The sophomore effort soared to No. 7 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, positioning her at the forefront of a new wave of Texas-based artists that successfully crossed over into the Nashville mainstream.
Following the success of her debut single "From a Table Away," she's released three more albums, including her most recent effort, 2022's critically acclaimed Married Alone. Sweeney has proven herself as a show-stopping performer, gifted songwriter and boundary pusher. She's even collaborated with a lengthy list of fellow musical talents, including Vince Gill, Will Hoge and Adam Hood.
From honky tonk boot-stompers to heartbreaking ballads, her catalog is filled with some of the best music Texas has shared with the world over the past decade.
Here are The Boot's picks for Sunny Sweeney's 10 best songs, so far:
"A Song Can't Fix Everything (feat. Paul Cauthen)"From: 'Married Alone' (2022)
Paul Cauthen joins Sweeney on this ballad about the memories attached to songs, whether those are attached to loved ones, a period of your life, or a place. While songs themselves can't physically change the past, spending time lost in them allows us to fondly remember moments we miss.
"Can't Let Go"From: 'Provoked' (2014)
The up-tempo, boot-stomping anthem "Can't Let Go" is about refusing to move on from a relationship. In the defiant tune, Sweeney reflects on her choice to allow a partner into her life, even though she knows they aren't good for her.
"But You Like Country Music (feat. Brennen Leigh)"From: 'But You Like Country Music (Single)' (2015)
"But You Like Country Music" fully displays the wit in Sunny Sweeney's writing. This collaboration with Brennen Leigh centers around the idea that country music can bring anyone together, no matter how different their beliefs or backgrounds may be.
"Married Alone (feat. Vince Gill)"From: 'Married Alone' (2022)
"Married Alone" is the title track of Sunny Sweeney's latest album, which includes some of the best work of her career. She recruited country stalwart Vince Gill for this stand-out track, complimenting the tale of a loveless relationship with his flawless harmonies.
"Bottle By My Bed"From: 'Trophy' (2017)
"Bottle By My Bed," the powerful final single from her 2017 LP Trophy, is about the pain of watching your friends enter new phases of life while you still wait for your time to come.
"Drink Myself Single"From: 'Concrete' (2011)
"Drink Myself Single," the opening track from Sunny Sweeney's major label debut Concrete, is about celebrating a breakup with a partner that's been cheating. Instead of soaking up sadness or regret, she turns the tables and paints the town.
"Poet's Prayer"From: 'Poet's Prayer (Single)' (2020)
"Poet's Prayer" was a stand-alone lament about life on the road. The song reflects on the bittersweet aspects of a musician's journey, which often includes missing friends while rolling from venue to venue.
"From a Table Away"From: 'Concrete' (2011)
The cutting story-song "From a Table Away" is the highest-charting single of Sunny Sweeney's career (so far). The fiddle-backed ballad recounts a lover's unexpected run-in that sheds new light on their relationship's dynamic.
"Easy as Hello"From: 'Married Alone' (2022)
"Easy as Hello" is another track from Sweeney's 2022 Thirty Tigers debut, Married Alone. It's a driving song about the contrasts in meeting someone and parting ways. It's not tough to talk to someone you've never met, but when feelings get involved, saying goodbye becomes a different kind of beast.
"Staying's Worse Than Leaving"From: 'Concrete' (2011)
"Staying's Worse Than Leaving," Sweeney's second single from Concrete, is an upbeat tune complemented by the full Texas sound; there's a fiddle and a steel guitar backing this tale of a relationship slowly reaching an end.