when country’s culture wars forgot its artists [A&C] - Post-Magazine

The summer of 2023 will be remembered as the summer of Barbenheimer, but it was also a time when country music took center stage. Despite its often criticized reputation, country music claimed the top spots on Billboard's Hot 100 and ignited cultural debates. From Jason Aldean's controversial hit to Oliver Anthony's unexpected rise, and Zach Bryan's unique sound, this article explores the country music renaissance that captivated audiences across America.

The Rise of Country Music on the Charts

Explore the unexpected dominance of country music on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 2023.

Country music took the charts by storm in the summer of 2023, claiming the top three spots on the Billboard Hot 100 and maintaining a strong presence throughout the season. Artists like Jason Aldean, Oliver Anthony, and Zach Bryan captivated audiences with their unique sounds and captivating lyrics. This article delves into the surprising rise of country music and its impact on the music industry.

Controversy Surrounding Jason Aldean's 'Try That in a Small Town'

Uncover the backlash and debates sparked by Jason Aldean's hit song and its music video.

Jason Aldean's song 'Try That in a Small Town' became a lightning rod for controversy due to its provocative lyrics and music video. The song faced backlash from both left-wing and right-wing groups, igniting debates about censorship, artistic expression, and the boundaries of country music. Dive into the heated discussions and explore the impact of this controversial hit.

Oliver Anthony: The Unexpected Rising Star

Discover the rise of Oliver Anthony and his impact on the country music scene.

Oliver Anthony emerged as a rising star in the country music scene with his heartfelt ballad 'Rich Men North of Richmond.' Despite being embraced by conservative influencers, Anthony's own beliefs and statements deviated from the political narrative surrounding his music. Delve into his journey and the complexities of his rising fame, shedding light on the evolving landscape of country music.

Zach Bryan: The Outlaw Country Man

Explore the unique persona and impact of Zach Bryan in the country music industry.

Zach Bryan, a former Navy man, has captivated audiences with his distinct sound and outspoken stance against transphobia. Breaking away from the mainstream country music scene, Bryan embodies the spirit of the outlaw country artists of the past. Discover the reasons behind his popularity and the messages he conveys through his music.

The Progressive Appeal of Zach Bryan

Uncover the progressive sentiments associated with Zach Bryan's music and its impact on the genre.

Zach Bryan's music has resonated with progressive country music fans, who see him as a refreshing voice in the genre. With his unique sound and introspective lyrics, Bryan defies easy categorization and captures the attention of the NPR crowd. Discover the factors that contribute to his progressive appeal and the influence it has on the country music landscape.

The Search for Belonging: Country Music as a Reflection of America

Explore the deeper meaning behind the country music boom and its connection to the feeling of social and political displacement.

Country music's resurgence in popularity may be indicative of a larger societal trend - a sense of not belonging. As artists like Zach Bryan sing about the struggles of the lonesome cowboy and Oliver Anthony navigates the complexities of fame, audiences resonate with their experiences. This article delves into the deeper meaning behind the country music boom and its reflection of the social and political landscape in America.


The summer of 2023 brought about an unexpected resurgence of country music, dominating the charts and sparking cultural debates. From Jason Aldean's controversial hit to the rise of Oliver Anthony and the unique persona of Zach Bryan, the country music scene experienced a renaissance that captivated audiences across America. The genre proved its ability to reflect the social and political landscape, resonating with those who felt a sense of displacement. As the country music boom continues, it remains a powerful force that speaks to the hearts of people from all walks of life.

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