In 2011, Kip Moore introduced himself to country music fans with "Mary Was the Marrying Kind," the debut single from his freshman album, Up All Night. Moore co-wrote every song on his debut disc and his follow up album, 2015's Wild Ones, and the singer has proven over and over and again that he puts thought into the craft of songwriting.
In 2016, Moore released his Underground EP, to give his fans a few of his songs that he says might otherwise have never been recorded. Moore then released the hit-packed Slowheart in 2017 -- the first album on which he included songs that he didn't write -- and followed it up in 2018 with an acoustic EP, Room to Spare.
For all of the Moore fans out there, and for those looking for an entry point into his catalog, we've gathered up the best 10 songs from his repertoire. Scroll through the list for a look some gems from the talented singer-songwriter's collection.
"I'm to Blame"From 'Wild Ones' (2015)
The lyrics to "I'm to Blame" -- "If it ain’t broke, you can bet that I’m gonna break it / If there’s a wrong road, I’m damn sure gonna take it / Where there’s smoke, my pocket lighter sparked the fire / Where there’s blue lights, just read me my rights" -- are a surprisingly honest confession from Moore, who wrote the song with Justin Weaver and Weston Davis.
"Today in such a politically correct society, we really wanted to write a song about not apologizing about who we are and not-scared-to-speak-our-mind kind of people, and we wanted to write a song around that whole kind of thing,” Moore explains. “And that’s what it is -- it’s a very aggressive, intense, no-apologies kind of song about the kind of person you are, and it’s not about being rude. You’re owning who you are as an individual, and that’s what the song is.”
"Running for You"From 'Wild Ones' (2015)
"Running for You" is a love song and a farewell song. Along with Troy Verges and Blair Daly, Moore wrote the track's lines -- "But if the rain starts falling, falling on you / And your heart starts breaking, breaking in two / If the light starts fading, baby, don't move / Just say my name, stay right there / I'll come running for you" -- as a way to redefine love.
“It embodies what the word ‘love’ should really mean,” Moore tells The Boot. “I think, growing up, we use that word carelessly and recklessly: You want to put those people in a box that you think you love. You want to keep a level playing field because that makes you feel secure in yourself. I think that if you love somebody, you want to see them have the moon, you want to see them have the world and have every dream they wanted, even if it’s not with you.”
"Young Love"Single (2013)
Moore draws on real life to tell his story in "Young Love," a soaring single: "When you're 16, there's such a reckless abandonment. You'll do whatever to hang out with that person," he explains. "You don't think about the consequences. I feel like, as you get a little crusty when you get older, and you get jaded, you lose a little bit of that fire."
"'Cause young love don't know nothin' / When the radio plays, you sing along / When she's holding on / You just can't get close enough," Moore sings. "You swear it's sent from above / It's real, it's good, and it's young love."
"Tennessee Boy"From 'Room to Spare' (2018)
Like many of Moore's songs, "Tennessee Boy" is autobiographical: “I was telling [songwriter Dan Couch] a story about laying on the hood of a girl named Gretchen’s Honda Accord out in the woods in South Georgia," Moore recalls of the songwriting process for "Tennessee Boy". "We were listening to Van Morrison’s "Moondance," and we were wine-drunk and started dancing all around. That was my introduction to that carefree-love feeling.”
"Beer Money"From 'Up All Night' (2012)
Moore also wrote "Beer Money" with Daly and Verges, inspired by their discussions in their first writing session after a Christmas break. Lines such as "I got enough to last us all night / You got the kiss that tastes like honey / And I got a little beer money" are reminiscent of Moore's life while growing up in the rural town of Tifton, Ga.
“It’s a signature thing for small-town America,” he says, “and what I think small-town America is, and people working the 9-to-5 jobs … saving just enough to kind of escape from those jobs for the weekend. They’ve got to have their "Beer Money" to do it. And you want to go out and blow it out and have a good time.”
"Plead the Fifth"From 'Slowheart' (2017)
"Plead the Fifth" doubled as the title for Moore's extensive 2017 headlining tour and has become something of an anthem for the artist. It's a fan favorite at his live shows.
The lyrics of "Plead the Fifth" tell a relatable story of lost love and continued lust: "Go ahead, ask anything you want / Do I miss you? I can't say I don't / Put me on trial, but I won't tell / If I want you, and I always will / Uh huh uh huh / Right hand on the Bible / Uh huh uh huh / The other on a bottle ..."
"Last Shot"From 'Slowheart' (2017)
Moore's gentle reminder to capture the best moments in life is made especially poignant in its heartbreaking music video, which sets the lyrics of "Last Shot" into the context of a young woman's last moments on earth. "If you were my last breath / I'd just wanna hold ya," Moore sings in the chorus. "If you were my last shot, last shot of whiskey / I'd press you to my lips, take a little sip / Swirl you around and around and 'round / Then I'd shoot ya down."
"Hey Pretty Girl"From 'Up All Night' (2012)
"Hey Pretty Girl," which Moore wrote with Dan Couch, chronicles a love story from first meeting until final farewell, at the end of the narrator's life: "Hey pretty girl, let's build some dreams / And a house on a piece of land / We'll plant some roots and some apple trees / Hey pretty girl, let's build some dreams." The tune came about after Moore realized that, eventually, he might want to settle down and have a family of his own.
"You want to go through life with somebody at some point and have somebody to lean on," Moore tells the Huffington Post. "That’s what I was thinking the day I wrote "Hey Pretty Girl." It’s one of those things for me that’s more of an idealistic standpoint — that one day, this is how I hope to feel about somebody, and this is the way I like to go through life with somebody."
"Somethin' 'Bout a Truck"From 'Up All Night' (2012)
"Somethin' 'Bout a Truck" was Moore's second single, and it shot straight to No. 1. Written with Couch, the song's lyrics -- "And there's somethin' 'bout a kiss that's gonna lead to more / On that dropped tailgate back behind the corn / The most natural thing you've ever felt before / There's somethin' 'bout a kiss that's gonna lead to more" -- were inspired by Moore's own life.
"I drove a little box car in high school and college," Moore tells Taste of Country. "In both high school and college, similar things happened to me where, I was maybe pursuing somebody, I got somebody to go out with me, and they didn’t seem real interested every time they climbed in that little bucket car of mine ... On two different occasions, that thing broke down, and somebody let me use their truck. It was like I became a whole new person. I couldn’t peel [girls] off of me. I was like, ‘Wait a minute … I’m the same damn dude, I’m just driving a different ride. There must be something about a truck!'"
"More Girls Like You"From 'Slowheart' (2017)
Moore says that this song is about that person you find who is compelling enough that you want to create more people just like them. As he travels the world, the artist says that one constant he see is the special bond between parents and their children, which springs from the bond between a man and the woman who wins his heart.
"That person [is someone] you find so amazing that you hope that when you have a kid, they turn out like her," Moore explains.