Arts & Entertainment

Country Music’s Long Road Back to the ’90s

Grow out that Kix-inspired ’stache and break out your best Garth headset mic — Nashville is in the middle of a ’90s boom. Though country music prides itself on honoring bygone eras, the past few years have seen a special Stetson hat tip to the days when Alan, Shania, and LeAnn loomed large. Everywhere you look, ’90s legends are collaborating with the genre’s promising young stars, older melodies are being interpolated into new hits, and a new generation of vocalists are sounding an awful lot like their stadium-size predecessors. So how did we get here? Blame it (partially) on 2010s bro-country. As veteran songwriter Josh Osborne tells Vulture’s Justin Curto, “Bro-country was so much about getting back to the country. ‘We’re ridin’ on the back roads. We’re sittin’ in the woods.’ I think people started having a response of, ‘Okay, but let’s get back to country music.’”

—Alex Suskind, senior editor, Vulture

Play Something ’90s The era where “every song felt huge” is alive in country music. It took a long back road to get there.

Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos: Getty

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