Pearce's best songs so far, from punchy banjo tune "Honeysuckle" to the more pop-friendly "Closer to You," have made her a regular on the Grand Ole Opry stage (invite her to join, already!) and a welcome reinforcement in Jon Pardi, Kelsea Ballerini, Mickey Guyton and others' push to bring fresh voices to radio playlists and awards show broadcasts.
For a small taste of what makes Pearce so special, check out this rundown of our five favorite songs.
5. "I Hope You're Happy Now" (with Lee Brice)
?One of the better big league duets in recent years teamed Pearce with fellow vocal powerhouse Lee Brice.
4. "Every Little Thing"
Pearce, Emily Shackelton and the song's producer, busbee, co-wrote one of the strongest opening statements by any 21st century country artist. The chart-topping tale of heartbreak became the title track of Pearce's debut album, which also brought us another pace-setting single, "Hide the Wine."
Pearce's 29, a seven-song EP released in Feb. 2021 by Big Machine Records, tells a warts-and-all account of the final year of her 20s, including her eight-month marriage to fellow country singer Michael Ray. Beyond that context, its title track should be relatable to a lot of 20 and 30-somethings who've found that graduating from college in six years or less didn't equal a smooth transition to the adult life we expected because of our parents or popular culture.
2. "Next Girl"
More than the Dobro accompaniment on "Next Girl" points back to '90s country. Its story-driven lyrics also find Pearce filling the shoes of Kathy Mattea, fellow Kentucky native Patty Loveless and other country music greats from her childhood.
Pearce co-wrote it with fellow '90s aficionados Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne.
1. "Show Me Around"
Busbee, a go-to producer and songwriter for Pearce, Maren Morris, Keith Urban and other Nashville stars, died from brain cancer in 2019. Pearce honored the 43 year old's memory with this, the saddest country song since Brice's "I Drive Your Truck." It's built on the Christian belief that we'll see loved ones again on the other side of eternity.