While Drew Baldridge and wife Katherine are still basking in newlywed bliss, the couple are the first ones to admit that they can still have an occasional disagreement, often over the songs that Baldridge writes.

“I always tell her that we've all had a past and as a songwriter, I would do an injustice to my listeners if I didn't pull from that,” explains Baldridge during a recent interview with Taste of Country. “I tell her that every one of those breakups that I went through led me to know what I wanted in my life…which led me to you.”

Nicely done, Drew.

“I think at first it was kind of difficult for her, but now she's just like, ‘Oh, you wrote another love song about somebody from your past.’ She gets it now.”

And yes, Baldridge found himself pulling from his past when writing his new song “Wontcha Come Back Home,” which premieres exclusively on Taste of Country.

“How many people have been in that situation in life where you messed up in a relationship or you did something wrong or you can't admit that you're wrong?” says Baldridge, who in the last nine months alone has independently released five new songs and crossed over 120 million catalog streams. “You're fighting, you're mad, you're angry…and then they pull out of the driveway, and you instantly regret it.”

Written by the Illinois native alongside songwriters Dylan Marlowe and Juno Bell, “Wontcha Come Back Home” tells the story of a girl leaving a relationship and her guy realizing that he really messed up. The relatability of the song is even more so considering that Baldridge was dead set about making the first verse stand out in some way, which he succeeded in doing by speaking during a portion of the verse as if he was actually recording a voicemail to the one that left.

“When I write songs, I just try to make them real as possible,” explains Baldridge, who has been busy headlining his wildly successful Baldridge and Bonfires Tour, performing over 200 dates in the past 18 months. “I just got to thinking, 'Man, how much more real can we get than just having this guy actually leave a voicemail?' I've never heard that in a song before. I really enjoy it. It feels very fresh and new.”

It was a gut feeling that proved to be right. After Baldridge shared a bit of the song on his various social media channels, it instantly hit a nerve with listeners.

“I basically said, ‘Hey, if this gets 5,000 likes, I'll put the song out,’ and everyone just went crazy over it,” Baldridge remembers.

And in true country music fashion, the story told within the lyrics of “Wontcha Come Back Home” can take on many interpretations, something that Baldridge especially appreciates.

“We didn't ever want the two in the song to just get back together again, because that's not real life,” he concludes. “Real life has its struggles. Sometimes you just got to figure out how to make it work again. We're not even saying that it was the guy’s fault. He just wants this person to come back home.”

Top Country Songs of 2021, Ranked

You'll find much more than just the Top 10 Country Songs of 2021 on this list. Enjoy the 21 best country songs of the year, based on Taste of Country staff and country music fan opinion, plus commercial data (sales, streaming, airplay).

To be considered, the song must have been released in 2021 or have actively charted for a portion of the year (see "Wine, Beer, Whiskey"). New artists including Lainey Wilson, Larry Fleet and Morgan Wade crack the top songs list, while hitmakers including Thomas Rhett, Jason Aldean and Luke Combs make the Top 10.

Let us know your favorite song of 2021 on Twitter, or email us at staff@tasteofcountry.com.

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