Maybe you've noticed that many hit country songs sound the same. Nashville songwriter Greg Todd heard similar melodies, music beds and solos in six "bro country" songs — by Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Parmalee, Cole Swindell and Chase Rice — and mashed them up with some pitch- and tempo-shifting.
"It was only when I started really listening to the lyrics that six out of the six songs talked about moonlight or the sun going down or the sunset," Todd tells NPR's Melissa Block. "All six had to do with picking up a girl who wasn't yet their girlfriend or the love of their life or something like that. It was just a summer thing. And almost all of them had a girl that was either in the truck or was going to be in the truck at some point during the song if all went accordingly."
As a songwriter, Todd says it's hard to break past the gatekeepers of popular country music. But he's considering writing a "seventh song that fits right into this mold. At the very least, they can't tell me it doesn't sound like a hit."