Mackenzie Carpenter Flips Script with “Huntin’ Season”
High hats crashing, splashing B-3 chords and a thrumming electric guitar might seem a bit much for today’s young females, but it matches Mackenzie Carpenter’s utter euphoria over the official arrival of “Huntin’ Season.” With a wink and a smile, the fresh faced 22-year-old embraces her man’s getting gone before dawn with a backbeat made for freedom. Carpenter first teased the song in March of this year during a songwriter’s round in Nashville. A video of Carpenter’s performance that night has since amassed over six million views on TikTok alone.
“I wrote this song to show off the playful side of hunting season …when your guy is outta the house, outta your hair, and totally focused on the prize,” the young co-writer of Lily Rose’s breakthrough, “Villain,” confesses. “You could wait around for him to come home, constantly checking your phone or you could lean into the fun part. Drink wine, call the girls, go shopping, even send the kids with him if you have them. He’s gonna go either way, so we might as well learn how to take advantage of the free time.”
What starts as a stark resonating guitar lick to suspend what seems like Carpenter’s lament – Haven’t seen him once all weekend/House ain’t cold, my phone ain’t ringing/Didn’t even say that he was leavin’ – quickly doubles down on the tempo and blasts into a celebration, “Oh, it must be hunting season!” Literally the freewheeling girlish delight behind the moment of recognition turns the tables on the track for an outright crash/bang backroads feel good anthem.
Working with producer Brandon Hood, the Valory Music Co. signee has found a sound that embodies absolute joy. The beat turns into a banging groove, the instruments are bright, and the parts all stand out on their own; it builds “Huntin’ Season” to a sound that is as brash as anything the boys throw down even as Carpenter and Hood create three different soundscapes, two full breakdowns, a high energy build up to a guitar part that evokes the best of Alan Jackson’s tempo hits.
With a chorus that admits she never shows her enthusiasm for hunting season “the reason for my newfound freedom,” Carpenter lists all the indulgences enjoyed with her man out in the woods or duck blind from before sun-up to long after dark. Whether drinking all the wine, binge-watching Real Housewives, shopping online, running wild with her friend, and getting deep in her feelings, it’s the little things that make her such a fan of this time of year.
Carpenter shared, “There are videos of me at six-years-old saying, ‘I’m Mackenzie and I want to be a singer.’ That was always the dream.” Giving 12-gauge Loretta Lynn humor with a side order of Deana Carter sparkle, her lyric and performance frame a new perspective on what’s actually going on back at home during these special times of year.
“I call it tacky country,” Carpenter explains, “The world I’m creating is visually bold and lyrically bold. It’s honest and true to the heart, a place where people can show up to say and feel what they need to. It’s a space where you don’t take yourself too seriously, you can speak your mind without a filter. Because, you know, not taking yourself too seriously – especially during ‘Huntin’ Season’ – is where all the fun’s at.”