Brothers Osborne have helped define modern country music. Since their debut in 2012, the duo of brothers TJ and John Osborne have created a distinguishable sound between John’s fierce guitar playing and TJ’s noteworthy voice.
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Known for hits like “Stay a Little Longer” and “It Ain’t My Fault,” the duo has carved their own unique lane in the modern country landscape. The brothers’ identity can be heard in their music—below, we look at 10 of the best Brothers Osborne songs.
1. “Younger Me”
Brothers Osborne let their hearts shine through “Younger Me.” Written as a message to his younger self, “Younger Me” took on a particularly poignant meaning when it was released after TJ publicly came out as gay in 2021. Written by the brothers with Kendell Marvel, “Younger Me” offers a poignant reflection on youth that all of us can relate to. Striking the healthy balance of looking back on what he would’ve done differently while acknowledging that he needed every experience in his youth to get to where he is now, “Younger Me” stands as one of Brothers Osborne’s best songs of their career.
You got me where I am today
Got a few things right along the way
You’ll see, just wait
2. “It Ain’t My Fault”
It’s hard to think of Brothers Osborne and not have this song come to mind. Between the rowdy guitar riffs and chant-worthy lyrics that are a solid demonstration of clever wordplay, “It Ain’t My Fault” is the kind of song that sends a jolt of energy up the listener’s spine and begs you to sing along. As told through the lens of an egotistical man who finds any excuse to blame anyone other than himself for his misadventures, the song is a raucous good time that makes for one of the best moments in the Brothers’ live show and stands as one of their best songs ever.
I got my hands up
I need an alibi
Find me a witness who can testify
You made a mistake
You got the wrong guy
I’m only guilty of a damn good time
No, it ain’t my fault
3. “Stay a Little Longer”
From the moment TJ sings the opening lines, something like a strong wind is coming over me / It’s got a hold of me, it sets up “Stay a Little Longer” as one of the Brothers Osborne’s most well-known, and beloved, songs. Here, the duo sings of an intoxicating love that one can’t resist and is supported by an ear-friendly melody anchored by guitarist John Osborne. As important as the song itself is, the video in which the duo pushed the boundaries of country music by depicting a same-sex couple’s relationship, is equally as important. The song became their first No. 1 single, solidifying itself as one of their signature hits.
One more drink leads to another
You slide up close to me
We’re tearing t-shirts off each other
Your hands all over me
I tell myself I’m not in love
But one more time is not enough
One last kiss and then you’re a goner
And I’m here wishing you could stay a little longer
4. “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)”
TJ’s voice shines on every Brothers Osborne track, but that rings especially true on “I Don’t Remember Me.” Here, he’s voicing the thoughts of a man who’s trying to remember who he was before he met the love of his life, friends telling him he was a wild one who was always a fast one and the last one. TJ’s voice has the power to speak to the listener’s soul as he croons was my heart beatin’ in my chest?/
Was I even alive before the day we met? making for one of the duo’s best.
Heard I was a wild one, actin’ like a child some
But I really don’t recall
Heard I was a fast one, always was the last one
Waitin’ for the other shoe to fall
I’ve seen pictures
And I’ve heard stories ’bout the boy I used to be
But I don’t remember me
5. “Shoot Me Straight”
Part of what makes Brothers Osborne such a dynamic duo is their musicianship, which is on fire in “Shoot Me Straight.” Opening with an ear-catching guitar riff by John, it’s soon met with TJ’s smoldering voice that makes for a good burn. The duo doesn’t let the listener off easy, as John closes out the song with a nearly two-minute guitar solo that has one hanging on every note, making it even more of a must-listen in the duo’s catalog.
Make it burn the whole way down
Lay my 6 foot 4-inch ass out on the ground
Yeah, tomorrow I’ll have me a hard hangover
And one hell of a heartache
So pour it on like a shot of whiskey
And shoot me straight
6. “I’m Not For Everyone”
Upon releasing “I’m Not For Everyone,” Brothers Osborne referred to it as their “mission statement.” The song offers a healthy sense of self-awareness, as told through such comedic lyrics that shout out people who clap off-key, drink too much (or not enough), and would rather hang out with the sinners than the saints. It’s the kind of song that makes you proud to be a misfit, as the duo celebrates the outsiders through such lyrics as I’m a bad joke at the wrong time/Hell, I’m a legend in my own mind.
“We just have to accept that no matter we are not for everybody and you have to be okay with that,” TJ said of the song’s meaning. “This song in particular is the both of us saying we’re not everybody’s cup of tea and that’s okay.”
I’m like scotch and zydeco bands
I’m like B-side Townes Van Zandt
I’m always speaking my mind
When I’m better off biting my tongue
I’m a bad joke at the wrong time
Hell, I’m a legend in my own mind
I’m good for some but I’m not for everyone
7. “21 Summer”
Released in 2016 as their fourth single, this early hit solidified Brothers Osborne as a duo to pay attention to. Taking on the classic country theme of reflecting on a former summer love, the duo perfectly captures nostalgia with images of a blue Chevrolet and the song this young couple listened to together on repeat in the man’s mind. With such thoughtful lyrics as you’re the only broken heart I’ve ever had and love to have again, “21 Summer” makes for a beloved song in the duo’s illustrious catalog.
I hope you find the storm that you were chasing
Hope your eyes are still as full of dreams
As they were that night when you slipped off those cut off jeans
When I hear the sound of high tide thunder
I can see your hair blowing in the breeze
I think about how you and that twenty-one summer made a man of me
Yeah you made a man of me
8. “Pushing Up Daisies (Love Alive)”
Though known for their rocking country sound, the duo strips it down with the sentimental “Pushing Up Daisies.” Here, they sing of a love that’s pure and true, one that’s bound to last a lifetime. With its gentle acoustic melody and TJ’s tender vocals, “Daisies” is a standout on their 2018 album, Port Saint Joe, that describes a deep kind of love we all hope to experience. Though a deep cut, “Daisies” is still worthy of one’s attention.
We’ll go on ’til we’re pushing up daisies
We’ll grow old and wild and I’ll still be callin’ you baby
We’ll never get enough
We’ll be livin’ it up right down to the day we die
No, we ain’t gettin’ out of this love alive
9. “Greener Pastures”
A hidden gem on their exceptional debut album, Pawn Shop, the duo teamed up with Maren Morris and her husband Ryan Hurd to pen this clever tune. With its not-so-subtle tip of the hat to marijuana, the song’s leading man admits that he’s tried multiple remedies following a breakup, but the only one that did the trick was a strong joint. Between the lyrical creativity and the twangy melody accented by TJ’s smooth voice, this ode to marijuana would make Willie Nelson proud and is easily one of the duo’s best.
I’m movin’ on
To greener pastures
Gettin’ stoned so it don’t matter
I tried prayin’ to the Man up high
I tried drinkin’ ’til the well ran dry
I’m movin’ on to greener pastures
From the moment the opening notes kick in, “Rum” invites the listener to groove to the rock-meets-island beat. The mellow, yet cool vibe only grows from there, as the brothers craft a song that’s pure fun about two people who are rememberin’ how to have fun while putting our hearts together. That fun extends to the listener’s ear with its unique melody and TJ’s effortless voice that’ll transport you to an exotic destination.
Dippin’ our toes in the water
I don’t care if it gets any hotter
It’s you and me rememberin’ how to have fun
Let’s put our hearts together
Two parts love and a pinch of good weather
And top it all off with the sun
And mix it with rum
Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy