Mitchell Tenpenny “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades” Song Review

Sony Nashville recording artist Mitchell Tenpenny released his new single “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades” on March 4th, 2022. This release continues to build momentum from his most recent album Midtown Diaries, his previous radio single “Truth About You,” and his collaboration with Chris Young “At The End of a Bar.” “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades” serves as the first taste of his just-announced project, The Low Light Sessions which will serve as a stipped-down, minimalistic-sounding project.

The track, produced by Jordan Schmidt and Tenpenny, begins with an atmospheric rock-inspired instrumental; a signature Tenpenny sound. The arrangement perfectly complements the sadness from the lyrics and the angst in the singer’s unique tone. The production builds slowly throughout the verses and leads to an infectious and powerful chorus. The acoustic feeling creates a standout moment for his vocal abilities to shine, especially at the end of the second chorus, just before the killer guitar solo.

“Horseshoes and Hand Grenades” was written by Tenpenny and Dallas Wilson, and is a compelling take on a common analogy. In the chorus, he sings “Guess close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” That phrase typically means that close doesn’t count, similar to the popular phrase “Close but no cigar” which is heard in the background towards the end of the chorus. In this song, the meaning of that phrase is flipped to talk about mixed signals and unreciprocated love after meeting someone for the first time. Tenpenny paints a vivid picture of his feelings regarding that situation throughout the narrative. In the first verse, he mentions “I’m a hopeless romantic from the first second on the first date.”

This release is an exciting teaser for his next chapter, which will be released on April 15th, 2022. The Tennessee native also has a busy schedule on the road for 2022. Tenpenny will be supporting Luke Bryan on his Raised Up Right Tour with fellow country singer Riley Green this summer and fall. He will also be performing at festivals such as Tortuga, Stagecoach, Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, and TidalWave Music Festival.

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