The short version: Runaway June prove that not all fun songs have to center around mind-numbing drivel on “Buy My Own Drinks.”
- Writers: Naomi Cooke, Jennifer Wayne, Hannah Mulholland, Hillary Lindsey, Josh Kear
- Rating: 7/10
The long version: It’s a shame that an act like Runaway June haven’t quite caught on yet. Granted, this is also the part where I have to answer with “because they’re women on country radio,” but considering radio loves its fun uptempo numbers, it’s mind boggling how something like “Lipstick” didn’t catch on in 2016.
Thankfully, while the climb has still been slow, “Buy My Own Drinks” is looking to, at the very least, become Runaway June’s first true hit at country radio.
“Buy My Own Drinks” is the kind of song that succeeds in what it’s going for – a fun, punchy, upbeat song that brings in both attitude and substance. The sticks-only beat and bright acoustic guitars that open the mix lead to a great groove right away, and while the mix does get a tad more generic in its latter half, this a song that’s got an organic, head-bopping groove that wouldn’t sound out of place on 2000s country radio.
Actually, the fact that it has a pulse at all is enough to distinguish it from 90% of what’s on the charts right now, but that pulse really shines in the performances here. Lead singer Naomi Cooke is already a great technical performer, but her confidence on display here only adds to the sunny disposition of the track. Despite the song’s individualistic perspective in the lyrical content, the song gets even better once members Jennifer Wayne and Hannah Mulholland jump in to provide the harmony parts. Sure, the song is focused on the individual narrator, but it’s fun to imagine the other members cheering on Cooke in her endeavors.
Speaking of that though, while a night out on the town isn’t exactly a new concept for country music, “Buy My Own Drinks” once again checks off all the necessary marks to ensure its quality. Our narrator isn’t indulging in alcohol or reckless behavior to drown sorrows. She was over that before the song began! Instead, the focus is simply on having the fun she’s deserved for a long time. Once again, it’s the strength of the vocal performances that make the listener want to root for this character.
“Buy My Own Drinks” isn’t necessarily a song of the year candidate, but it’s the right batch of quirky joy that the charts have needed for a long time now. With its infectious groove, organic instrumentation, stellar vocal performances and lyrics that have just enough substance to them, “Buy My Own Drinks” is one of those songs you can’t help but like.