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Griffen Palmer: 5 Songs That Shaped the Songwriter

by Jim Casey
Griffen Palmer 5 Songs That Shaped the Songwriter
(photo by Chris Hornbuckle)

Singer/songwriter Griffen Palmer perked plenty of ears during his May 2020 stint on NBC’s Songland. After winning the episode by co-penning “Second Guessing,” Griffen scored album cuts by Florida Georgia Line (“Second Guessing”) and Keith Urban (“Polaroid”), among others.

Recently signed to Big Loud Records, Griffen is currently working on his debut album, which is expected to drop later this year. In the meantime, the 27-year-old will be serving as support on Lily Rose’s upcoming headlining tour this February.

Outsider caught up to Griffen to finds out the 5 Songs That Shaped the Songwriter.

1. ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ – Tears for Fear (written by Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley, Chris Hughes)

Griffen Palmer: Every time I listen to this song, I swear the whole world stops. There’s something about the production and vibe that disrupts the space-time continuum. It has always mesmerized me. And it was one of the first times I remember hearing a song that really made me feel something intense. I was nostalgic about a decade I wasn’t even alive in. It was a powerful realization to discover that a song can make you feel that way.

2. ‘Dreaming With a Broken Heart’ – John Mayer

Griffen Palmer: High school me wanted nothing more than to write my own “Dreaming With a Broken Heart.” John Mayer seems to be a staple in the influences off all songwriters in my generation, and I am unashamedly a mega-fan, too. The mix of incredible lyricism, dynamics, emotion, and tasty guitar playing in this makes it a masterpiece for me.

3. ‘The Men That Drive Me Places’ – Ben Rector

Griffen Palmer: This is always one of my go-to “songs I wish I wrote” when people ask. It just feels so honest from a listener’s point of view, but also from the artist’s. You feel like you know these people that he’s talking about and it’s heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. I typically dislike songs that talk about living the life of a successful artist—but this gets an exception.

4. ‘Whiskey and You’ – Chris Stapleton (written by Chris Stapleton, Lee Thomas Miller)

Griffen Palmer: When I was first playing shows in my college town, this was a song requested for me to learn, so I did. Every time I played the song after that, I felt like I was stealing it and getting away with it. I felt so lucky just to be able to sing that song for people, even though I had nothing to do with it. It’s one of my favorite country songs ever.

5. ‘Live Like You Were Dying’ – Tim McGraw (written by Tim Nichols, Craig Wiseman)

Griffen Palmer: I don’t think a song ever played louder in our family car than this one. When I think about this song, I hear my dad’s voice in my head instead of Tim’s. This song reminds me that there’s room for anything you want in a song if you craft it right, even “2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu.” Writing songs is supposed to be fun, and this song feels like a reminder to me that the best idea is sometimes the most wacky idea.