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Top 31 Best Elle King Songs of All Time

If ever there was a famous person’s kid, who didn’t use their dad’s fame to ride to the top of the hill of success, it’s got to be Tanner Elle Schneider. Better known professionally as Elle King. But what are the Best Elle King Songs of All Time? Let’s find out but first… 


Where it all began

Best Elle King Songs of All Time

When Elle was born, her father, Rob Schneider, was a member of Saturday Night Live. Her parents divorced when she was still young, and she spent most of her childhood in Ohio between Wellston and Columbus. 

At the age of nine, King was given a record by her stepfather. It was by the female hard rock band The Donnas. This would have a pivotal effect on King, and she would eventually commit to becoming a musician one day.

Getting her start…

She started with the guitar at age thirteen. But, she switched over to banjo when the Bluegrass sounds of Hank Williams and Earl Scruggs caught her ear. She attended a rock camp and starred in a few musicals.

At the age of sixteen, she was already doing gigs in New York using a fake ID and starring in her father’s films. She began writing and honing her skills by busking around the Big Apple. 

While attending the University of The Arts in Philadelphia, she had the revelation of using a banjo as an accompanying instrument. She eventually got signed by newly appointed RCA Chairman Peter Edge, and her first EP contained a song that she had produced herself. 

Finding success…

Elle King is a four-time Grammy Nominee, with two nominations in the Rock category and two in the Country category. She has been honored at the Country Music Association Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards. 

Furthermore, she has performed and toured with many artists, including Of Monsters and Men, Train, James Bay, The Chicks, Heart, Joan Jett, Michael Kiwanuka, and Miranda Lambert.

So, here are my picks for the best songs by Elle King, starting with…

Top 31 Best Elle King Songs of All Time

1 The Let Go

Album: In Isolation 

“The Let Go” kicks off my list. I know it’s a bit of a somber track, but it is a perfect exhibition of all the skills and talent that make up the center of King’s success. Musicianship, lyricism, and that unique vocal.

From a lyrical standpoint, we can see that King has honed her particular style and palette of flavors to razor-sharp edges. Yet, she still finds room to experiment with new things. We’ve all gone through break-ups that aren’t fiery and explosive when they end but rather just sad and painful. This tune captures that melancholy perfectly. 

More than romance lost…

Likewise, when removing the romantic connotations from the song, you can find reference to a deep friendship that is forced to come to a sad end. No doubt there are even more interpretations, and that’s what makes good lyrics. 

As a composition, this tune speaks to the risk-taker and performer in King as well. When you release a song that has such a simple arrangement, you better be ready to deliver. “The Let Go” is nothing but an acoustic guitar and King’s subtle voice. 

Then there’s a sudden vocal explosion that simply demands attention. Belting in this fashion might have been a total flop for most other artists. But, for Elle King, that belt works. And is certainly one of Elle King’s best vocal performances by far.

2 Ain’t Gonna Drown

Album: Love Stuff

“Ain’t Gonna Drown” will always be one of my favorite Elle King songs. That’s because it’s the song that made me want to listen to more of her music. I was amazed at how old and beat-up the recording sounded. For the first minute or so, I thought there was something wrong with my speaker or phone. 

This one makes use of some good old-fashioned blues structure and a provocative and intimate vocal that rises in intensity while the chorus uses the oldest trick in the book, repetition:

“Ain’t Gonna Drown/In the Water! Ain’t Gonna Drown/In The Water! Ain’t Gonna Drown/In The Water! Cause The Good Lord Aint Bringin Me Home”

Showing her stuff…

Once more, we have that incredible vocal ability, some brilliant lyrics, and a nice dirty mix to give this one the edge needed to fit the persona of its creator. 

I particularly love the Lo-Fi-sounding drums on this one that peddle along while King spins her tale. Additionally, “Ain’t Gonna Drown” was featured on the hit TV show “Yellowstone.” 

3 Little Bit of Lovin’

Album: Shake The Spirit 

This song was recorded on the very first night in the studio when the sessions for 2018’s Shake the Spirit started. The song was inspired by a short-lived marriage that King had just brought to an end. 

At its heart, this song rests on a rock ‘n roll beat. But, the blending of Gospel and Rock on this track testifies to some very good mixing and arrangement. Sonically, the instrumentation on this track alone is superbly done. The guitar and piano sound as though they’re being played by the same hands simultaneously. 

Mixing genres…

Just as you want to call it a rock ballad, the gospel break leads into a very abstract spoken word section. If this is not your thing, it won’t be very appealing. However, I think it speaks to an artist that thinks of her music in many dimensions. 

Lyrically, there is nothing that is not potent and heartfelt on this one. Sure, the world might not seem so polished, but that’s what gives this one the particular flavor that makes it unique. As for King’s performance, it will easily go down as one of her most heartfelt and emotional. 

If there is one characteristic I would dare attribute to King’s voice, it’s as if she’s got a small tape machine in the back of her throat. And it’s absolutely beautiful. 

4 Best of You (Andy Grammar feat. Elle King)

Album: Andy Grammar – Naive 

This is, in my opinion, an underrated and hidden little gem of a song. Originally intended as a solo piece for Andy Grammar, he later realized that doing it with a female singer as a duet was the only way to make the weight of this song come through on the recording. 

Grammar decided on Elle King for his own reasons. But, no doubt, her ability to impart sincerity into her performance and thus, give life to lyrics was high on the list. 

Throughout the song… 

King sings in a higher register than she is used to. However, that lovely saturated quality remains. Furthermore, when she pushes her voice a bit, you can hear it all the clearer. Despite that, she manages to convey the sweet message of unconditional love that makes a relationship stand the test of time perfectly. 

The arrangement and production on this one are to be credited as well. Likewise, I wonder why this recording hasn’t prompted an entire album collaboration between the two since it’s a vocal match made in heaven.

5 Under The Influence 

Album: Love Stuff 

This album was indeed one of the most adequately titled of the year. It contains a song for almost any kind of situation you’ve been in or can be in regarding romantic relationships. And this one is no different. 

The sad realization that you have, despite the numerous red flags, fallen for someone you should have. The relationship is unbalanced since it’s blatantly clear they aren’t there for you. They just don’t want to be alone. 

Elle King’s performance in this one is particularly dark in a very subtle way. I was shocked when I played this song to a friend, and they remarked that it reminded them of the late Amy Winehouse. Therefore, I list it as one of the best Elle King songs of all time.

6 Playing For Keeps 

Album: The Elle King EP 

This one may have been written for a reality show about the so-called wives of mobsters. But, if you forget that for two seconds, you’ll find another Elle King song that many people can relate to. 

This one is from King’s very first EP release. And, you can still hear the strong influence of old-school singers that she admires. 

7 Good Thing Gone 

Album: Shake The Spirit 

This one is just plain and simply pretty. Nothing special, and that’s what makes it so very special. The faith that the unbearable pain of losing someone will eventually yield some kind of meaningful experience. 

Superbly written and one of Elle King’s best songs and vocal performances. This one drips with raw beauty, in my opinion.

8 Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)

Album: Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home) 

This can only be described as one of the best musical accidents of the year. As a result, it yielded massive success for both artists involved. 

Inspired by the craziness of the high life that Elle was enjoying in the wake of the success she had with her first EP, this song was initially not good for her. She didn’t like the verses, but she could not deny that banger of a chorus. 

The answer lay in teaming up with Miranda Lambert. It resulted in a music video that was nominated for a string of country awards as well as a Grammy for Best Country Duo Group performance. 

9 America’s Sweetheart

Album: Love Stuff

Co-written by Elle King and her producer at the time, Martin Johnson, this one was one of the first experimentations with more electronic music influences in King’s catalog. And boy, did it pay off. 

This one came out a smasher and is easily one of the most popular Elle King songs. It’s got a sick beat, and what’s more, it’s a nice way to stick it to the man from a lyrical standpoint. We know Elle will never be the America’s sweetheart type, and we never want her to be. 

10 Ex’s & Oh’s

Album: Love Stuff

Yes, this one has to be on the list, of course. It is the lead single from her debut album and arguably Elle King’s most successful song to date. It climbed to the #1 spot on the US Billboard Hot Rock Tracks and then crossed over to the Adult Contemporary radio, where it got a lot of airplay. 

By 2015, the song had made it to gold certification in Canada and is, as of now, double platinum. It is also the only song King has had on the US Billboard Hot 100. “Ex’s and Oh’s” was nominated for both Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song at the 58th Grammy Awards. 

11 Shame

12 Baby Outlaw

13 Last Damn Night

14 My Neck, My Back (Live)

15 Where the Devil Don’t Go

16 It Girl

17 Wild Love

18 I Told You I Was Mean

19 See You Again

20 Catch Us If You Can

21 Good to Be a Man

22 Sober

23 Up in Flames

24 Let It Be Known

25 Can’t Be Loved

26 Goodbye Eddie

27 Song of Sorrow

28 Man’s Man

29 Ram Jam

30 Shame (Acoustic)

31 No One Can Save You

Looking for Some Sweet Songs?

We can help. Take a look at our detailed articles on the Best Mary J. Blige Songs of All-Time, the Best Alanis Morissette Songs of All Time, the Best Rihanna Songs of All Time, the Best Sia Songs of All Time, and the Best Garth Brooks Songs of All Time for more great song selections.

You’ll want to hear those tunes. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Bluetooth Headphones Under $100, the Best Bluetooth Headphones Under $200, the Best Cheap Earbuds Under $100, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, and the Best Headphones for Music you can buy in 2023.

Best Elle King Songs of All Time – Conclusion

Well, there you have it. The songs in this list are some of my favorite Elle King songs. You may have different ideas, and that’s fine. But, in the end, I think it’s a pretty good list. And hopefully, this list will continue to grow as the years go by.

Until next time, happy listening.

5/5 - (37 votes)

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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