Thomas Rhett Calls ‘T-Shirt’ ‘the Song That Hung On’
"T-Shirt," Thomas Rhett's third single from his sophomore album Tangled Up is in the Top 15 on the country charts -- and the pressure is on. The new single follows a string of five consecutive No. 1 hits, including Rhett's most recent single, "Die a Happy Man," and even the singer himself admits it wasn't easy figuring out how to follow up a song like that.
"We struggle with this even in our live show, because it’s like, ‘What do you play after "Die a Happy Man," when everyone is done singing every word so loud?’ Every song after that, you better come with something pretty incredible," Rhett tells The Boot and other reporters. ""T-Shirt," for me, I really wanted to cut it on the first album, so that song’s been with me for a long time. It was one of my wife’s favorite songs that I ever put on hold that I didn’t write; it’s just fun. And if there ever was a time to put out a song I’ve always wanted to put out, why not do it after ["Die a Happy Man"]?"
Rhett may not have written "T-Shirt" -- Ashley Gorley, Luke Laird and Shane McAnally penned the tune -- but as he says, he's been a fan of it for a long time.
"I’m gonna call this one "The Song That Hung On,"" Rhett quips. "Tim McGraw actually had it on hold for a long time, so I couldn’t put it on hold for my first record, because Tim had it on hold. Once he let it go, I latched that thing down and couldn’t wait to cut it and put it on my second album."
"T-Shirt," Rhett adds, will be the perfect song to perform while serving as the opening act on Jason Aldean's 2016 summer tour.
"I think it’s a great song to lead into summertime," the artist admits. "We love playing it live. We’ve been playing it live for, like, three years."
Tangled Up is less than a year old, but Rhett is already working on his next album: "By the time "Die a Happy Man" had gone to No. 1, I was like, ‘Geez, the album’s been out three months, and I’m already on my third single? I better start really getting back into the swing of things,'" Rhett recalls thinking. But since he spends a lot of his time writing, finding songs for the project won't be too much of a challenge.
"I’m not even necessarily writing for me. I’m just writing songs to try and figure out what direction my brain wants to go, what kind of songs do I want to write, where I’m at in my life right now, what kind of content do I want to write about?" he says. "It’s really fun to get back in and be creative again and start that process again."
Although he's found success with both his freshman album, It Goes Like This, and Tangled Up, Rhett won't be afraid to try something new on his next project.
"I always find different styles of music that I love, different artists that I love. For me, every record creative process is more than likely going to be different. I don’t really see myself continuing to make seven albums that all sound the same. I hope that every one is different and unique in some way," he notes. "I can definitely see me continuing the trend of exploring different ways to increase my brand and put my own stamp on what I do."
"T-Shirt" is available for download on iTunes.
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