It’s Cole Swindell’s birthday today, and he’s celebrating with a new ‘90s-inspired single.

She Had Me at Heads Carolina” is a fun and flirty dance-a-long track following a guy who walks into karaoke night at a bar and is immediately transfixed by the girl singing a ‘90s country classic into the mic.

The song’s lyrics and melody heavily reference “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” Jo Dee Messina’s country hit from 1996, and Cole says the throwback makes the song feel familiar, even to fans who haven’t heard his new single before.

“We’ve played it live a few times, and obviously, people think they know it when it gets to that chorus,” he explains. “I mean, they’re screaming this song, because it’s such a big hit from the ‘90s, but when it gets to that line about south Georgia, it kind of throws them off.”

That part of the chorus — where Cole sings “Heads Carolina, tails California / Maybe she’d fall for a boy from south Georgia” — is where his version’s lyrics depart from the original. Still, the melody continues to hearken back to Jo Dee’s song, and Cole says he’d like to incorporate the ‘90s hitmaker into more aspects of the new song.

“I hope somebody I get to sing it — whether I do something, I want her to be involved, because we wouldn’t have the song without the writers and without her making it what it is,” he says.

“She Had Me at Heads Carolina” comes off Cole’s newest album, Stereotype.


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