The concept for Thomas Rhett‘s latest single, “Slow Down Summer,” came from a place of honesty. 

Thomas and his team of co-writers, including dad Rhett Akins, were on a retreat in Montana in October, splitting their time between fly-fishing and writing, when they noticed that the leaves were changing as summer faded to fall.

“Someone said, ‘I wish summer would slow down.’ As a songwriter, you hear words like that and you’re like, ‘Maybe we should try to write that,"” Thomas recollects. “We related it to an emotion that I think a lot of us have been through, of getting out of high school or college dating somebody when you got three months to maybe solidify this relationship or it’s not gonna work.” 

It’s a story that Thomas has truly lived, referencing a time when he and a former girlfriend parted ways at the end of summer as they both went off to different colleges. The country superstar compares the track to his previous heartbreaking hit, “Marry Me,” wherein the lead character watches the love of his life marry someone else.

“I hadn’t put a song like that out in a long time that had that tension of love in it, really since ‘Marry Me’ a couple of records ago,” he notes. “I just love the sentiment of the song, I love the arrangement, the production, and I feel like the music video really helped describe what that emotion was. I thought it was a really neat first single to this next record, and it’s been really cool seeing the reaction of it as well.”

“Slow Down Summer” is the lead single off Thomas’ new album, Where We Started, set for release on April 1.

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