Carly Pearce has partnered with Ashley McBryde for a top-flight cheating song in “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” a duet from Pearce’s 29: Written in Stone. An expanded version of Pearce’s 2021 EP 29, the collection will arrive in full on September 17th.
A spiritual descendant of Reba McEntire and Linda Davis’ classic “Does He Love You,” Pearce and McBryde’s collaboration was written by both women with Shane McAnally and ditches the campy melodrama for a bracing jolt of regret and clarity. “He helped me change a tire in the Citgo parking lot,” McBryde sings, setting the stage for an affair that begins with a beer and then stretches on for months.
Things change when she happens to see a text message from the wife back at home. “I never wanted to be that girl/I never wanted to hate myself,” she sings in the chorus, realizing what’s happened.
Pearce is the other woman in this equation, anxiously wondering where her husband’s been and why he needs to get a shower as soon as he comes in. “I’ve heard about those women who didn’t have a clue/The ones who made excuses, like my mama used to do,” she sings, in a gutting revelation of betrayal repeating itself.
It culminates in a thrilling back-and-forth exchange where both women own up to their feelings. “And I feel stupid,” Pearce sings. “I feel used,” McBryde counters.
New Grand Ole Opry member Pearce is currently on tour with Lady A and will head out to Arizona and California beginning September 16th. McBryde, meanwhile, is alternating between headlining shows and supporting dates for Luke Combs’ tour, with stops including Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota ahead this weekend.