Carly Pearce said she was asking herself, “What would Patty Loveless do?” while writing her new song “Next Girl” with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne. It’s clearly not just a talking point. The compact, just-shy-of-three-minutes single instantly evokes the bluegrass flavor of Loveless as well as her Nineties radio hits. The production is lean, highlighting Pearce’s impassioned delivery and some Appalachian sounds of Dobro. Like Loveless, Pearce is a Kentucky native.
“We live in a world where there are so many smooth-talking guys who’re so quick to sweep you off your feet — and they always have a story about the girl before,” Pearce said of the lyrical warning about an opportunistic man. “I bet you probably met him at a bar/let him walk you to your car/I bet he said he never falls this hard/Yeah, I remember that part,” she sings, having been there before.
“Next Girl” is the follow-up to her hit duet with Lee Brice, “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” Earlier this week, Pearce was nominated for four CMA Awards, including a nod as New Artist. The other nominations — Music Video of the Year, Musical Event of the Year, and Song of the Year — come on the strength of “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” which she co-wrote with Luke Combs, Randy Montana, and Jonathan Singleton.