For someone in the midst of so many personal and professional milestones, Thomas Rhett still finds time to look backward on a few songs from his upcoming LP Life Changes. “Sixteen,” the latest song to be released from the new album, follows that trend, as he reminisces about being “sixteen, wild and free.”
Written by Rhett, Sean Douglas, and Joe Spargur, “Sixteen” is a nostalgic look back at a time when he was old enough to drive but young enough that his biggest concern was “thinking about an unsupervised Saturday night.” The song opens with a 15-year-old Rhett admonishing his father for giving him instructions during a driving lesson. “I’m 15, I ain’t green like some 10 year old,” he boasts. His teenaged self can’t wait to grow up, cursing his curfew and looking forward to the day he’ll be a legal adult. “I’ll be where I want to be when I’m 18,” he declares.
But what all of Rhett’s nostalgia on “Sixteen” amounts to is his present-day ability to live in the moment, as he fast forwards to the age of 25, sitting at home drinking wine with his wife and dog – something his younger self would likely consider boring. Then again, he also has “a couple songs on the radio,” which even teenaged Rhett hadn’t dreamed of. Rhett’s current single “Unforgettable,” which recalls a first date in glorious detail, follows in much the same nostalgic vein.
“I would say [Life Changes] completely sums up the journey of my life right now,” Rhett, now a first-time father who’s expecting a second child this month, told Rolling Stone Country earlier this year. “You think you have it all figured out and all of a sudden you wake up and you’re having a baby.”
Life Changes, Rhett’s third full-length and the follow-up to 2015’s platinum-selling Tangled Up, drops September 8th via Big Machine Music imprint Valory Music Co. On August 16th, Rhett will appear alongside Kelsea Ballerini as co-host of the ABC special CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock.