There’s a difference between singing something and saying it. When you say something, everybody knows, but when you sing it, all it can do is make them wonder. Is she singing about him? Are they singing about that? Is she singing about them? Nobody really knows for sure.
The new single from Summer Dean is a song for those moments when you know something heavy is hanging in the air and all you can feel is its weight, because whatever it is, it isn’t being talked about. The song sings all those things that can’t be said. A secret message from the heart, sent out into the world like a little submarine full of feelings, floating around in the shadows beneath the surface.
“Some of the best songs ever written are about what’s hidden right there in plain sight,” Summer Dean explains. "’She Ain’t Me’ is basically ‘I’m Not Her’ in reverse. It freezes a moment that feels like a lifetime.”
It’s a drowsy barroom ballad absolutely dripping in the kind of deep sadness that fills records like Jean Shepherd’s Lonesome Love or Connie Smith’s ‘Once A Day’. It’s a song filled with the saddest kind of heartache - the heartache of two people completely in love but kept apart by circumstance. You can hear the devastation in the sighs of the pedal steel and the tremble in her voice as she sings across a crowded bar from the stage - remembering the times they’ve nearly got together, but never quite - and wonders what it is he sees in the woman who came in on his arm.
‘She Ain’t Me’ is premiering exclusively at Holler below:
The song follows ‘The Biggest Life Worth Living is the Small’ as the next taste from the Texas-born singer songwriter’s forthcoming album, The Biggest Life, which is released in June. The 13 songs that make up the new record were all written by Dean and recorded completely analog at the Bunker - album producer Bruce Robison’s Lockhart, TX studio - with a hand-picked band of collaborators. It’s a fitting approach for a set of songs that leave nowhere to hide and spare no detail.
“I’m very proud of myself and this record,” Dean says. “It’s the most real and vulnerable I’ve ever been with my writing.”
Summer Dean has been steadily gaining momentum since the release of her break-out 2021 LP Bad Romantic, and the new album promises to be one of 2023’s highlights for country music lovers of a more neo-traditional persuasion. Having just been named the 2023 Ameripolitan Honky Tonk Female of the Year, and with a three week co-headline tour with Rob Leines coming up in June and a trip to Jackalope Jamboree festival in Pendleton, OR alongside Ryan Bingham, Margo Price, Shane Smith & the Saints and many others, it’s shaping up to be one hell of a busy year for Summer Dean.
The Biggest Life is out on June 16th via The Next Waltz. Click here to preorder the album.