Thomas Rhett is taking a roundabout way to Country Again: Side B with his new single, "Slow Down Summer." The ballad is progressive piece of nostalgia more in line with his pre-Side A sound, but traditionalists need not worry — he promises to get to Side B soon enough.

Lyrically, Rhett and his father Rhett Akins joined Ashley Gorley, Jesse Frasure and Sean Douglas ("Die a Happy Man") to write a nostalgic summer love song that stings just like it should. This is the relationship that never had time to meet its natural conclusion. As the days became stunted, so did their time together. Bursts of color (a Roman candle, her green eyes, fading sunburns) help each verse and chorus come to life.

"Slow Down Summer" is a well-written song laid down across a more pop-friendly arrangement than either of Rhett's last two singles. A pristine drum track and anthemic rise to his melody — plus the echo of the song's title at the close of the chorus — characterizes this new song. There are strings, but fiddle and steel don't dominate. This could be the reason he's decided not to include this on Country Again: Side B.

Taking to Twitter, Rhett explained that "Slow Down Summer" will be on a project called Where We Started, slated for early 2022. Then, in the fall he'll release Country Again: Side B. 2021 marks the first year the singer has released just one single to radio — in fact, he just went two months without an active single on the radio, which seems like forever for him. That figures to change next year.

Did You Know?: Rhett shared "Slow Down Summer" in spring 2020 when he performed an acoustic version during a livestream.

Thomas Rhett's "Slow Down Summer" Lyrics: 

Your shades on my dashboard, shoes on my floorboard / Lived in that old Chevrolet / We were two Roman candles, too hot to handle / Two hearts that couldn't be tamed / Yeah, we knew what was comin’ / And laughed it off like it was nothin' / Oh, but time kept on runnin' and runnin’ away.

Chorus:
Yeah, what can I say / We had our hopes up and the windows down / Fallin' fast in a one-lane town / Tangled up with your lips on mine / Never seen a brighter green in those eyes and / I put my jacket on your shoulder / Wishin' the weather wasn't gettin' colder / Lettin' you go, holdin' onto each other / Closin' our eyes, saying slow down, summer.

I was beggin’ those leaves, don't go changin’ on me / Friday night lights, stay away / But the Fourth of July was just smoke in the sky / And our sunburns were startin' to fade / Yeah, we knew what was comin’ / And laughed it off like it was nothin' / Oh, but time kept on runnin' and runnin’ away.

Repeat Chorus

Why couldn't you slow down, summer / Just wait a minute, we weren't finished / Can we just hold onto each other / Take me back to the beginnin', oh / Slow down, summer / Slow down, summer.

Repeat Chorus

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