Lyrics Uncovered: Dustin Lynch, ‘Mind Reader’
Dustin Lynch's "Mind Reader" lyrics are based on a real-life incident that actually happened to one of the songwriters.
Along with Dallas Davidson, Ben Hayslip and Rhett Akins are part of the Peach Pickers, a trio of songwriters who have collaborated on an impressive run of hits for various country artists. They wrote together as a duo for "Mind Reader," and the idea came from something that happened to Akins the previous night, as Hayslip explains.
"Anybody who knows Rhett knows Rhett loves the ladies," he tells Taste of Country. "The night before we wrote the song, I don't know if he'd been on a date or he'd been hanging out with some girl he didn't know very well. He'd just kinda met her. And Rhett doesn't really like to be tied down; he's one of those guys that wants to do his own thing. We came in the next day, and we're just trying to figure out what to write, and he's telling me about the night before, and he's like, 'Man, this girl last night, she scares me. You ever had a girl who just knows what you're thinking every second and just almost reads your mind?'"
That led to the idea for the song, which came about very quickly once the two old friends actually got down to business.
"Me and Rhett have been writing together for so long. We grew up together in Valdosta, Ga., so we wrote our first song together at 14 years old," Hayslip -- who is affiliated with ASCAP in Nashville -- recalls. "We're both 46 years old now, so 32 years ago, we wrote our first song together. So we kind of are mind readers of each other. We have a special bond writing that compares to nobody else that I write with, and I think he'd tell you the same thing about me."
I hope the results of the song were better than the results of the relationship.
With that kind of easy chemistry, the "Mind Reader" lyrics and melody didn't take long to nail down.
"Rhett just started playing that groove, and it just went from there. We had the idea of what we were writing about, and we just started spitting lyrics out," Hayslip says.
The "Mind Reader" lyrics derive almost exactly from what Akins shared about his date: "It's like you knew that smile was gonna melt me down / Like you know those lips are what I'm needing right now / And girl when you lay 'em on mine / Yeah, it's like you're reading my mind / Baby, you're a little mind, baby, you're a little mind reader."
They finished the song in a couple of hours, and other than a backing vocal tag that Hayslip added in the studio, it passed muster even for Akins, who's apparently a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to songwriting, according to Hayslip.
"We call Rhett 'the Rhettitor,' because a song is never really done, to him. He's still trying to re-write 'Put a Girl In It,' and it's been a hit already," he says with a laugh. "We're both that way a little bit, but Rhett more than me. He'll go home with it and call and say, 'Hey, what if we do this on this line?' But for the most part I think that song was pretty much done when we left the room, except for that background vocal."
The pair weren't writing with any specific artist in mind, but the their demo found its way to Dustin Lynch without being pitched around to a lot of artists, and he opted to cut the song. His cut is close to the demo Hayslip and Akins recorded.
"Sometimes you hear the cuts and they just blow your demo away, and sometimes it's the other way, but on this one, the cut is actually almost just like the demo, and that's a good thing, because that's one of the days we left the studio thinking, 'Hey, we nailed this. This sounds like a hit song,'" Hayslip tells us.
"I'm just glad that Rhett went out and, whoever the girl was, I'm glad that happened," he observes with another laugh. "It created a great song, and I hope the results of the song were better than the results of the relationship."
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