Luke Bryan, ‘I See You’ – Lyrics Uncovered
Luke Bryan's 'I See You' lyrics came about through a little bit of friendly competition between three of Nashville's top songwriters.
The singer is also an excellent songwriter, and he got together with two of Music City's most sought-after writers -- Ashley Gorley and Luke Laird -- for the track, which is the sixth single from his current album, 'Crash My Party.'
"I've know Luke for a while, and this is actually the only one of his singles that I wrote with him," Gorley tells Taste of Country. "I've had some others, but I didn't write those with him."
The 'I See You' lyrics came together based around a guitar lick that Luke Laird already had. "That's kinda the signature lick that you still hear on the radio," Gorley says. "It started with that, and I had a title in my song book -- I have a spreadsheet of ideas that I keep, and I had 'I See You,' and we just started talking about it."
The trick was getting around a title that could have led to a bland song. "The title, I don't think it's insanely creative or fantastic," the songwriter admits. "But what we do with it, especially in the post-chorus, made it special."
The 'I See You' lyrics talk about a guy who just can't get over a broken relationship: "I can't go anywhere, I can't do anything / No, I can't close my eyes without you in my dreams / You won't leave me alone, even though I know you're gone / I look around for someone new, but I see you."
Instead of one person providing chords, one working on melody and the other focusing on lyrics, all three writers pitched in wherever they saw fit.
We were kinda pushing the boundaries. That's not his normal type of song, and we wanted to make 'I See You' something different -- to kinda push the artist, but still making it his.
"That song was probably written in an hour to an hour-and-a-half, so it was a faster-paced write, with everybody just trying to top each others' lines," Gorley recalls. "We all did a little bit. Luke [Bryan] started it with my favorite part of the song, that post-chorus, that 'Jumping up there with the band ...,' and that took it to another level. It was very free-form, just yelling out lines and trying to capture and write down the best ones."
Writing the song with the artist who was likely to cut it made the writing session more focused, as Gorley relates of Bryan's 'I See You' lyrics.
"Luke is a very active writer in the room, and he's likely to have an idea, so it's not gonna get outside the realm of what he likes to do," he observes. "But we were kinda pushing the boundaries. That's not his normal type of song, and we wanted to make 'I See You' something different -- to kinda push the artist, but still making it his. Having him in the room makes sure that we can do that."
It was actually somewhat of a surprise when the song went to country radio.
"We feel very fortunate on this one, because most artists don't get all the way to a sixth single from one album, so people wouldn't have been able to hear this," Gorley points out. "We're really lucky that people like him so much that he can put out this many songs off one album, and the album did well enough to get a sixth single. I've definitely never had a sixth single before, off of one album. So all of that together makes it great, and I wanted people to hear this, because I think that it did, lyrically, melodically and groove-wise, push the envelope and stretch it out a bit."
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