How Taylor Swift’s ‘Better Man’ Became Little Big Town’s New Single
Little Big Town's new song "Better Man" practically fell out of the sky. The group tell Taste of Country that the Taylor Swift-written ballad was a very unexpected gift that they're hanging their new album on.
"She sent us the song," LBT's Kimberly Schlapman reveals to Taste of Country. "We were like, 'Wow! Taylor sent us a song. She's one of the best songwriters ever.'"
After listening on repeat, the CMA-nominated Vocal Group of the Year agreed they were in love, and they decided they wouldn't ask any questions about the song or why Swift sent it to them. Nope, Little Big Town don't know who the country-turned-pop singer had in mind when she wrote the digging lyrics of "Better Man."
"That chorus ... from the first time I heard it, I fell in love with it," Jimi Westbrook says. "It's so built for our harmonies, and that's probably why, maybe, she thought of us."
Many are interpreting "Better Man" as a song about domestic violence, which struck the group as odd. Karen Fairchild says that's not the intention, although if that's how people are connecting to it they're okay with that.
"I think they get confused on the metaphor of 'back of my hand,' as in saying 'goodbye,' is what that is," she says.
Little Big Town's The Breaker album hits stores and digital retailers on Feb. 24, and the foursome explain that leading with an impactful song like "Better Man" was important. They weren't trying to recreate their mega-hit "Girl Crush," but rather be aware of it in their rearview mirror.
"That is definitely a part of it," Westbrook says. "Coming off of 'Girl Crush,' whether we wanted to feel it or not, there's a lot of pressure behind that song ... yeah, you wanna continue that. I think that's when we heard 'Better Man' that we were like, 'Man, that's that kind of song.'"
Little Big Town announced a flurry of plans for 2017. In addition to their new song and album, they'll also begin a residency at the Ryman Auditorium with dates spread throughout the year.
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