Tyler Farr, ‘Hot Mess’ – Lyrics Uncovered
The lyrics to Tyler Farr‘s debut single ‘Hot Mess’ were penned by the Songwriters of the Year — Rhett Akins (BMI), Dallas Davidson (BMI) and Ben Hayslip (ASCAP) — better known around Nashville as the Peach Pickers. The catchy tune grabbed the attention of Farr immediately, and he cut the song and released it as the first single from his forthcoming album on BNA Records.
“That song started at the Key West songwriters festival in ’09,” Akins tells Taste of Country. “That’s the first I heard that term. I heard it like six or seven times in Key West … ‘Oh, that dude, he’s a hot mess’ or ‘She’s a hot mess.’ I didn’t really get it at first, but then I heard it a couple of times and saw the people they were talking about, so I just had that in my head. So when I came back, I had that title.”
“The benefit of being married to a younger woman is my wife says ‘hot mess’ all the time,” Davidson adds with a grin. “It’s the youth lingo for ‘I’m still pretty, but I’m a little frazzled.’ So I totally latched onto ‘Hot Mess,’ because all these girls are hot messes … especially down in Key West. There are a lot of hot messes running around down there! But a ‘hot mess’ is a good thing.”
“We just tried to write it about a girl who is obviously a pretty girl and just goes out there and does whatever she wants,” Akins continues. “She’s just kind of carefree. People call her a ‘hot mess.’ We use it as a positive term for the girl [in the song]. Like all girls, her bedroom has clothes everywhere, makeup everywhere … she goes out dancing, tearing the place up, and everybody’s staring at her.”
“Clothes scattered across the bedroom floor / Soaking wet towel hanging on the door / Looks like a hurricane just came through / Her makeup covers up / Every inch of the counter top / She’s slappin’ on a little bit of strawberry lip gloss / She’s ready to rock,” the Peach Pickers wrote in the opening lyrics of the song.
“I’ve watched my wife get ready to go out and there’s stuff everywhere,” Davidson shares, laughing. “It really is like a tornado came through, and that’s where a lot of those lyrics came from — us observing girls over the years. A wet towel hanging on the door … how many times have you seen that? We put a lot of pictures in this song.”
“We wrote it in a way where I think most girls when hear it will go, ‘That’s me! That’s me! That’s totally me! I’m messy and I like to go out and party,’” says Akins. “Most girls will say, ‘This song is about me.’”
“She’s my hot mess / In a sundress / Got my heart beating out of my chest / Country girl come to town looking like a rock star / She’s got angel eyes and a wild side / Lightin’ up the room with her smokey little smile / Burnin’ up and down, turning them heads / She’s a little hot mess,” they wrote in the chorus.
“This was one of the songs we wrote that we all had no doubt about,” notes Hayslip. “We kind of had the same feeling after we wrote ‘Gimme That Girl’ (Joe Nichols) and ‘Put a Girl in It’ (Brooks and Dunn). This is one of those. When we wrote it, we were all in agreement … we thought it was a big hit.”
The song instantly became a favorite of Akins’ son Thomas Rhett, who was excited to play it for his friend Tyler Farr. “Thomas Rhett wanted this song really bad, and he played it for Tyler,” Akins explains. “He goes, ‘What do you think about this song?’ Tyler fell in love with the song. Unfortunately for Thomas Rhett, he didn’t have a record deal at the time, but Tyler did. It was basically who’s up to bat first. Tyler did a great job with it. He nailed it. I think it’s a great record.”