Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde act out two very different sides of the same love triangle in the music video for "Never Wanted to Be That Girl," portraying the wife and mistress, respectively, of the same man.

Much like in the lyrics of the song itself, the music video puts the two women -- and the empathy they find for each other -- in the spotlight, with their shared love interest appearing only in shadows in the background. He isn't the focus of the video: Instead, the clip plays out how each woman comes to the realization that her relationship isn't what she thought it was, and navigates their conflicted emotions on where to go from here.

Cinematic and story-driven, the video opens with Pearce watching anxiously out her screen door, occasionally glancing over at the clock. Meanwhile, in another room across town, McBryde sits on the edge of her bed as a man in the background gathers up his clothes and gets ready to leave. As the clip progresses, we see snippets of McBryde's first meeting with the man at a bar, and in a flashback, a young girl watches a fight between her parents, that ends with her dad storming out the door and her mom collapsing on the floor in tears.

Fittingly for a piece of work so focused on women's experiences, the video was helmed by female, first-time director Alexa Campbell.

"So many of us know how it is when you go back and start putting all of those pieces together. That moment when you realize the gut punch of the situation," McBryde reflects. "This song isn’t really about being the other woman or even being messed around on as much as it’s about these two people who are exhibiting behaviors they normally wouldn’t – checking text messages, making excuses for why their dates are only on Tuesdays – and realizing it’s all because of the same person."

McBryde and Pearce co-wrote the song with Shane McAnally, who also produced it, and is a co-writer and producer on several other tracks on Pearce's album, 29: Written in Stone. Not only does the song dig into multiple different experiences of betrayal, but it also focuses not on what makes the two women at odds with each other, but rather what they have in common, Pearce points out.

"What’s interesting about this song is we could have gone to a place of blame on the others in the love triangle, but we turned it inward. It’s unique that two women who never meet are getting burned by the same man and having the exact same feelings," she adds. "We intentionally kept the chorus the same to reflect that neither wanted to be in this position."

Top Country Songs of 2021, Ranked

You'll find much more than just the Top 10 Country Songs of 2021 on this list. Enjoy the 21 best country songs of the year, based on Taste of Country staff and country music fan opinion, plus commercial data (sales, streaming, airplay).

To be considered, the song must have been released in 2021 or have actively charted for a portion of the year (see "Wine, Beer, Whiskey"). New artists including Lainey Wilson, Larry Fleet and Morgan Wade crack the top songs list, while hitmakers including Thomas Rhett, Jason Aldean and Luke Combs make the Top 10.

Let us know your favorite song of 2021 on Twitter, or email us at

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