Lyrics Uncovered: Dustin Lynch, ‘Seein’ Red’
Dustin Lynch's "Seein' Red" lyrics are bringing sexy back to country radio and taking the singer's career to the next level at the same time.
Veteran Nashville hitmaker Steve Bogard co-wrote the song with Jason Sever, Kurt Allison and Tully Kennedy, the latter two of whom play in Jason Aldean's band. But he says they weren't gearing the song toward Aldean when they got together to work.
"We were thinking about some kind of rockin' song that would be written like a band would write it, as opposed to like a more professional songwriting deal. We just figured we would write like we were a band," Bogard tells Taste of Country. "We just wanted to have fun and write something rockin' that was a little bit ahead of the curve, musically. We knew we wanted to write something progressive and rockin'. That's all we were shooting for."
They had the main lick of the song, a melody and a skeletal structure before they had any ideas for the "Seein' Red" lyrics. Listening to the track as they discussed ideas, Kennedy remarked, "I'm seein' red." It was one of the kind of "happy accidents" that can happen when writers collaborate, Bogard says.
"I said, 'Man, that's the title. How can we write that?' So I just started spitting out things about lips and dresses ... it's the color of anger and passion, bull fighting and the Roman God of War," he observes. "It seemed like thematically it could cover a number of things, but primarily passion. A beautiful girl invoking passion."
They wrote the song in three or four hours, with Bogard contributing many of the ideas behind the "Seein' Red" lyrics. The lyrics are unabashedly sexy: “I’m talkin’ red-hot red kiss fallin’ off your lips / I’m talkin’ red-hot red dress hangin’ on your hips / I’m talkin’ backseat heartbeat poundin’ in my chest / I’m seein’ red / I’m seein’ red/ Can’t get you outta my head, girl / Can’t get you outta my head / The way you color up my world / I’m seein’ red,” Lynch sings.
We just wanted to have fun and write something rockin' that was a little bit ahead of the curve, musically.
"I do a lot of the lyrical ideation, and then there's a lot of editing going on, and choices being made by Jason and Kurt and Tully," Bogard explains. "Kurt bring a guitar player, I think he had a lot to do with the actual riff. Jason is a real melodic singer, so we rely on his singing instincts a lot for what things work and what things don't. All in all it's very, very collaborative. There's a lot of just fast-paced editing, lyrically and musically, going on between all four of us."
The song is new and edgy for Lynch, and musically it's innovative in the fact that each new section is almost a hook of its own. The songwriters recorded two separate demos of the song, adding more aggressive rock elements to the second one
"I think our concept was, let's make the demo more aggressive and more rockin' than you'd ever really hear on country radio, and we'll let the artist pull it back a little if they need to," Bogard explains.
He writes for Magic Mustang Music, which is the publishing arm of BBR Music Group, where Lynch has his recording deal. One of the label heads heard the demo for Lynch right off, and the artist kept it on hold until cutting it, meaning it didn't have to go through the usual process of being pitched to various artists. His recording adds real drums and some steel, but retains the edgy beats and pop-rock elements that make it so progressive for country radio. The result is a new sound for Lynch that is likely to bring even more anticipation to his much-anticipated third studio album.
Bogard has known Lynch since the singer first moved to Nashville, and has written several album cuts for him in the past. He hopes "Seein' Red" will be a game-changing single for the fast-rising country star.
"I hope it's kind of a turning point, a next step for Dustin," he tells us. "Nobody works harder than he does, and nobody cares more about the fans than he does. He's ready for the next level in his touring, and I just hope this helps to achieve that."